Fact about Marcasite

On March 26, 2014, in - GEMSTONES, by Autore Designs Jewelry

Marcasite and Pyrite
Marcasite and Pyrite

Marcasite is a common mineral also called “white iron pyrites”. Marcasite is a mineral that is made from iron and sulfur with a range of crystalline structures called Iron Sulfide. Marcasite’s commonly associated minerals; include pyrite, fluorite, dolomite and calcite.

Marcasite is very similar to Pyrite only that Marcasite’s chemicals are structured differently. Marcasite resembles pyrite because it has the same chemical composition. The difference between them is that the color of pyrite is lighter, and when pyrite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system it darkens. Marcasite crystalizes in a different crystal system which makes it a scientifically distinct mineral species, known as polymorphs. It is a primary mineral that forms in mass concretions and crystalizes in rocks creating sharp individual crystals and groups of crystals. It has a unique feature in its crystal formation called twinning by which in the crystal formation phase, the crystals form to look like a roosters head. During this phase twin speared crystals are produced called spear pyrites. These spears are formed under low-temperature and highly acidic conditions and take place in sedimentary rocks and low grade coals, or bands of irons with a crystal structure. They also occur in marls, clays, and lime stones in many different parts of the world.

Marcasite has a beautiful pale yellow color to almost white with a bright metallic luster. It tarnishes to a yellowish or a brownish color with black streaks. At times it has hues of green, which is opaque. Marcasite is lighter than Pyrite which is usually more golden and ranges in pale brass-yellow, thus which is nicknamed “Fool’s Gold “or “Brass” because of its similarity to gold. Pyrite gets it color from a brassy yellow mineral; this mineral is also found in many other minerals, like the Lapis Lazuli gemstone. This is why when looking at a Lapis stone you will find golden spots or lines amongst its dark blue amazing color.

Marcasite has been with us since the beginning of civilization. The Chinese continued to mine the stone repeatedly, and today it is still used and produced. Since the early modern era the “marcasite” gemstone was labeled as marcasite, but pyrite was the gemstone used in its place. Marcasite can be found in the following regions; China, Russia, Mexico, Peru, France, England, and the United States. Marcasite can originate in big chunks, but most are small rock size pieces. In creating marcasite jewellery today, pyrite is still used as a gemstone in the gemstone trade and is labelled as “marcasite”. Marcasite is never used in jewelry. Fact being that pyrite gemstone is a stronger and a more resistant mineral and can be used as gem material while marcasite cannot. Subsequently today, don’t get alarmed, if you should want to purchase Marcasite Gemstone Jewelry, it will be sold to you as marcasite, but it will actually be pyrite that you will be purchasing.

Nowadays Marcasite has become very popular for the simple reason that it is associated to silver. It is frequently made by setting small pieces of pyrite into Sterling Silver. It shapes consists of squares, circles, triangles, and other. This stone has been transformed and inserted into many designs using Sterling Silver. Many artisans love the Marcasite/Pyrite gemstone; they love to create jewelry pieces that are astonishing, beautiful and unique in design. We must admit in the end that the Marcasite/Pyrite has its own distinction and uniqueness, and that is what makes it so exceptional in any jewelry piece.

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