Swiss marcasite is often mistaken for gold, or its chemical twin pyrite. In fact, the name marcasite comes from the Arabic word for pyrite, "markaschatsa," meaning firestone for its fiery gold sparkle.
Swiss marcasite is an iron sulfide that comes in a pale bronze or silvery-yellow color. Its numerous crystals form predominately pyramidal, tabular or cockscomb structures. In jewelry, it is popular for Art Deco styles and often incorporates numerous small marcasite gemstones in a piece.
Marcasite and pyrite are often confused because marcasite is a polymorph of pyrite, meaning the two minerals share the same chemistry, but differing structures, symmetries, and crystal shapes. The marcasite/pyrite polymorph pair is probably the most well-known polymorph pairs, second only to the diamond/graphite pair.
- Marcasite is believed to help one avoid rash words and impatient actions. It inspires relaxation, reflection and mental clarity.
- Because of its reflective ability, large marcasite crystals used as mirrors in some ancient civilizations. Tribes in Mexico would use it as a scrying mirror, like a crystal ball for fortune telling.
- Crystal healers use marcasite to treat skin, blood, and spleen ailments. It is also thought to strengthen the lungs and increase oxygen levels, helping to overcome fatigue.
Marcasite is found near the surface of the earth where it forms from acidic solutions, percolating downward through beds of shale, clay, limestone, and chalk. We source our Marcasite from Switzerland; however, Marcasite can be found in several locations around the world such as China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Russia, and the United States.
- Ranks 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
- Color ranges from metallic bronze to pewter.
- Sourced from Switzerland.
- Member of the marcasite group.
- Also known asalasanite, cockscomb pyrite, hydropyrite, maxy, poliopyrite, kammkies, sperchise, weisserkies or white pyrite.