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Marcasite

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Formula:
FeS
 
2
System:OrthorhombicColour:Pale brass-yellow, ...
Lustre:MetallicHardness:6 - 6½
Member of:Marcasite Group
Name:Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger after an Arabic or Moorish name applied to pyrite and similar metallic bronze colored minerals. Johnathan Hill used the same name in 1771, but his usage was indiscriminate and was a term for any massive "pyrites" or mundic.
Isostructural with:Safflorite


Marcasite Group.

Crystals common, metallic pale brass-yellow colored, tabular or pyramidal, often with curved faces; it may also be stalactic, globular, or reniform with a radiating internal structure. Frequently found replacing organic matter, forming fossils, in sedimentary beds, particularly coal beds.
May be intergrown or replaced by pyrite.

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Classification of Marcasite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/D.20-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.EB.10a

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
E : Metal Sulfides, M: S <= 1:2
B : M:S = 1:2, with Fe, Co, Ni, PGE, etc.
Dana 7th edition ID:2.12.2.1
Dana 8th edition ID:2.12.2.1

2 : SULFIDES
12 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.9.4

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
9 : Sulphides etc. of Fe
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Occurrences of Marcasite

Geological Setting:Most frequently found in sedimentary rocks and coal beds, as a replacement mineral forming fossils, it is a mineral of low-temperature, near-surface, environments, forming from acid solutions. Pyrite, the more stable form of FeS^2, forms under conditions of higher temperatures and lower acidity or alkaline environments.

Physical Properties of Marcasite

Lustre:Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Pale brass-yellow, tin-white on fresh exposures.
Streak:Dark-grey to black.
Hardness (Mohs):6 - 6½
Hardness (Vickers):VHN200=915 - 1099 kg/mm2
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
Distinct on {101}. {110} in traces.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven
Density (measured):4.887 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4.875 g/cm3

Crystallography of Marcasite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Pnnm
Cell Parameters:a = 4.436Å, b = 5.414Å, c = 3.381Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.819 : 1 : 0.624
Unit Cell Volume:V 81.20 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Crystals usually tabular on {010}, also pyramidal, faces often curved; also stalactic, globular, or reniform with radiating internal structure.
Twinning:Common on {101}, forming "swallowtail" contact twins; this may be repeated to form stellate fivelings. Less common on {011}.
Crystal Atlas:
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Marcasite no.80 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Marcasite no.90 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Marcasite no.141 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Marcasite no.148 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.43(70)
2.71(30)
2.69(100)
2.41(40)
2.31(30)
1.91(30)
1.75(50)
1.59(20)

Optical Data of Marcasite

Type:Anisotropic
Anisotropism:Strong yellow to light green to dark green
Pleochroism:Strong
Comments:Creamy white, light yellowish white, white with rose brown tint.

Chemical Properties of Marcasite

Formula:
FeS
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:FeS2
Essential elements:Fe, S
All elements listed in formula:Fe, S
Common Impurities:Cu,As

Relationship of Marcasite to other Species

Member of:Marcasite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.EB.05aAurostibite
AuSb
 
2
2.EB.05bBambollaite
Cu(Se,Te)
 
2
2.EB.05aCattierite
CoS
 
2
2.EB.05aErlichmanite
OsS
 
2
2.EB.05aFukuchilite
Cu
 
3
FeS
 
8
2.EB.05aGeversite
PtSb
 
2
2.EB.05aHauerite
MnS
 
2
2.EB.05aInsizwaite
Pt(Bi,Sb)
 
2
2.EB.05aKrut'aite
CuSe
 
2
2.EB.05aLaurite
RuS
 
2
2.EB.05aPenroseite
(Ni,Co,Cu)Se
 
2
2.EB.05aPyrite
FeS
 
2
2.EB.05aSperrylite
PtAs
 
2
2.EB.05aTrogtalite
CoSe
 
2
2.EB.05aVaesite
NiS
 
2
2.EB.05aVillamaninite
(Cu,Ni,Co,Fe)S
 
2
2.EB.05aDzharkenite
FeSe
 
2
2.EB.05aGaotaiite
Ir
 
3
Te
 
8
2.EB.10bAlloclasite
Co
 
1-x
Fe
 
x
AsS
2.EB.10dCostibite
CoSbS
2.EB.10aFerroselite
FeSe
 
2
2.EB.10aFrohbergite
FeTe
 
2
2.EB.10cGlaucodot
(Co
 
0.50
Fe
 
0.50
)AsS
2.EB.10aKullerudite
NiSe
 
2
2.EB.10aMattagamite
CoTe
 
2
2.EB.10eParacostibite
CoSbS
2.EB.10ePararammelsbergite
NiAs
 
2
2.EB.10fOenite
CoSbAs
2.EB.15aAnduoite
(Ru,Os)As
 
2
2.EB.15aClinosafflorite
CoAs
 
2
2.EB.15aLöllingite
FeAs
 
2
2.EB.15aNisbite
NiSb
 
2
2.EB.15aOmeiite
(Os,Ru)As
 
2
2.EB.15cPaxite
CuAs
 
2
2.EB.15aRammelsbergite
NiAs
 
2
2.EB.15aSafflorite
CoAs
 
2
2.EB.15bSeinäjokite
(Fe,Ni)(Sb,As)
 
2
2.EB.20Arsenopyrite
FeAsS
2.EB.20Gudmundite
FeSbS
2.EB.20Osarsite
(Os,Ru)AsS
2.EB.20Ruarsite
(Ru,Os)AsS
2.EB.25Cobaltite
CoAsS
2.EB.25Gersdorffite
NiAsS
2.EB.25Hollingworthite
(Rh,Pt,Pd)AsS
2.EB.25Irarsite
(Ir,Ru,Rh,Pt)AsS
2.EB.25Jolliffeite
NiAsSe
2.EB.25Krutovite
NiAs
 
2
2.EB.25Maslovite
PtBiTe
2.EB.25Michenerite
PdBiTe
2.EB.25Padmaite
PdBiSe
2.EB.25Platarsite
PtAsS
2.EB.25Testibiopalladite
PdTe(Sb,Te)
2.EB.25Tolovkite
IrSbS
2.EB.25Ullmannite
NiSbS
2.EB.25Willyamite
(Co,Ni)SbS
2.EB.25Changchengite
IrBiS
2.EB.25Mayingite
IrBiTe
2.EB.25Hollingsworthite
2.EB.25Kalungaite
PdAsSe
2.EB.25Milotaite
PdSbSe
2.EB.30Urvantsevite
Pd(Bi,Pb)
 
2
2.EB.35Rheniite
ReS
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.9.1Pyrrhotite
Fe
 
1-x
S (x = 0 to 0.17)
3.9.3Pyrite
FeS
 
2
3.9.5Greigite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
S
 
4
3.9.6Mackinawite
(Fe,Ni)
 
9
S
 
8
3.9.7Smythite
(Fe,Ni)
 
3+x
S
 
4
(x=0-0.3)
3.9.8Achavalite
(Fe,Cu)Se
3.9.9Ferroselite
FeSe
 
2
3.9.10Frohbergite
FeTe
 
2
3.9.11Löllingite
FeAs
 
2
3.9.12Arsenopyrite
FeAsS
3.9.13Gudmundite
FeSbS

Other Names for Marcasite

Synonyms:
AlasaniteAlazaniteBinariteCockscomb PyriteHydropyrite
KammkiesLebererz (of Agricola)MaxyPoliopyritesPrismatic Iron Pyrites
Radiated PyritesSpear PyritesSperchiseWeicheisenkiesWeisserkies
Other Languages:
Basque:Markasita
Czech:Markazit
Dutch:Marcasiet
French:Marcassite
German:Markasit
Alasanit
Alazanit
Binarit
Binärkies
Hydropyrit
Marcasit
Speerkies
Strahlkies
Hebrew:מרכזיט
Hungarian:Markazit
Italian:Marcasite
Japanese:白鉄鉱
Norwegian (Bokmål):Markasitt
Polish:Markasyt
Romanian:Marcasită
Russian:Марказит
Simplified Chinese:白铁矿
Slovak:Markazit
Spanish:Alasanita
Alazanita
Binarita
Hydropyrita
Marcasita
Pirita Blanca
Swedish:Markasit
Ukrainian:Марказит
Varieties:
BlueiteCellular PyritesLonchidite

Other Information

Health Warning:Marcasite is unstable to metastable and decrepitates, altering to melanterite, which contains sulfuric acid. Always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest.

References for Marcasite

Reference List:

- +
Buerger (1937) American Mineralogist: 22: 48.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 311-315.

Acta Chemica Scandinavica (1973): 27: 2791-2796.

Fleet, M.E. (1975b) Structural chemistry of marcasite and pyrite type phases. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 142: 332-346.

Schoonen, M.A.A. and Barnes, H.L. (1991b) Reaction forming pyrite and marcasite from solution II. Via FeS precursors below 100° C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 55: 1505-1514.

Fleet, M.E. and Mumin, A.H. (1997) Gold-bearing arsenian pyrite and marcasite and arsenopyrite from Carlin-trend gold deposits and laboratory synthesis. American Mineralogist: 82: 182-193.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 120.

Uhlig, I., Szargan, R., Nesbitt, H.W., and Laajalehto, K. (2001) Surface states and reactivity of pyrite and marcasite. Appl. Surf. Sci.: 179: 223-230.

Yang, H., Downs, R.T., Eichler, C. (2008): Safflorite, (Co,Ni,Fe)As2, isomorphous with marcasite. Acta Crystallographica, E64, i62.

H. Yang and R.T. Downs (2008), Crystal structure of glaucodot, (Co,Fe)AsS, and its relationships to marcasite and arsenopyrite, American Mineralogist 93, 1183-1186

Internet Links for Marcasite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Marcasite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Marcasite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Marcasite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Marcasite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Marcasite

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