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Marcasite

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Formula:
FeS2
Colour:
Pale brass-yellow, tin-white on fresh exposures.
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
6 - 6½
Specific Gravity:
4.887
Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Member of:
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.
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.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Marcasite.


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Classification of MarcasiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
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 ed.:
2.12.2.1
2.12.2.1

2 : SULFIDES
12 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
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

Physical Properties of MarcasiteHide

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

Optical Data of MarcasiteHide

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 MarcasiteHide

Formula:
FeS2
Common Impurities:
Cu,As

Crystallography of MarcasiteHide

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Pnnm
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.436 Å, b = 5.414 Å, c = 3.381 Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.819 : 1 : 0.624
Unit Cell 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}.

Crystallographic forms of MarcasiteHide

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)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
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)

Synonyms of MarcasiteHide

Other Language Names for MarcasiteHide

Varieties of MarcasiteHide

BlueiteNickeliferous variety of marcasite.
Cellular PyritesQuoted in J.D. Dana (1837) Syst. Min. 1st ed. p.405
LonchiditeAn arsenatian variety of Marcasite.

Relationship of Marcasite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
FerroseliteFeSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
FrohbergiteFeTe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
KulleruditeNiSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
MattagamiteCoTe2Orth.
Group Members:
Petříčekite CuSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

2.EB.05aAurostibiteAuSb2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05bBambollaiteCu(Se,Te)2Tet.
2.EB.05aCattieriteCoS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aErlichmaniteOsS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aFukuchiliteCu3FeS8Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aGeversitePtSb2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aHaueriteMnS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aInsizwaitePt(Bi,Sb)2
2.EB.05aKrut'aiteCuSe2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aLauriteRuS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aPenroseite(Ni,Co,Cu)Se2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aPyriteFeS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aSperrylitePtAs2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aTrogtaliteCoSe2
2.EB.05aVaesiteNiS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.05aVillamaninite(Cu,Ni,Co,Fe)S2
2.EB.05aDzharkeniteFeSe2Iso.
2.EB.05aGaotaiiteIr3Te8Iso.
2.EB.10bAlloclasiteCo1-xFexAsSMon. 2 : P21
2.EB.10dCostibiteCoSbSOrth. mm2 : Pmn21
2.EB.10aFerroseliteFeSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.10aFrohbergiteFeTe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.10cGlaucodot(Co0.50Fe0.50)AsSOrth. mm2 : Pmn21
2.EB.10aKulleruditeNiSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.10aMattagamiteCoTe2Orth.
2.EB.10eParacostibiteCoSbSOrth.
2.EB.10ePararammelsbergiteNiAs2Orth.
2.EB.10fOeniteCoSbAsOrth.
2.EB.15aAnduoite(Ru,Os)As2Orth.
2.EB.15aClinosaffloriteCoAs2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
2.EB.15aLöllingiteFeAs2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.15aNisbiteNiSb2Orth.
2.EB.15aOmeiite(Os,Ru)As2Orth.
2.EB.15cPaxiteCuAs2Mon.
2.EB.15aRammelsbergiteNiAs2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.15aSafflorite(Co,Ni,Fe)As2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.EB.15bSeinäjokite(Fe,Ni)(Sb,As)2Orth.
2.EB.20ArsenopyriteFeAsSMon. 2/m : P21/b
2.EB.20GudmunditeFeSbSMon. 2/m : P21/b
2.EB.20Osarsite(Os,Ru)AsSMon.
2.EB.20Ruarsite(Ru,Os)AsSMon.
2.EB.25CobaltiteCoAsSOrth. mm2 : Pca21
2.EB.25GersdorffiteNiAsSIso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.25Hollingworthite(Rh,Pt,Pd)AsSIso. m3 (2/m 3)
2.EB.25Irarsite(Ir,Ru,Rh,Pt)AsSIso.
2.EB.25JolliffeiteNiAsSeIso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.25KrutoviteNiAs2Iso.
2.EB.25MaslovitePtBiTe
2.EB.25MicheneritePdBiTe
2.EB.25PadmaitePdBiSeIso.
2.EB.25PlatarsitePtAsSIso.
2.EB.25TestibiopalladitePdTe(Sb,Te)Iso.
2.EB.25TolovkiteIrSbSIso.
2.EB.25UllmanniteNiSbSIso. 2 3 : P21 3
2.EB.25Willyamite(Co,Ni)SbS
2.EB.25ChangchengiteIrBiSIso.
2.EB.25MayingiteIrBiTeIso.
2.EB.25Hollingsworthite(Rh,Pt,Pd)AsS
2.EB.25KalungaitePdAsSeIso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
2.EB.25MilotaitePdSbSeIso. 2 3 : P21 3
2.EB.30UrvantsevitePd(Bi,Pb)2Tet.
2.EB.35RheniiteReS2Tric.

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

2.12.2.2FerroseliteFeSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.3FrohbergiteFeTe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.5MattagamiteCoTe2Orth.
2.12.2.6KulleruditeNiSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.7Omeiite(Os,Ru)As2Orth.
2.12.2.8Anduoite(Ru,Os)As2Orth.
2.12.2.9LöllingiteFeAs2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.10Seinäjokite(Fe,Ni)(Sb,As)2Orth.
2.12.2.11Safflorite(Co,Ni,Fe)As2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.12RammelsbergiteNiAs2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
2.12.2.13NisbiteNiSb2Orth.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

3.9.1PyrrhotiteFe7S8Mon.
3.9.3PyriteFeS2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
3.9.5GreigiteFe2+Fe3+2S4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
3.9.6Mackinawite(Fe,Ni)9S8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/nmm
3.9.7Smythite(Fe,Ni)3+xS4 (x=0-0.3)Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
3.9.8Achávalite(Fe,Cu)SeHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
3.9.9FerroseliteFeSe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
3.9.10FrohbergiteFeTe2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
3.9.11LöllingiteFeAs2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
3.9.12ArsenopyriteFeAsSMon. 2/m : P21/b
3.9.13GudmunditeFeSbSMon. 2/m : P21/b

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
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.

Marcasite in petrologyHide

Common component of (items highlighted in red)

References for MarcasiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Bannister, F.A. (1932) The distinction of pyrite from marcasite in nodular growths. Mineralogical Magazine, 23, 179-187.
Buerger (1937) American Mineralogist: 22: 48.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (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. (1975) Structural chemistry of marcasite and pyrite type phases. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 142: 332-346.
Murowchick, J. B. (1986): Marcasite precipitation from hydrothermal solutions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 50, 2615-2629.
Schoonen, M.A.A., Barnes, H.L. (1991) Reaction forming pyrite and marcasite from solution I. Nucleation of FeS2 below 100° C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 55, 1495-1504.
Schoonen, M.A.A., Barnes, H.L. (1991) Reaction forming pyrite and marcasite from solution II. Via FeS precursors below 100° C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 55: 1505-1514.
Murowchick, J. B. (1992) Marcasite inversion and the petrographic determination of pyrite ancestry. Economic Geology 87, 1141-1152.
Fleet, M.E., 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, R.V., Catherine, H., Skinner, W., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., Rosenzweig, A. (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., 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.
Yang, H., Downs, R.T. (2008) Crystal structure of glaucodot, (Co,Fe)AsS, and its relationships to marcasite and arsenopyrite, American Mineralogist 93, 1183-1186.

Internet Links for MarcasiteHide

Localities for MarcasiteHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListShow