URGENT MESSAGE: Time is running out. Click here to find out why.
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for Educators
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
Keyword(s):
 
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Marcasite

This page kindly sponsored by Mark Kucera
Hide all sections | Show all sections

About MarcasiteHide

Formula:
FeS2
Colour:
Pale brass-yellow, tin-white on fresh exposures.
Lustre:
Metallic, Sub-Metallic
Hardness:
6 - 6½
Specific Gravity:
4.887
Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Member of:
Name:
Early use of the word marcasite seems to have been unspecific. The word is Arabic or Moorish and was applied to pyrite and similar metallic bronze colored minerals. Walter Pope (1665) mentioned marcasite occurring in the mercury ores of of the Idria Mine, Cividale del Friuli in the Julian Alps of Slovenia: "There are alfo feveral Marcafites and ftones, which feem to have fpecks of Gold in them, but upon tryal they fay, they find none in them. Thefe round ftones are fome of them very ponderous, and well impregnated with Mercury; others light, having little or none in them." The mercury ore at Idria does contain metallic golden specks of what is now called marcasite, but it also has metallic golden pyrite. Johnathan Hill used the name marcasite in 1771, but his usage was also indiscriminate and was a term for any massive "pyrites" or mundic. In 1845, Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger defined marcasite as the mineral is known today.
Marcasite Group.

The orthorhombic polymorph of isometric (cubic) pyrite.

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.


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, Sub-Metallic
Transparency:
Opaque
Comment:
Frequently iridescence obscures the luster and color
Colour:
Pale brass-yellow, tin-white on fresh exposures.
Streak:
Dark-gray 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
Setting:
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, frequently twinned; 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:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
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.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.431 (66)
2.868 (3)
2.707 (34)
2.689 (100)
2.408 (36)
2.311 (31)
2.052 (3)
1.9077 (30)
1.7545 (51)
1.7156 (9)
1.6905 (18)
1.6716 (12)
1.5921 (19)
1.5299 (4)
1.5164 (6)
1.4985 (6)
1.4339 (4)
1.4264 (10)
1.3644 (6)
1.2115 (4)
1.2090 (4)
1.2042 (4)
1.1886 (5)
1.1554 (5)
1.0902 (9)
1.0707 (2)
1.0519 (2)
1.0312 (5)
1.0294 (4)
1.0129 (2)
0.9879 (5)
0.9820 (2)
Comments:
ICDD 24-74

Synonyms of MarcasiteHide

Other Language Names for MarcasiteHide

Varieties of MarcasiteHide

BlueiteNickel-bearing variety of marcasite.

The name was given by Dr. S. H. Emmens in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. XIV, No. 7. It is noted that the substance was, in 1915, now regarded as a nickeliferous variety of marcasite. This materi...
Cellular PyritesQuoted in J.D. Dana (1837) Syst. Min. 1st ed. p.405
LonchiditeAn As-bearing variety of marcasite.

First reported from Churprinz Friedrich August Erbstolln Mine (Churprinz Mine; Kurprinz Mine), Großschirma, Freiberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany.

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

Fluorescence of MarcasiteHide

Not fluorescent in ultraviolet light

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

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for MarcasiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Pope, Walter (1665) Extract of a letter, lately written from Venice by the learned Doctor Walter Pope, to the Reverend Dean of Rippon, Doctor John Wilkins, concerning the mines of mercury in Friuli; and a way of producing wind by the fall of water, Philosophical Transactions, May 30, 1665, volume 1, number 2, p. 21-26.
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., and 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. and 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. and 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. 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, R.V., Catherine, H., Skinner, W., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., and 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., and Laajalehto, K. (2001) Surface states and reactivity of pyrite and marcasite. Appl. Surf. Sci.: 179: 223-230.
Cordua, W.S. (2008) Marcasite - pyrite's evil twin. Leaverite News, v. 33, no. 10, p. 6-7.
Yang, H., Downs, R.T., and Eichler, C. (2008) Safflorite, (Co,Ni,Fe)As2, isomorphous with marcasite. Acta Crystallographica, E64, i62.
Yang, H. and 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

This section is currently hidden. Click the show button to view.