What on Earth Is Marcasite?

Marcasite is a common iron sulphide similar to pyrite, and it has a beautiful appearance. But this stone isn’t only beautiful — according to crystal lore, its metaphysical properties are also quite interesting.

The Physical Properties of Marcasite

Marcasite forms beautiful crystals of various shapes. They’re most often tabular and pyramidal, but they can also be stalactic and globular. Marcasite has a beautiful bright metallic or submetallic lustre, and its colour is usually a pale brass-yellow, but it can vary to an almost white shade. On the Mohs hardness scale, marcasite classifies as 6 to 6.5, and it is a brittle stone with poor cleavage quality and uneven fracture. Its transparency is opaque.

Marcasite crystals appear like the crest on a rooster’s head, which is a unique quality. The stone also experiences pyrite decay, which means that it can turn to white powder after a long period of deterioration.

The History of Marcasite

Marcasite is usually found in sedimentary environments, and it forms under low temperatures in highly acidic conditions. The name “marcasite” derived from the Arabic word for pyrite. These two materials are so similar that they were only distinguished in 1814 by the French mineralogist RJ Hauy. Pyrite is a polymorph of marcasite, hence the similarities.

Marcasite was first mentioned by Walter Pope in 1665, when he wrote about the mercury ores in Idria Mine, Slovenia. However, that doesn’t mark its discovery, since marcasite has been in use since 50 AD. Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger was the first to define it as a mineral that it is known as today in 1845.

The Lore of Marcasite

Marcasite has always regarded as a stone of wealth and material prosperity due to the beautiful sunny hue, and its similarity to gold is often emphasized. In the Middle Ages, marcasite was used as a medicine, much like pyrite was. It was very widespread in the Greek, Chinese and Mayan culture to wear marcasite talismans.

The Metaphysical Properties of Marcasite

Marcasite is considered to be a solar gemstone, radiating the energy of fire and earth. The metaphysical properties of marcasite range from providing calming effects, to inspiring creativity in architecture and art. It stimulates eloquence and courage, providing its wearer with the strength to pursue and uphold justice and equity.

When it comes to the physical healing properties of marcasite, it is believed that it can protect its user from viruses, fungal infections, colds, as well as skin diseases. It boosts the power of the solar plexus chakra, but it is also good to use for opening the base chakra and the earth chakra, which makes it an effective grounding stone. Crystal enthusiasts love to use it to aid with manifestation and attracting things they find beneficial or desirable.

With such a long history and unique sun-like beauty, marcasite is a stone that deserves holding in high regard by users of crystals. A stone that is said to help us attract what we desire into our lives, marcasite is a valuable addition to any collection of crystals.


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