Marcasite is a radiant pyrite, iron polysulfide. In the jewelry world of past centuries, under a beautiful name, its counterpart, pyrite, was often hidden. Today, this nugget has been sufficiently studied by scientists, esotericists and lithotherapists, who know that behind modesty and simplicity, properties that are useful for humans are hidden. Any mineral of the Earth is endowed with something more than aesthetic or scientific utility. Marcasite is no exception.
History and origin
No one knows the exact time when marcasite was discovered. It is only known that the ancient Egyptians, as well as Indian tribes, knew about the stone. Historically, until 1814, this name meant both marcasite itself and pyrite. In 1814, Wilhelm Haidinger, a mineralogist from Austria, described this gem in detail, proving that it was a mineral different from pyrite.
The first purpose of this stone among our ancestors was the extraction of fire. A little later, radiant pyrite (the second name of the nugget) began to be used by gunsmiths. The next stage in the evolution of the use of the mineral was the processing of stone for the purpose of making jewelry.
The European popularity of marcasite came during the reign of Louis 14. Surprisingly, this gem served as a substitute for the most expensive stones in the world - diamonds, although faceted pyrite was often hidden behind the name marcasite. It was only in the 19th century that they began to send the mineral into metals and distinguish it from pyrite.
Historical fact! During the reign of Napoleon, women donated their gold jewelry to the war effort. In return, ladies received products with marcasite (often with pyrite), the popularity of which increased in the post-war period and reached its apogee in the 20th century. At the same time, in addition to iron, steel began to be used to make jewelry.
The name of the nugget comes from the Persian "marcasita" and is interpreted as "stone of sulfur". In addition to the official name, this mineral has many names:
- radiant pyrites - the name was given, based on the brass (yellow) color of the nugget;
- drop silver - the name of the times of Napoleon, when marcasite (pyrite) small crystals were processed with hexagonal pyramids and inserted into jewelry;
- Inca stone - the name given to the stone thanks to an ancient artifact - the Aztec marcasite mirror, which depicts the main deity of the Quetzalcoatl tribe.
So, the popularity of marcasite over the years is just a name. In fact, the history of the mineral was created by pyrite. Even medieval alchemists called pyrite and all sulfur compounds by the common name "marcasite". French jewelers once carved roses from pyrite, setting them in metals. But these ornaments were sent to the people under the name of marcasite.
The twin of pyrite was once unloved by jewelers. This was due to the fact that radiant pyrite is extremely short-lived - the nugget quickly oxidizes in air, does not like moisture. And the duration of the "life" of pyrite is much longer. Nevertheless, the range of modern drop silver jewelry is very wide. Moreover, very often radiant pyrite is adjacent to expensive stones.
Marcasite deposits are of hydrothermal origin. The mineral occurs together with sulfides, in particular, with pyrite, although it is less common than the latter.
Radiant pyrite is found in trace amounts throughout the world:
- Russia (Kursk magnetic anomaly) keeps samples of the mineral of collection value in the bowels.
- USA and Canada are the pink gem.
- Tanzania is red.
The mineral is also found in Bolivia, France, and the Czech Republic. Suitable material for jewelers is mined on Australian lands.
Marcasite, together with pyrite, is an iron polysulfide. These minerals differ in their structural structure - marcasite crystallizes in rays, like water, and pyrite creates cubes. In addition, marcasite forms at a lower temperature than pyrite.
In the environment, especially with high humidity, marcasite is extremely unstable. This creates difficulties not only during processing, but also during extraction. When destroyed, the mineral releases sulfuric acid.
|Impurity||As, Sb, Co, Cu, Tl, Bi|
|Hardness||6 - 6,5|
|Density||4,8 - 4,9 g / cm³|
|Kink||Stepped and uneven|
Chemically radiant pyrite often contains impurities of various metals, such as copper, bismuth, thallium, lead, arsenic, cobalt. These impurities penetrate the marcasite deposits from hydrothermal solutions. Inclusions of metals affect only the shades of the mineral, but not its properties.
Varieties and colors
The main color of marcasite is yellow or yellow-orange. A variety of impurities in the chemical composition of the mineral cause different additional shades of the stone:
Natural nugget is unattractive. The beauty of the stone is revealed after processing. And sunlight reveals an iridescent play of colors in marcasite, which, combined with a metallic sheen, makes the gem very attractive.
A special subspecies of marcasite - spectropyrite - stands apart. This rare nugget is especially fond of jewelers, as it is endowed with all the colors of the rainbow at the same time.
From a number of special stones, red marcasite stands out, which lends itself better to processing than other varieties. There are also specimens of radiant pyrite, inside which various organisms, insects or tree bark have wedged and froze there for centuries. Such samples are formed by streaks, that is, they do not crystallize.
The healing properties of marcasite
Radiant pyrite is endowed with properties that help a person cope with certain diseases. Among them:
- eye diseases;
- joint diseases, muscle pain;
- depression, nervous disorders after suffering stress, panic attacks, unreasonable fears;
Drip silver works as a strong antiseptic. Marcasite powder disinfects and heals wounds, in particular purulent ones, and also fights skin rashes and inflammations. The stone is used to eliminate freckles, moles, warts. It is believed that specimens of golden, warm colors have stronger healing properties than gems of cold shades.
An important observation of lithotherapists is the ability of marcasite to heal lesions of the spleen. However, it is worth noting that diseases of the spleen are a secondary process. That is, there is a more serious pathology that led to lesions of this organ. Therefore, after the problem is eliminated with the help of radiant pyrites, the overall picture of the disease is blurred.
Sulfur stone is also used for cosmetic purposes. To do this, the mineral is lowered into a container of water and kept for about 30 minutes. Washing the face with this infusion helps to regulate the secretion of the sebaceous glands, relieves inflammation and helps get rid of acne.
Marcasite is endowed with powerful energy. This nugget affects human emotions, character, fate itself. Therefore, radiant pyrite is considered a stone of the strong half of humanity - men. The owner of such a talisman will gain emotional strength that he has not experienced before.
Drip silver has an effect on children. In order to protect the child from the evil eye, our ancestors used children's marcasite beads. If it is necessary to overcome the whims, stubbornness or irritability of your child, then it is recommended to keep a collection crystal of pyrite in the house. The amulet should be placed out of the reach of the child.
Carry marcasite with you can be people endowed with a strong character, extraordinary thinking. This stone has certain requirements for the owner. If a person is timid and cowardly, the mineral will only strengthen the complexes given by nature - for losers, any business started will bring even more trouble, timid personalities will lose the remnants of determination, and cowards will shudder from any sound or movement.
For those who fit the parameters of marcasite, the mineral will help in full. Contacting with a person, the talisman will give strength and determination, a person will begin to move on the path to aspirations without much preparation and much thought.
Important! The positive impact of the gem will end 3 days after continuous contact with the owner. If you do not take a break, something like a systemic failure will occur - the efforts made will cease to be useful, the desire will turn into excessive fussiness, the person will become a pedantic person with a disorientation in understanding good and evil.
Drip silver jewelry is also very useful for kind, open, positive people. The stone will relieve such personalities from fears, save them from troubles on the path of life.
Marcasite is used to perform magical rituals. However, a certain combination of stone with other elements creates the danger of the penetration of evil spirits from the other dimension into our world. Radiant pyrite is a tandem of sulfur and iron.
It is believed that the sulfur smoke from the smoldering of the mineral, supplemented by the knife edge that it envelops, creates a passage between the past and the future. This passage serves as a bridge for everything that exists in parallel worlds.
People whose activities are associated with constant danger simply need marcasite. From ancient times to today, this gem is considered a strong amulet. There is a belief among the military - in order to protect themselves from a bullet, we sew marcasite into a bulletproof vest. Radiant pyrite will protect firefighters, stuntmen, rescuers, pilots and all those who risk their lives every day for the sake of people and their favorite business.
Compatible with other stones
Marcasite refers to minerals that direct two planets at once - Neptune and Mars. This causes such a strong energy level of the gem. It is difficult to planetarily combine radiant pyrites with other stones. For example, Neptune is friends with the Sun, Moon and Jupiter, and Mars is at enmity with them. Both planets have a good relationship with Venus. The minerals of this planet include:
Of course, jewelers combine stones in jewelry without taking into account the compatibility of planets or elements. Therefore, on the shelves of shops there are combinations of marcasite with: turquoise, carnelian, cubic zirkonia, ruby, onyx, zircon, agate or chrysoprase.
Combinations of drop silver and Swarovski stones are popular, as well as expensive minerals such as diamond, emerald or beryl. Items complemented with pearls or mother-of-pearl, as well as garnets, are not rare.
Jewelry with mineral
Despite the fact that a couple of centuries ago, jewelers did not like marcasite because of its physical properties, today store shelves are full of all kinds of products from different craftsmen. The best metal for this nugget is silver. Marcasite is either the soloist in jewelry or combined with various gems, including the most expensive gemstones.
The price of marcasite jewelry depends on the quality of the stone and setting, as well as what minerals it complements. By itself, radiant pyrite is inexpensive and affordable - a stone with a diameter of 1,5 cm is valued at 5 euros. Products with rarer radiant nuggets cost from 30 euros per piece, depending on the quality of the setting.
Shops offer a range of products for every taste:
- Rings. Silver jewelry marcasite + turquoise costs from 10 euros, a combination with chrysoprase is estimated at about 13 euros, and a combination with cultured pearls costs from 16 euros rubles. For a ring with malachite or black onyx, you will have to pay about 50 euros.
- Brooches. A product with an insert of turquoise and enamel starts from 25 euros, with a garnet - from 40 euros.
- Pendants. Marcasite + onyx is valued at 30 euros.
- Earrings. A vintage silver item with enamel or chrysoprase costs about 40 euros. A more massive piece with solo marcasite costs 45 euros and more.
- Bracelets are sold for an average of 40 euros.
Watches are also inlaid with drop silver. Such an accessory costs at least 200 euros. The range of products does not end there. Jewelers present all kinds of models of men's cufflinks, seals, tie clips. Tiaras, hairpins, combs with this mineral are not rare.
Marcasite figurative brooches depicting animals, birds or insects are popular. An inexpensive gem even conquered fashion houses - collections of famous designers shine with accessories using marcasite. Even the handles of ladies' handbags are decorated with the mineral.
How to distinguish a fake
Marcasite fakes are almost never found, since its price is quite low, that is, there is no point in creating imitating glass copies. But in order to make sure that the mineral is 100% authentic, you can carry out a simple manipulation: when squeezed in a fist, the synthetic material will heat up, while the natural stone will remain cold.
Marcasite is often confused with pyrite. Despite the fact that the stones belong to the same group of minerals and have an external similarity, they are very different in magical properties.
The ability to distinguish them will be useful to those who want to touch the magic of marcasite and use it as a talisman.
When examining minerals through a magnifying glass, it is noticeable that marcasite crystals are spear-shaped, and pyrite crystals are cubic. There is a green tint in the places of marcasite fracture, the color on the pyrite cleavage is golden-yellow. When wetting or breaking radiant pyrite, the smell of sulfur is felt.
Products with marcasite require careful handling and care. It is recommended to store them in closed boxes or bags. If the crystal is in the same box with other stones or jewelry, then it must be wrapped in a soft cloth.
For cleaning, do not use alcohol solutions, household chemicals and ultrasound. If a dark coating appears on the surface, the product should be wiped with a slightly damp, soft, lint-free cloth.
Small marcasite inserts framed by silver lend themselves to stronger pollution. They can be gently brushed with a toothbrush dipped in mild soapy water.and then rinse quickly under running water and dry thoroughly.
To maintain the shine of jewelry, you can purchase special jewelry wipes for caring for natural stones. They have a soft texture, do not damage the product, perfectly polish and help maintain the excellent appearance of accessories.
Astrologers have determined that marcasite does not favor all signs and not all elements. Air signs should be more careful in choosing such a talisman for themselves, and it is better for Water constellations to completely abandon this gem.
("+++" - the stone fits perfectly, "+" - can be worn, "-" - absolutely contraindicated):
|Aries||+ + +|
|Scorpio||+ + +|
|Sagittarius||+ + +|
|Capricorn||+ + +|
According to astrologers, using marcasite:
- Aries will improve their internal state and will make the right decisions;
- Gemini will strengthen immunity, achieve success in personal and work affairs;
- Cancers will become easier to relate to life's difficulties, but according to internal characteristics, this is not their stone - it is often not necessary to use it;
- Lions will improve relationships with others and reach career heights;
- Virgos will gain confidence in business and find new friends;
- Libra will increase their creativity;
- Scorpions will find peace of mind and protect themselves from envious people;
- Sagittarius will attract the attention of the opposite sex and good luck in many endeavors;
- Capricorns will find peace of mind and well-being in the family;
- Aquarius will receive well-deserved recognition and be charged with optimism;
- Pisces will calm down in a stressful situation, but a stone is not suitable for them as a permanent talisman.
When broken, marcasite releases sulfuric acid. Our ancestors considered this process to be a kind of “biting” of the stone, attributing to the mineral the struggle for its spiritual essence.
Notable personalities of past eras revered marcasite for its properties. So, Queen Cleopatra was confident in the rejuvenating abilities of the mineral, and Empress Maria Feodorovna did not part with radiant pyrite throughout her life, believing that it brings her good luck.
Medieval alchemists used marcasite during their experiments. They assumed that gold could be extracted from this mineral.
By coincidence, not only marcasite was hiding pyrite. The National Mineral Collection of the United States has an exhibit in which marcasite is called pyrite - this is the Arizona pyrite dollar. Despite the name, the exhibit is crystallized radiant pyrites.
The main use of marcasite is in industry - the mineral serves as a source of sulfuric acid production.
Photo gallery of jewelry with marcasite