Swiss marcasite is often mistaken for gold, or its chemical twin pyrite. In fact, the name marcasite comes from the Arabic word for pyrite, "markaschatsa," meaning firestone for its fiery gold sparkle.
Swiss marcasite is an iron sulfide that comes in a pale bronze or silvery-yellow color. Its numerous crystals form predominately pyramidal, tabular or cockscomb structures. In jewelry, it is popular for Art Deco styles and often incorporates numerous small marcasite gemstones in a piece. Marcasite and pyrite are often confused because marcasite is a polymorph of pyrite, meaning the two minerals share the same chemistry, but differing structures, symmetries, and crystal shapes. The marcasite/pyrite polymorph pair is probably the most well-known polymorph pairs, second only to the diamond/graphite pair.
Marcasite is found near the surface of the earth where it forms from acidic solutions, percolating downward through beds of shale, clay, limestone, and chalk. We source our Marcasite from Switzerland; however, Marcasite can be found in several locations around the world such as China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Russia, and the United States.