[mahr-kuh-sahyt] /ˈmɑr kəˌsaɪt/

Also called white iron pyrites. a common mineral, iron disulfide, FeS 2 , chemically similar to pyrite but crystallizing in the orthorhombic system.
any of the crystallized forms of iron pyrites, much used in the 18th century for ornaments.
a specimen or ornament of this substance.
a metallic pale yellow mineral consisting of iron sulphide in orthorhombic crystalline form used in jewellery. Formula: FeS2
a cut and polished form of steel or any white metal used for making jewellery

crystalized pyrite, early 15c., from Medieval Latin marchasita, of obscure origin, perhaps via Spanish, probably from Arabic, though OED doubts this. Perhaps ultimately from Persian marquashisha [Klein]. “This name has been used for a number of substances but mainly for iron pyrites and especially for the crystalline forms used in the 18th century for ornaments.” [Flood]
(mär’kə-sīt’, -zīt’)
A light yellow to gray, metallic, orthorhombic mineral. Marcasite is a polymorph of pyrite and looks similar to it but has a lower specific gravity, is paler in color, and often has a radiating fibrous structure. Chemical formula: FeS2.


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