Marcasite derives its name from the Arabic word for pyrite, and is a common and an attractive mineral used in jewelry. Marcasite and pyrite are often confused due to their similar characteristics. In jewelry, pyrite used as a gemstone is named marcasite (it is more stable and less brittle than the mineral marcasite). With a unique silvery-black, almost gun-metal appearance that is highly prized and immediately recognizable, it is often found in antique jewelry or chosen for vintage-inspired jewelry.
Marcasite is most often grey or brownish-black, but can also be bronze, light brassy yellow, or tin white. It is rated at 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Marcasite should be worn and stored with care to avoid any permanent damage to the stone.