Global Industry Analysis

An appealing mineral called marcasite is used in the creation of a variety of jewelry. Although it has the same chemical formula as pyrite, it is physically and crystallographically separate from pyrite and has an orthorhombic crystal structure. Due to the lack of crystal habit, marcasite can be difficult to distinguish from pyrite.

Marcasite is pale yellow to almost white in color and has a bright metallic luster, but is also lighter and more fragile than pyrite. It can form as a primary or secondary mineral and typically does so in extremely acidic and low temperature environments. It occurs naturally as the primary mineral in sedimentary rocks such as shale, limestone, and low-grade coals.

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As a secondary mineral, it is formed by chemically altering a primary mineral such as pyrrhotite or chalcopyrite. It is commonly associated with dolomite, fluorite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, galena, sphalerite, and calcite. Marcasite is inherently unstable under atmospheric conditions. It reacts more readily than pyrite in conditions of high humidity and, as a result of decomposition, produces ferrous sulfate and sulfuric acid. The decay of pyrite is referred to as “pyrite fall” and is a major problem for conservators involved in geological collections. Low humidity can prevent or slow down the reaction.

Marcasite can also form as pseudomorphs over other minerals and fossils, resulting in different shapes and forms. Marcasite is widespread and found in numerous geographic locations. One of the places it is located is Joplin, Missouri; Grant County, Guanajuato, Mexico; Escale Pas de Calais, France; Wisconsin and Hardin Counties, Illinois, USA, Peru, China and Russia.

Marcasite is collected to make sterling silver jewelry, as a gemstone and also as a mineral specimen. Marcasite is highly desirable for making jewelry because it is fairly affordable, has a lustrous finish that has a beautiful sheen, and can be used in a variety of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, brooches, and rings. Jewelry adorned with marcasite has grown in popularity over the years and is also used as a substitute for other precious metals.

Demand for jewelry and gemstones will be a major driver for the marcasite industry. The affinity for precious metals and jewelery especially from the emerging countries of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will increase the demand for marcasite. Increasing income levels, growing awareness and changing lifestyles have led to an increasing demand for jewelry from China and India, which has increased the production and consumption of marcasite.

The Asia-Pacific region, especially emerging markets such as China and India, is an important market for marcasite. In Japan, too, the demand for marcasite is growing to a lesser extent. In recent years, the popularity of marcasite has increased in the main markets of Europe and Latin America. In India, marcasite is traditionally used as part of the bridal outfit. Brazil’s economic growth has increased the purchasing power of the local population, which has had a positive impact on jewelry consumption. Marcasite was also an important export item from Thailand to the United States. In addition, the growing per capita income of countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will further fuel this market.

Some of the players in this market include Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, Tintic Bonanza Mining Company, Montana Mining Company, BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Anglo American, among others.

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Key regions assessed in this report are:

  • North America
    • US
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain
    • Eastern Europe
    • CIS
  • APAC
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • Other
  • Latin America
    • Argentina
    • Brazil
    • Other

Main features of this report

  • Drivers, restraints, and challenges shaping the Marcasite market dynamics
  • Latest innovations and major events in the industry
  • Analysis of the business strategies of the top players
  • Market Estimates and Forecasts for Marcasite (2015 – 2021)

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