The amount of pyrite (FeS2) removed by physical cleaning varies with differences in the amount of pyrite enclosed within minerals and of free pyrite in feed coals. A microscopic procedure for characterizing the size and maceral association of pyrite grains was developed and evaluate by testing three coals and their washed products. The results yield an index to the cleanability of pyrite. The index is dependent upon particle size and has intermediate values for feed coals, lower values for cleaned fractions, and higher values for refuse fractions; furthermore, it correlates with pyritic sulfur content. In the coals examined, the summed percentage of grain diameters of pyrite enclosed in vitrinite, liptinite, and bi- and trimacerite provides a quantitative measure of the proportion of early diagenetic deposition of pyrite. ?? 1987.