If you are after stunning jewellery without the gemstone price tag, then Marcasite is the gem for you. Marcasite jewellery has been decorating the beautiful, rich and popular throughout history. It has been discovered in the particular burial grounds of the ancient Inca in Latin America and tale even tells that Cleopatra herself wore Marcasite, as she considered this stunning natural element contained the power to preserve her beauty plus stay the signs of aging.
More recently, jewelry containing Marcasite was particularly well-known during the 18th and 19th hundred years in Britain. After the death of her husband Albert, Queen Victoria was often seen wearing Marcasite jewellery, as this stone, combined with the silver setting, gave her a sombre, mournful air, whilst nevertheless retaining the class and sophistication expected from a strong and effective queen. Marcasite jewellery continued to be extremely fashionable until the end of the artwork deco period and still remains a popular choice to this day.
Marcasite jewellery really is the unsung hero of beautiful jewelry collection, and brings a touch of class to any occasion, without costing the earth!
Over the years there have been some amazing pieces of Marcasite jewellery created by competent and gifted craftsmen. Most Marcasite is faceted as a flat bottomed and many sided pyramid and it has a well balanced dark metallic lustre with many shiny mirror-like facets.
If you are buying Marcasite pieces then here are a few tips.
Check the stone is mounted in Silver by finding the makers sterling silver hallmark.
Check how the stone is set. If it is glued, the chances are it is more recent and less valuable. Skilled jewellers would have used “bead setting” which involves curling a tiny section of the base over the stone to secure it in place.
Proper care of Marcasite Jewellery
As with any other valuable pieces it is important to care for your Marcasite jewellery, to ensure it remains undamaged and looking its best.
Try wiping it gently with a gentle, clean damp cloth then instantly dry with another clean, smooth and absorbent cloth, making sure the piece in entirely dry throughout.
Never use a steamer, hot water or sonic cleaner or soak your Marcasite jewellery in water.
Be mindful not to expose it to any chemicals, cleaning products of extremes associated with heat, as this can cause irreparable harm.
What is Marcasite anyway?
Marcasite could be the mineral iron disulphide (FeS2) which is created by forming crystals in two distinct ways, one creates pyrite, also known as Fool’s Gold and the other styles Marcasite. Although Marcasite has the identical chemical formula as pyrite. Because of it being created under various conditions, it has a much less stable crystal structure. Ironically, when purchasing a pair of Marcasite earrings, they will really be made using the stronger pyrite, since marcasite’s unstable crystal structure helps it be far too delicate to use, it would simply crumble and break.