Marcasite Jewellery dates back again to the ancient Greeks, though it was the Victorians who really popularised it. Especially beloved by Queen Victoria herself, it has recently been brought back into fashion by lovers of vintage style jewellery. With its antique look and soft, gentle gleam, marcasite jewellery has an attractive dull, faded charm, reminiscent of bygone days and faded glamour. Marcasite jewellery is not actually made from the mineral marcasite itself, as this is too fragile and will crumble when worked. Instead, it is made from small items of pyrite (fool’s gold) gemstones set into sterling silver.
Cheaper marcasite jewellery could have low quality pyrite shards just glued onto the silver (some jewellers could even use stainless as opposed to silver), but which means that the pyrite stones could be easily dislodged. High quality items could have cut stones expertly set in to the metal with tiny pins. Depending on how it is cut and the caliber of the stone, pyrite includes a colour somewhere between bronze and gunmetal, by having an iridescent shine. marcasite brooch value This kind of jewellery is commonly converted to Art Deco style designs or to create jewellery that mimicks natural forms (dragonflies and flowers were particular favourites with the Victorians). Brooches, earrings and pendants produced in this style can often be bought at antique markets across the UK. Pyrite is fairly a great material, so items of jewellery made from marcasite have an incredibly solid and expensive feel. It looks great as part of an overall vintage look, or as a striking contrast to more modern varieties of dress.
Marcasite jewellery can be quite fragile and you’re recommended not to use ultrasonic cleaners or chemical dips to clean it. All of the time it could you need to be cleaned with a wet cloth – since it is not meant to become a highly reflective, shiny little bit of jewellery it does not matter too much if the sterling silver tarnishes a little bit. Once the tarnish gets too much, you are able to just gently polish it with a silver polishing cloth to restore its look.