Marcasite Jewellery dates back to the ancient Greeks, though it was the Victorians who really popularised it. Especially beloved by Queen Victoria herself, it has recently been cut back into fashion by lovers of vintage style jewellery Marcasite Brooch Having its antique look and soft, gentle gleam, marcasite jewellery has a beautiful dull, faded charm, similar to bygone days and faded glamour. Marcasite jewellery isn’t actually made from the mineral marcasite itself, as this is too fragile and tends to crumble when worked. Instead, it is made of small pieces of pyrite (fool’s gold) gemstones set into sterling silver.
Cheaper marcasite jewellery could have inferior pyrite shards just glued onto the silver (some jewellers could even use metal as opposed to silver), but this means that the pyrite stones could be easily dislodged. Higher quality items could have cut stones expertly set into the metal with tiny pins. Depending how it’s cut and the caliber of the stone, pyrite features a colour somewhere between bronze and gunmetal, by having an iridescent shine. This sort 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 around the UK. Pyrite is quite a solid material, so pieces of jewellery made from marcasite have a wonderfully solid and expensive feel. It seems great as part of a standard vintage look, or as a striking contrast to more modern varieties of dress.
Marcasite jewellery could be very fragile and you’re recommended not to make use of ultrasonic cleaners or chemical dips to wash it. A lot of the time it could you should be cleaned with a damp cloth – since it’s not meant to be a highly reflective, shiny little bit of jewellery it generally 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 revive its look.