Marcasite jewellery

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Marcasite
Category Mineral
Identification
Color Silver / Grey

Marcasite jewelry is jewelry made from pyrite (fool's gold), not, as the name suggests, from marcasite.[1] Pyrite is similar to marcasite, but more stable and less brittle. It is frequently made by setting small pieces of pyrite into silver.[2] Cheaper costume jewelry is made by glueing pieces of pyrite rather than setting.[3] A similar-looking type of jewelry can be made from small pieces of cut steel.[3][1]

Etymology[edit]

Marcasite (mär′ka-sīt) an iron ore, a variety of pyrites.

Marcasite brooch made from pyrite and silver

History[edit]

Marcasite jewelry has been made since the time of the Ancient Greeks.[3] It was particularly popular in the eighteenth century, the Victorian era and with Art Nouveau jewelry designers.[3][2]

When Prince Albert died in 1861 Queen Victoria entered a period of mourning, requiring her entire court to wear black and avoid opulent jewelry. Marcasite became popular as an understated alternative for the nobility.[4]

References[edit]