Marcasite jewellery

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Marcasite
General
CategoryMineral
Identification
ColorSilver / 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]

  1. ^ a b Thomas, Arthur (2008). Gemstones: Properties, Identification and Use. New Holland Publishers. p. 121. ISBN 1-84537-602-1.
  2. ^ a b Hesse, Rayner W. (2007). Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 15. ISBN 0-313-33507-9.
  3. ^ a b c d Goldemberg, Rose Leiman (2000). Antique Jewelry: A Practical & Passionate Guide. iUniverse. p. 116. ISBN 0-595-08898-8.
  4. ^ Colonia Jewellery (2015). The Story Behind Marcasite Jewellery.