In this world of self-adornment, marcasite remains a mystery to many people. While pearls, diamonds, amethysts and numerous other precious gems are easily identifiable, people are unfamiliar with this increasingly popular stone.
Mined all over the world, the mineral iron sulfide is identified by the name marcasite. However, since genuine marcasite is extremely delicate and crumbles easily, iron pyrite has also been given the name marcasite and is used as a substitute for iron sulfide in todays jewelry. Iron sulfide and iron pyrite have the same mineral properties, however, their crystallization is different. When this gem is used in jewelry, it is usually cut into the shape of a pyramid. Marcasite has few commercial uses.
The history of marcasite goes back hundreds of years. Ancient Greeks were known to adorn themselves with marcasite jewelry and at Incan burial grounds in Peru, South America, archaeologists have discovered many examples of iron pyrite jewelry. The gem was also very popular in the Victorian era .
Carnelian Marcasite Sterling Silver Necklace
Marcasite jewelry has an incredible vintage, antique appearance. A lot of people purchase it for its ‘estate jewelry’ look. Marcasite is most often set in silver or another white metal due to the stunning combination it makes. Very seldom is it set in gold.
In caring for your marcasite jewelry, it is very important not to get it wet. This can result in stones becoming loose and falling out of their setting. Always remember to remove your marcasite jewelry before any activity that involves water. Gently wiping your jewelry with a soft, dry cloth will remove any tarnish and keep the stones clean.