Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Collecting Marcasite Jewelry

Gorgeous Large Marcasite and Amethyst Silver Runway Brooch • $125
Marcasite jewelry which is desirable and collectible today, has been popular for a few centuries. It has the ability to sparkle without "glitz." In Art Deco costume jewelry, marcasites were often the star of the piece. In modernist jewelry marcasites have been a primary choice for a subdued fashion statement.

The mineral marcasite is a crystalline form of iron sulfide that is very brittle and unsuitable for jewelry. What we call marcasite in jewelry is actually iron pyrite, or fools gold, that has been faceted to imitate diamonds. The stone was popular in jewelry as far back as the 18th century. Marcasites are usually found mounted in silver, as the opaque sparkle is perfectly offset by the antiqued appearance of lightly tarnished silver. In antique jewelry, marcasite can be distinguished from cut steel faux gems because marcasites are usually bead or prong-set as a gemstone would be, and cut steel is riveted. (See my earlier post about Cut Steel Jewelry.)
Selection of Marcasite Jewelry
We have some wonderful marcasite jewelry from a lush-looking Victorian  pendant to a fresh, sparkly modern necklace. Here's a selection of what we have online and in the shop.

Victorian Lavaliere Pendant • Marcasite & Citrine Czech Glass in Silver • $95
Early 1900s Clip Brooch • Marcasite & Carnelian in Silver • $69
Modernist Bar Pin • Marcasite & Amethyst in Silver • $49
Art Deco Necklace by Wachenheimer • Marcasite & Onyx in Silver • $125
Modernist Three Drop Necklace • Marcasite & Crystal in Silver • $49

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