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Article: Marcasite jewellery

Marcasite jewellery

Definition and Composition

  • Marcasite jewellery is made using cut and polished pieces of pyrite as a gemstone.
  • Pyrite and marcasite are chemically iron sulphide.
  • Pyrite is more stable and less brittle than marcasite.
  • Marcasite can react with moisture to form sulphuric acid.
  • Pyrite is used instead of real marcasite in marcasite jewellery.

Making of Marcasite Jewellery

  • Marcasite jewellery is made by setting small pieces of faceted pyrite into silver.
  • Cheaper costume jewellery is made by gluing pieces of pyrite.
  • Small pieces of cut steel can also be used to make similar-looking jewellery.
  • The cut and polished marcasite pieces reflect light at different angles, giving it a sparkle.
  • Thailand is one of the large producers of modern marcasite jewellery in silver.

History of Marcasite Jewellery

  • Marcasite jewellery has been made since the time of the ancient Greeks.
  • It was particularly popular in the eighteenth century, the Victorian era, and with Art Nouveau jewellery designers.
  • Marcasite and cut steel were used as replacements for diamonds when they were banned from public display in Switzerland in the 18th century.
  • Marcasite became popular during Queen Victoria's mourning period after Prince Albert's death in 1861.
  • Marcasite was favored as an understated alternative for the nobility.


  • Thomas, Arthur (2008). Gemstones: Properties, Identification and Use. New Holland Publishers. p.121. ISBN1-84537-602-1.
  • Hesse, Rayner W. (2007). Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p.15. ISBN0-313-33507-9.
  • Goldemberg, Rose Leiman (2000). Antique Jewelry: A Practical & Passionate Guide. iUniverse. p.116. ISBN0-595-08898-8.
  • Clifford, Anne (1971). Cut-Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery. Adams & Dart. p.24. ISBN9780239000699.
  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marcasite jewellery.

Marcasite jewellery Data Sources

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