True Marcasite is a fragile mineral similar to Pyrite, but is unsuitable for modern jewellery as it easily powders in air. The stone that is mistakenly called Marcasite today is actually Iron Pyrite (Iron Sulphide), a soft stone that sparks when struck. It also fractures easily and is not as suitable for ring stones as pieces of Hematite, an Iron ore. All three are very similar in appearance and all are available, but the initial stone is quite pricey and is only used for Historic restorations. The Pyrite material is inexpensive but does not stand up well to rigorous daily wear. The Hematite version has only become popular since computer cutting came into vogue at manufacturing levels. This allows these hard and durable stones to be cut at a modest price.
All of these stones are cut with a point on top and have a flat backs, in a style called Rose Cut. Less expensive pieces are simply glued in whereas better items actually have each stone individually set.
Marcasite jewellery came into fashion in the 18th and 19th centuries and continues to maintain a following to this day. It tarnishes easily and must be polished regularly to give off a sparkle. All three materials are easily found all around the world.
We stock a variety of Sterling Silver necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings set and accented with Marcasites. We can set marcasite into any piece or design that calls for multiple small stones.