What Metals Are Often Paired With Marcasite in Necklace Settings?

Often Paired With Marcasite in Necklace Settings

Marcasite is an incredibly versatile semi-precious stone that has been used in distinctive jewelry for millennia. While the term marcasite commonly refers to jewellery featuring faceted silver-grey stones, it can also be used to describe pieces made from sterling silver with tiny pieces of the stone’s chemical twin, pyrite. Both marcasite and pyrite are iron sulfide minerals, but the two have different crystal structures.

Marcasite’s small size and affordable price make it a popular gem to use in pave-like patterns. The stones can fill in shapes and gaps, adding a delicate sparkle to any piece of jewellery. Jewelers often pair marcasite with other precious gems, particularly black gemstones such as onyx, spinel and jet. This creates a stunning contrast between the dark hues of these gemstones and the silvery glint of marcasite. Pearls are another common companion for this gemstone; they range from bright white or creamy pastel shades to antiqued hues and deeper burgundy and green colors.

Because marcasite has a similar lustre to gold, it is frequently used as an alternative metal in marcasite necklaces. Its lower cost and more durable properties also make it a good substitute for expensive diamonds. This is why marcasite jewellery became so popular in the Victorian era, and it continued to be a favorite accent gemstone throughout the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, until the 1940s and 50s.

What Metals Are Often Paired With Marcasite in Necklace Settings?

In the modern era, marcasite experienced a revival thanks to its light/dark contrast with other gemstones. The faceted marcasite gems can highlight the dark undertones of gemstones such as onyx and sapphire, while the light grey tones can enhance the brilliance of emerald, ruby and colored sapphires. The classic ‘Art Deco’ style of geometric forms also lends itself well to marcasite, as seen in this sapphire solitaire ring.

As marcasite gained popularity again, it began to be confused with its more flamboyant cousin, pyrite. This led to some counterfeit jewelry being produced, so when buying marcasite it is important to check that the stone is set in a genuine sterling silver base. This can be done by checking for a hallmark stamp on the back of the piece. Alternatively, look for a setting with little metal arms holding the marcasite in place instead of merely being glued.

Authentic marcasite jewellery should be shiny and free of any scratches or dulling. It is also recommended to keep marcasite jewellery out of extreme temperatures, as exposure to oxygen may disintegrate it over time. NOVICA’s collection of marcasite jewellery features traditional and contemporary-style necklaces, bracelets and earrings handcrafted by global artisans. Discover traditional marcasite jewellery to showcase your love of vintage design, or browse our contemporary range for a fresh take on this timeless and elegant gemstone.

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