I wrote this post in 2006. We have several pieces of marcasite jewelry on our site, from the Art Deco period to more modern.
If you love jewelry that is delicate and feminine, you will love
marcasite. Queen Cleopatra is said to have collected and worn this
exquisite jewelry which she believed would provide her with mystic
strength and preserve her legendary beauty.
This gemstone has intrigued women through the ages. Its historic use dates back to the pre-Columbian Incas and Spanish Conquistadors as well as to British and French royalty. In Germany, Theodore Fahrner (1868-1928) frequently used marcasite in his jewelry manufacturing firm and serious collectors consider a piece made by him to be a valuable addition to their collection.
In the late 1700's, marcasite was popular in Switzerland. In later years, marcasite and cut steel were used in jewelry making. This gemstone was used as a substitute for diamonds in the Georgian Period as well as during World War I because of its diamond-like sparkle and because of its affordability. Its use was preferable to that of cut steel since marcasite takes a better shine and does not rust.
Marcasite is popular when used alone or with other gemstones in rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches as well as in matching sets. It offers the possibilities of many different and beautiful designs.