Marcasite jewelry or iron pyrite has been used for thousands of years. Why do they call marcasite fool’s gold? What does marcasite jewelry look like?
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What Is Marcasite?
Marcasite is a type of iron sulfide that can either be wholly yellow or silvery yellow. It is related to pyrite or fool’s gold.
These two minerals have the same chemical composition but have different crystalline structures. This is where the two differ, mainly, which is why there has always been historical differentiation. Marcasite can often be found in places where acidic waters are used to flow in abundance. Near-surface environments are ideal for the formation of marcasite, as well as sedimentary rocks. Marcasite also occurs near hydrothermal vents and different kinds of deposits where sulfuric compounds abound. This is also the reason why marcasite was used as a source of sulfur for other applications. Today, marcasite is no longer used for industrial purposes.
What are the Physical Properties Of Marcasite Contributing Its Use On Jewelry?
Marcasite jewelry is part of the more traditional jewelry because the mineral is no longer widely used as of late. Marcasite was used centuries ago for creating magnificent jewelry and ornamental pieces. However, the world moved on, and metals like sterling silver, gold, and platinum have set the standard for jewelry metals.
The purest version of marcasite is not fit for creating jewelry, much like real gold. This metal is fragile if made directly into any jewelry. Iron pyrite is used more often for designing jewelry. Iron pyrite is a polymorphic version of marcasite. The name has stuck, but pyrite is actually ‘derived’ from marcasite. Marcasite has two forms.
The main reason why marcasite was used for jewelry was that it looked almost like gold. The color and appearance are uncannily the same. In the olden day, miners would strike upon a marcasite lode and think they’re rich beyond their wildest imagination, only to find out later that they found pyrite, not gold. This is where the term “fool’s gold’ came from in the first place.
Why Is It Related to Fool’s Gold, And Why Was It Widely Used in The Past for Jewelry?
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Marcasite jewelry is made from iron pyrite, and iron pyrite has long been known for its durability and stability. The Ancient Greeks have used marcasite extensively, and so did the Incas.
Marcasite has even been found in burial jars. Across time and cultures, marcasite has always been used as a sign of royalty and regal fashion. This applies to all social classes, regardless of culture. It is just a genuinely regal piece of metal. It was during the Victorian Period in England that the love for marcasite indeed reached its fever pitch.
There is a historical record that even Queen Victoria wore marcasite jewelry. This happened when her husband died. The darker hue that is common for all marcasite was perfect for her mourning – it did not detract from her royal status either.
Today, people who see out marcasite are often looking for jewelry that has an antique appeal about them.
Here are some other reasons why marcasite is merely perfect for jewelry:
- Marcasite has a natural antique appearance, which makes it perfect for all kinds of jewelry. People love retro and antique-looking jewelry. Marcasite jewelry tends to stand out quickly because they look like regular gold, and they have a notable appearance of patina.
- Marcasite jewelry is cheaper than gold, which makes it a more affordable choice. Marcasite jewelry is less expensive, but this doesn’t mean that you are ‘settling’ for something less. Well-wrought marcasite jewelry is a sight to behold and is a worthy addition to any collection.
- If you love gold but don’t have the budget to buy too many gold jewelry, opt for marcasite. Trust us, it won’t ruin your collection’s aesthetic, and you will have the opportunity to connect with one of the earliest and most magnificent ornamental metals in human history. Remember: the ancient Greeks were already using marcasite because of its beauty. That’s how long marcasite has been around in human history.
- Marcasite is a natural stand-out because of its gold sheen and gold-like appearance, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t combine marcasite with other precious metals. Use your marcasite jewelry in tandem with other metal jewelry like sterling silver or even platinum and see how it improves your overall look.
- Marcasite is not clasped onto other metals. Instead, jewelry makers use a particular type of adhesive cement to make it stick. Wipe down your marcasite jewelry with a microfiber cloth after using it. Do not submerge the marcasite jewelry as this may cause the adhesive cement to weaken and then soften.
- Modern marcasite jewelry is made for every look and purpose. There is also variety in the jewelry produced for commercial sale, from earrings to brooches to pendants. There are also lovely necklaces, chokers, and pendants on the market.
Perhaps, the only disadvantage is that it can be difficult to an accurate appraisal of marcasite jewelry on the market. Precisely because iron pyrite is called “fool’s gold,” pawnshops may not accept it. It can also be challenging to find stores that sell it because of the connotation that it is ‘fake gold.’ That’s the thing; however: marcasite is not gold; it is an entirely different material.
The Healing Properties of Marcasite
Marcasite has touted metaphysical and healing properties as well. It is associated with Leo and is connected with the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus chakra is the central point of personal power and confidence. Blockages in this area can cause a person to be silent when he needs to speak. He may also feel powerless and small in the face of authoritative figures. Physically, marcasite can be used to ease the symptoms of warts and having an overabundance of moles. Mentally, marcasite is excellent for people who have ego issues and personality disorders. Use marcasite also to lengthen your patience.