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What is Marcasite?

Marcasite is a beautiful semi-precious gemstone with a delightful hint of sparkle, shimmer and shine. It’s related to the gemstone pyrite, which is often called Fool’s Gold.

First used in jewellery thousands of years ago, the Greeks, Thracians and Egyptians all enjoyed using highly polished marcasite to decorate their bodies and their palaces.

The legendary Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra was said to have regularly worn marcasite. A strong, confident woman who absolutely knew her own worth. Now there’s a customer we’d have loved to have at London Vintage!

The Queen Victoria Marcasite Connection

Another powerful woman who enjoyed wearing marcasite and popularised its use, particularly in London and the UK, was Queen Victoria.

Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, Queen Victoria entered a lifelong period of mourning.

Feeling that diamonds were too extravagant to wear with the black dresses she habitually wore, Victoria chose to accessorise her look with the more subtle and subdued yet still suitably elegant marcasite instead.

Now as any royal fan will tell you, what’s worn by royalty today quickly catches on with the public tomorrow and Victoria’s more affordable style choices soon started a trend.

Of course, you don’t have to be in mourning to wear marcasite today. Its timeless, understated elegance is suitable in any setting.

Art Deco Influence

In the 1920s, marcasite was used in the iconic ‘light/dark’ style of the Art Deco era. Large gemstones like onyx and sapphire were used to form the centre of these pieces with exquisitely intricate detailing created by the use of marcasite set in sterling silver frames around them.

We do hope you enjoyed discovering a little more about the fascinating history of this beautiful gemstone.

Enjoy Your Marcasite Jewellery!

So now when you choose one of our gorgeous Marcasite pieces you can enjoy wearing it in the knowledge that you’re following in the footsteps of two of the world’s most iconic, fantastic and fabulous women.