History of use

What is drop silver marcasite?

Products with marcasites can be viewed by clicking on the link https://ametistzoloto.ru/catalog/yuvelirnye_izdeliya/filter/proizvoditel-is-%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%82/apply/ As you know, a stone with the mysterious name “marcasite” has been used in the creation of jewelry for many centuries and remains relevant today. Marcasite is a common mineral that has a characteristic color and luster. For this similarity, it received the second name “drop silver”. Marcasite, like pyrite, is iron sulfide – FeS2, but differs from it in its internal crystalline structure, greater fragility and less hardness. Crystallizes in the rhombic system. Marcasite is opaque, has a brass-yellow color, often with a greenish or grayish tint, and occurs in the form of tabular, needle-shaped and spear-shaped crystals, which can form beautiful star-shaped radial intergrowths; in the form of spherical nodules (from the size of a nut to the size of a head), sometimes sintered, kidney-shaped and grape-shaped formations, crusts. The color of the line is dark, greenish-gray, the luster is metallic. Hardness 5-6, brittle, imperfect cleavage. Name comes from the Arabic “marcasitae”, which alchemists used to designate sulfur compounds, including pyrite. Another name is “radiant pyrite”. Named spectropyrite for its resemblance to pyrite in color and iridescent tarnish. Origin. In nature, marcasite is much less common than pyrite. It is observed in hydrothermal, predominantly vein deposits, most often in the form of druses of small crystals in voids, in the form of powders on quartz and calcite, in the form of crusts and sinter forms. In sedimentary rocks, mainly coal-bearing, sandy-clay deposits, marcasite is found mainly in the form of concretions, pseudomorphs from organic remains, as well as fine sooty matter. Place of Birth. Among the hydrothermal sulfide deposits, one can note Blyavinskoye in the Orenburg region in the Southern Urals. Sedimentary deposits include the Borovichekiye coal-bearing deposits of sandy clays (Novgorod region), containing nodules of various forms. The Kuryi-Kamensky and Troitsko-Bainovsky deposits of clayey deposits on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals (east of Sverdlovsk) are also famous for their diversity of forms. Of note are deposits in Bolivia, as well as Clausthal and Freiberg (Westphalia, North Rhine, Germany), where well-formed crystals are found. In the form of nodules or especially beautiful, radially radiant flat lenses in once silty sedimentary rocks (clays, marls and brown coals), deposits of marcasite are found in Bohemia (Czech Republic), the Paris Basin (France) and Styria (Austria, samples up to 7 cm). Marcasite is mined at Folkestone, Dover and Tevistock in the UK, in France, and in the US excellent examples are obtained from Joplin and other places in the Tri-State mining region (Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas). Application If large masses are available, marcasite can be developed for the production of sulfuric acid. Beautiful but fragile collection material. Healing and magical properties. In the old days, many jewelry were made from this stone. It is believed that if marcasite is hung around a child’s neck, he will stop screaming and crying and will not be timid. There is information that Queen Cleopatra herself wore marcasite – according to ancient Egyptian beliefs, this stone preserves the beauty of the owner.
Marcasite. Whatever they call it, it is truly multifaceted: pyrite, cat’s gold, fool’s gold, iron pyrite, bravoite, drop silver. In Europe, the fashion for such jewelry arose during the reign of Louis 14; marcasite was used as a substitute for diamonds, and it was used on a par (and in terms of price!) with cut diamonds in the manufacture of gold and silver items. During the Napoleonic Wars, new uses for marcasite emerged. In 1813-1814, in return for the jewelry made of precious metals and stones donated to equip the army, the ladies were given iron ones, often signed “Gold gab ich fur Eisen, 1813” (“Trade gold for iron, 1813”). Marcasite, thanks to its ferruginous luster, served as an excellent addition to such jewelry, giving them an extraordinary, sophisticated flavor. After the end of the wars, the fashion for such jewelry arose in France, and soon spread throughout the world. Marcasite’s popularity peaked at the beginning of the last century, and it was used by jewelers as an insert designed to complement and highlight other stones in jewelry. Particularly good were the marcasite jewelry made by Theodore Farner. Sketches for jewelry were made by famous artists (for example, Joseph M. Olbrich), and the jewelry had a unique style and a distinct personality. Subsequently, interest in drop silver fell, and it began to be used for industrial purposes. The revival of marcasite in the jewelry field is attributed to the Butler Wilson company. In the 80s of the last century, jewelers of this company began to repeat the designs of the 30s and make jewelry with marcasite. Nowadays, drop silver is considered one of the most valuable jewelry materials – products made from it are exquisite and at the same time relatively inexpensive. Most of the products with marcasite are sold in Thailand, and the stone there is processed by hand. Nowadays you can find quite interesting vintage items with marcasites, but unfortunately they are rare. The Markazit company has been supplying the Russian market with high-quality drip silver products since 2005. So everything new is really well forgotten old, and marcasite, which until recently was a technical material used in the production of sulfur, has again won its place in the jewelry world – just like thousands of years ago. Marcasite jewelry is as elegant today as it was in the past.

The mystery of marcasite – from antiquity to the present day

The mineral known today in jewelry as “marcasite” and described by many historians as an imitation of diamond, is actually faceted and polished iron pyrite, which is also called radiated (comb or spear-shaped) pyrite. Since ancient times, iron pyrites have been used by humans for practical purposes – for example, as a means of making fire. Such a property as the ability to create sparks led to the use of this stone in weapons. In addition, such a bright and attractive material, such as marcasite, has also served a decorative function for many centuries. There is extensive early evidence of its use in jewelry by tribes in South America and the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Since the beginning of the 18th century, marcasite has been used in jewelry as an inexpensive alternative to diamonds.
What is marcasite? Perhaps no other natural material has so many names – and this is a very difficult topic for gemologists studying the history of a widespread mineral. Marcasite is the name given to iron pyrite after it has been cut and polished. Pyrite is the result of cubic crystallization of iron disulfide (FeS 2 ). Mineralogical marcasite is formed by crystallization in a prismatic form of the same chemical composition. Although the cubic form is more stable, both will decompose when exposed to prolonged heat, open air, or moisture. Both sulfides are opaque yellowish crystals with a metallic luster, but marcasite has a more silvery luster. The mixing of these two varieties of minerals has existed for hundreds of years. Both the terms pyrite and marcasite were used interchangeably until the development of systematic crystallography in the early 1546th century. Only then did it become possible to distinguish between similar minerals of identical chemical composition. Another name for pyrite, pyrite, comes from the Greek (pyrites lithos – “stone that strikes fire”) and is associated with its ability to create sparks upon impact. The famous medieval scientist Agricola in 1762 reports: “there are minerals that are intermediate between stones and metals, and a good example of these is pyrites, which among the Moors is called marcasite.” He also notes that only solid pyrite can be used to create sparks. In Europe, the fashion for the decorative use of marcasite dates back to the era of the discovery of the New World. A French court jeweler (XNUMX) calls it “the stone of the Incas” and reports the use of this worked mineral as a mirror. The collection of the Museum of Man (Paris) contains an Aztec mirror made of marcasite depicting the god Quetzalcoatl. In the XNUMXth century, the world center of jewelry fashion was France, where, during the reign of Louis XIV, they first began to use marcasite as a diamond substitute. The elegance of jewelry designs with marcasite matched the best examples of diamond jewelry, and the craftsmen of that time did not at all consider this material as less prestigious. Along with cut diamonds, marcasite inserts were widely used in the manufacture of gold and silver jewelry – necklaces, earrings, brooches, clasps and belt chains (for watches, keys or wallets).

Marcasite today

Marcasite gained particular popularity among jewelers in the first quarter of the 2005th century. as an insert that complements and highlights other precious stones in the jewelry. It was widely used in products of the German company Farner, made in the fashion of the time in the Art Deco style (a decorative style characterized by bright colors and geometric shapes). Marcasite has been and remains one of the most valuable materials for modern jewelers. Currently, the main seller of marcasite products in the world is Thailand, where manual stone processing is mainly used. On the Russian market since XNUMX, the only company with the same name “Marcasite” has been providing direct supplies of high-quality silver jewelry with marcasite and other natural inserts of the highest quality. Silver products with marcasites are in great demand among Russian buyers.

Classic for all time

Everything new is well forgotten old. Jewelry with marcasites is a return to the roots of classics that have stood the test of time. The dark tones of the minerals give marcasite jewelry a retro feel. Drop silver often frames large colored stones: amethysts, garnets, amazonites, turquoise and even pearls. Marcasite is a mineral that skillfully complements any decoration. With its fiery glow in the rays of light, it creates a harmonious combination with metal, blurring the edges and causing delight in the eyes of others. Products with this mineral look rich and very unusual. And additional inserts of large stones add charm and elegance to the decoration. You can be sure of the quality of the jewelry, since the Marcazit company, which produces them, is the standard of quality for products in the “drop silver” category.

How to care for products?

However, it should be noted that despite the high quality of workmanship, such products require special care: they cannot withstand exposure to alcohol-containing liquids. Avoid contact with jewelry with perfumes, ammonia, household chemicals, etc. Clean items with marcasite using special products designed to care for silver items. Stylish silver jewelry with marcasites captivates at first sight. Our jewelry stores have a very large selection of silver items with marcasites, which will allow you to find a piece of jewelry that will take one of the main places in your precious collection. May 28, 2019 Among jewelry stones there is one special one – marcasite, also known as radiant pyrite, also known as drip silver. It stands out among other minerals due to its unusual appearance and amazing properties. There are marcasites, inside of which frozen insects or pieces of tree bark can be seen. Such specimens are also sometimes used to create jewelry.

Marcasite – what kind of stones are these?

Marcasite is a natural mineral ranging in color from brass-yellow to shades of gray, green, and, less commonly, black. The basic tone depends on the proportions of the inclusion of metals (cobalt, antimony, copper and others). When exposed to air, it oxidizes, causing a coating to appear on the surface of the stone – it shimmers in different colors. The stone is fragile, light, and can crumble or break from impacts or other mechanical influences. Marcasite is an amazing stone. Their extraction is complicated by an unusual property: in the open air, minerals begin to decompose. Therefore, in their original form, they are not used to create jewelry: before being used in jewelry, they are subjected to processing, after which they are no longer susceptible to air. Jewelry with properly processed minerals and proper care can last for centuries. The minerals form as crystals in sandy sedimentary rocks or hydrothermal vents and are considered rare, but remain widely available to consumers. Jewelry with marcasites is relatively inexpensive, for example, silver earrings with these stones can be bought for 3-4 thousand rubles, where the lion’s share of the cost comes from silver. Drop silver is rarely combined with expensive metals, as well as with expensive precious stones.

How to recognize marcasite in nature?

The stone in its raw form has an uneven fracture, a dark color with a yellow tint, and spear-shaped crystals. The untreated mineral is fragile, unstable, and upon impact it releases the smell of sulfur. In sunlight, the edges shine and a beautiful silver sheen is clearly visible.

Why drip silver? Is this stone made of silver?

No, this mineral is actually iron sulfide with numerous additives. The stone consists of cobalt, iron, arsenic, lead, sulfur, thallium, bismuth and other elements. It is called drop silver to increase attention to the mineral, because it is a rather beautiful and unusual name. Outwardly, it even looks like silver: the mineral has a cold shine and is often used in jewelry in the form of small droplets. In Arabic, “Marcasite” means “fire stone”.

Marcasite in jewelry

The stone is best combined with silver; it is rarely framed in more expensive metals. Looks great next to pearls, turquoise, agate, carnelian, emerald, and onyx. Marcasite is used in both women’s and men’s jewelry. Rings, earrings, brooches and bracelets are created with it. True, bracelets and rings are rarely made due to the fragility of the stone. Jewelry with this mineral is usually inexpensive, the exception to the rule is jewelry of original design. Radiant pyrite is also used to decorate stage costumes. Common types of cuts are pyramid and round bevel. It is in these cuts that the stone best demonstrates its beauty. However, some manufacturers are experimenting, in particular, the Swarovski company introduced drop silver in the honeycomb, dome, and checkerboard cuts. These types of treatments demonstrated the magnificent shine and iridescence of the stones.

The healing properties of marcasite

The ability to help in the fight against various ailments has long been attributed to the Marcasites. It is believed that they can alleviate the course of eye diseases, help with disorders of the nervous system, and relieve anxiety and depression. If a person is going through a difficult period in life, when he is subject to a lot of stress and emotional stress, folk healers will advise him to purchase jewelry with marcasite – this unusual stone will have a positive effect on his general condition and mood. Since ancient times, people have tried to provide jewelry with drip silver for a newborn child. They say that such jewelry can protect against the evil eye and any evil influence. It is important that the decoration is always near the baby when there are strangers in the house or the child is on the street, in a public place. Marcasite will also be useful for older children: it gives children self-confidence and relieves them of fears. It is said that radiant pyrite can relieve joint pain and speed up the healing of wounds. The mineral is crushed into powder and applied to wounds, sore eyes, and inflammatory elements on the skin. It is credited with the ability to prolong youth and preserve female beauty; in particular, the beautiful Cleopatra valued the mineral for this property.

The magical properties of marcasite

This mineral can “charge” its owner with powerful emotional force. The stone exhibits its properties best in men’s hands, although women can also experience its positive influence. When a person begins to be “friends” with marcasite, changes begin in his life – sadness and pessimism go away, emptiness is replaced by good spirits. They say that the power of radiant pyrite is so great that it is dangerous to interact with it around the clock. Experts recommend wearing jewelry and talismans with drip silver for a maximum of 3 days in a row, and then take a break for 2-3 days or even more if you feel the need. If you break this rule and wear a product with radiant pyrite continuously, then the person will become overly emotional and restless. Important: radiant pyrite will help only sincere, honest people. If its owner harbors evil within himself and acts dishonestly towards other people, then Marcasite will not help. This is a stone with character; it gives its powerful power only to those who deserve it. They say that for the best manifestation of the capabilities of marcasite, it should be worn without “neighbors”: remove jewelry with other stones and leave them in the box. But there is no strict prohibition here: if you do not feel discomfort when wearing jewelry with different stones, then do not limit yourself. Marcasite is suitable for Aries, Sagittarius, Scorpio. Cancers and Pisces are advised to avoid contact with the stone.

How to care for a product with marcasite

  • regularly wipe the stones with a soft cloth – first wet, then dry;
  • periodically treat with a silver cleaning solution;
  • avoid ultrasonic cleaning;
  • store away from heat sources, do not leave in direct sunlight;
  • products with radiant pyrites should not be washed under a powerful stream of water, nor should they be immersed in hot water;
  • store separately from other jewelry, best of all – in special fabric bags, in a closed sectional box.

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