MYSTICAL, MAGICAL AND TIMELESS FASCINATION
Behaves like a gemstone but looks like a metal, Marcasite has captivated our imagination for centuries. Valued by ancient civilizations as a stone of great fire, enlightening and otherworldly, Marcasite was treasured by medieval monarchs and later adorned the likes of Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth I, and Queen Victoria before emerging in the 20th century as the quintessential Art Deco-style accessory. Today, Marcasite offers a timeless modernity that joins the allure of great opulence with an affordability that’s appealing to jewelry fans everywhere.
Marcasite, more accurately known as iron pyrite, is a naturally occurring mineral that grows in rock rooted deep in the earth in fascinating crystalline sculptural formations. The result is shimmering striated velvety iridescence, glinting gold. It was this extraordinary natural beauty and mystery that gave the material its revered mystical status. Unlike other minerals, most of which are translucent, Marcasite is impenetrable to light, yet has the power to reflect and interact with it in an extraordinary way.
Swarovski Marcasite Shield Cut
Designers adore the luxury and glamour that Marcasite brings to their creations—particularly when it comes from Swarovski, whose mastery of precision cutting technology and special polishing process endow the stones with an unmatched luster. A big fan, the New York brand Judith Jack has been a leader in unique sterling silver and Marcasite jewels for nearly 35 years, launching last summer a collection set with its latest exclusive Shield Cut by Swarovski. Coining the phrase “Marcasite Made Modern,” Judith Jack is known for mixing vintage inspirations with contemporary aesthetics to create truly trendsetting designs.
The challenge of making an old favorite new again is exactly what excites Los Angeles designer Dallas Prince about Marcasite. She credits the start of her love affair with Marcasite to an old brooch she found, circa late 1800s, with all of its Marcasite in tact.
Prince has had a successful run with her Marcasite designs on TV shopping for the past decade. But keep an eye peeled for her latest collection at a jeweler near you, as she’s debuting in June at the mega JCK Show in Las Vegas: Chrome Marcasite™, a special gold plated Marcasite. “It’s not from your grandmother's jewelry box. It’s fashion forward, in extraordinary quality that gives customers an entirely new experience with Marcasite.”
Design by Dallas Prince, as seen in Natural Reflection by Swarovski
In fine jewelry today, the boundaries between gems and metal are becoming increasingly blurred, as one seems to melt into the other. Precious metals are textured, even faceted to become the central feature of a jewel. Showing great innovation and ingenuity, designers and craftsmen are constructing new subtly sensual, glimmering surfaces that surprise and thrill, while offering value, wearability and accessibility. This fresh mood of metal magic is partly due to the soaring price of other material costs, which has engaged a new phase of creativity. Both traditional metals and new alternatives to gold and silver are shaking things up in the jewelry world, fueling interest in a mysterious alchemical allure—one that’s perfectly primed for the next generation of Marcasite!
Guest blogger Deborah Yonick has been writing about trends and trendsetters in the jewelry industry for the past 25 years.