Marcasite jewellery is an easy way to add vintage flair to any outfit. While lovely to look at, the pyrite commonly found in marcasite jewellery makes it necessary to exercise special care when repairing it. Maintenance is the best defence against damage to marcasite, but options are available to restore lustre and shine to your jewellery.
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Prevent damage to jewellery to minimise repairs down the road. Marcasite is a soft stone and is particularly susceptible to nicks and cracks. Store each piece in a separate, soft pouch to avoid damage from other stones. Do not use water or liquid jewellery cleaner to clean marcasite jewellery, as the glue securing the stone can dissolve with repeated exposure. Lightly buff each piece with a soft, dry cloth and do not use an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner.
Reset any loose stones with jeweller's cement.This is the common method for affixing marcasite stones, and jeweller's cement can be purchased readily at craft stores or through the Internet. Avoid using commercial glues, as the high water content of many of these epoxies can damage stones over the long term.
Consult with a professional jeweller if you chip or crack a marcasite stone in your jewellery. Marcasite is difficult to refinish, and your jeweller may have to remove your stone and source a replacement. You can discuss the option of resetting the stone yourself with your crafts-person. It is also possible that your marcasite may be small chips of steel; it is not uncommon for steel to be used in place of marcasite or for steel jewellery to be incorrectly identified. Should that be the case, your jeweller can advise you on how to replace the steel with marcasite.
Tips and warnings
- Marcasite jewellery doesn't technically exist; pyrite is actually used in place of marcasite, as the latter is too brittle to be used in jewellery.
- Beware of any cleaning products that contain sulphuric acid; pyrite and marcasite react violently to this chemical, and contact with it can result in serious damage to your jewellery.
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