Details: Marcasites (Pyrite), Silver Earrings.
Dispatches from a small business in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Dimensions: H 3 x L 1.3 x W 0.4 cm.
Weight in grams: 6.
Condition: Vintage – used with visible signs of wear.
Between the 1910s and 1950s, jewellery design remained original and glamorous despite being impacted by cycles of boom, depression, and war. While exotic creations influenced by the Near and Far East revealed that jewellery fashions were genuinely global, sharp, geometric patterns hailed the machine era. Now that New York was on par with Paris as a fashion hub, European jewellery companies could anticipate selling to and purchasing from the Indian subcontinent. Art Deco jewellery is distinguished by dense clusters of gemstones. Because it was less expensive than platinum starting around 1933, gold started to reappear in fashion. Jewelry design attracted artists and designers from several disciplines. The new paths jewellery would go in are hinted at in their work.
Marcasite is an iron sulfide mineral with an orthorhombic crystal structure. It is very brittle and unsuitable for jewelry. What we call "marcasite" in jewelry is actually Pyrite – "fools gold" – that has been faceted to imitate diamonds. Popular from around 1700 onward, marcasite is usually found mounted in silver. Because of its golden yellow color and metallic luster, Marcasite has remained popular in higher quality fashion jewelry. In antique jewelry, marcasite can be distinguished from cut steel faux gems because marcasites are usually bead or prong-set as a gemstone would be and cut steel is riveted.
Silver is a white metallic element, harder than gold, softer than copper and second only to gold in malleability and ductility. Represented on the Periodic Table of the Elements by the symbol Ag, silver is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Silver is considered one of the noble metals because of it is excellent resistance to oxidation. Historically, silver has played a prominent role in the production of jewelry an objets d'art and is usually alloyed with another metal to harden it enough to maintain the desired shape and details imparted to it.