Thursday, 19 November 2015

Is my marcasite jewellery real?

Is my marcasite jewellery real? This was a question asked by someone who had just purchased marcasite jewellery from elsewhere. Now this is a complicated question as the term marcasite has been adapted over the years to include many different materials.

Victorian marcasite and before.

Originally marcasite jewellery was invented to be a cheaper option than diamonds and to glitter when worn under candle light. Most antique marcasite was therefore the mineral pyrite embeded into silver. Marcasite has been around for centuries including the Roman period and became even popular in the Victorian period. It can be seen in Art Nouveau pieces as well. Marcasite itself is a gemstone mineral that is too brittle to be used in jewellery, so was never used!

Into the twentieth century.

Now as the years past, marcasite jewellery remained silver until the fifties and early sixties when silver started to become more expensive. Originally the marcasite were fused by heat into the silver settings. But as the years pasted and glue became a better option and much cheaper to use in manufacturer. So the pyrite was glued into place. However when silver prices increased, silver colored metal was used instead of real silver. Now you need to look very closely at marcasite brooches, earrings and necklaces from the mid twentieth century to determine whether they are of silver or silver metal. Because many are unsigned, you can test the metal - but this does leave a mark. If the marcasite stones are all intact then this is a quality piece that has stood the test of time.


Macasite jewellery is till produced today and can be of silver - it will be marked as such either 925 or sterling. Or it can be purely costume and made from a polished silver or gold colored metal. It should say what it is in the description, when buying.

Look-a-like marcasite.

Through out the years there has been many look-a-like marcasite pieces. These are when they pattern has been produced to have the maracasite stone look included. They are of one metal and you need to look closely to see. there is also the famous Charles Horner polished jewellery that have indentations that shine and are of an aluminium material.

Charles Horner peacock brooch
Charles Horner faux marcaste look a like peacock

I like marcasite jewellery, but really I wear what I like whether its expensive or not.

cat brooch - false marcasite
Studded cat brooch - the raised metal has that "marcasite look. But it is not marcasite jewellery 

Tulip marcasite jewellery
Mid twentieth century tulip in marcasite
marcasite eagle brooch
Eagle brooch in marcasite

marcasite deer jewellery
Deer in marcasite - popular 50s theme

marcasite costume owl brooch

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Life is too short to wear boring earrings

Life is just too short to wear boring earrings. This is our jewellery quote for today and forever! Show casing a pair of vintage snake earrings that are a clipped style available to purchase now. But be quick as once this one of a kind pair are gone - they are gone for good.

life too short to wear boring earrings

So have a great day and don't forget - don't be boring!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Nickel free earrings and allergy reactions explained

Many people nowadays have a reaction to nickel and wish to buy nickel free earrings. Allergy and allergic reactions seem to have increased. An allergic reaction happens when a certain chemical comes into contact with your skin or is ingested and causes an inflammatory negative process it may happen on your skin, internally or systematic. Unfortunately because most of our components for earrings comes from China and Asian countries - we no longer have any control over what metals or chemicals are being used.

Some gold, silver (silver plate or sterling silver, 925 silver) and platinum can also contain nickel.
Vintage and pre owned from the 1990s may also contain nickel.

Nickel, nickel, nickel seems to be in many things.

Unfortunately even if the jewellery makers strive to have nickel free stuff - the Chinese or Asian supplier will use what ever is the cheapest and swear its nickel free. What are the jewellery makers going to do? If enough people complain they will stop buying from that supplier. But the Chinese/Asians will find some one else unbeknown to sell to as nickel free. Maybe if we brought the manufacturing industry back to the UK with our stricter controls that would be more useful?

Hypo-allergenic earrings. Well that's okay but they still may contain nickel and what are the allergens these earrings aimed at? Some people are allergic to enamel, silver, gold, even the nail varnish some use to coat the earring backs to make them less irritating.

Myself  I am allergic to many things. I have a gold ring that I can only wear for a short while as it makes my finger red and itchy. I am also allergic to cucumber which I can eat. But put on my face and red wheels appear. Not that cucumber has anything to do with nickel free earrings. That is life my friends....

Here are some photographs of our earring unfortunately not guaranteed nickel free, because of their age.

Red plastic square clipped earrings
Blue plastic earrings with post backs
Monet made earrings that are probably nickel free

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bank Holiday Blues

Lets get down to some Bank Holiday Blues.. Well it is the Bank Holiday weekend for early May and its of course raining here in Solihull! Now do we expect anything else - no. It is not much to ask for a little sunshine and dry weather. To cheer you up our jewellery quote has a very vintage almost antiqued dark blue rhinestone brooch to covert. So what ever the weather, just enjoy this once in a lifetime weekend.

blue rhinestone brooch on our jewellery quote

Friday, 24 April 2015

Swimmimg with the fish - dolphin brooch

Hope you like our "swimming with the fish" dolphin brooch quote for today. Because it has been such a beautiful April with the weather warm and sunny. This quote was inspired by yesterdays activity. Cleaning the garden pond and filters. A yucky job. But I was surprised on how many fish we had left. Having caught the heron on the pond in February - it had managed to work its way through my heron pond defences!
So having just added this dolphin brooch to our fish jewellery collection last week. Here is the swimming with fish quote.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

China and china collecting

This collecting information blog post is entitled "China and china collecting" as that is the title of the paragraph in the Home furnishing and decoration book that the china identification marks below comes from. This old book is fabulous for helping the householder of the time. Published in the household reference library in London by The Fleetway House. I own 2 of the 6 books that were published in about the 1930s in this series. On Jewels and Finery we have china jewellery as well as antique and vintage china trinket boxes for sale. So I am always on the lookout for any information on china marks. these are quite old though but this information may be of use to someone. 

  China marks:
1,2,3 = Bow (Old Chelsea and Bow - To the 18 century belong may landmarks in the progress of the art. But amongst all the productions of that age lovers of old china are the fondest of Chelseaware, because of its charm and historic appeal. Owing to its remoteness from our own day it is not abundant and the homes of Chelsea and Bow are no more)
4,5,6 = Chelsea (1730 - 75)
7 = Derby 1751 - 69
8 = Chelsea Derby 1769 - 80
9 = Crown Derby 1780 - 1815
10 = Bloor 1815 - 39
11 Derby modern (for the 1930s)
12 = Chinese six character mark1723 - 36
13, 14 = Plymouth 1768 - 72
15, 16 = Bristol 1770 - 77
17, 18, 19 = Worcester 1751 - 83
20 = Chinese dedicatory mark meaning harmonious prosperity.
21 = Chantilly 1725
22 = St Cloud 1695 - 1773
23 = Sevres 1754
24 = Dresden- Meissen 1716
25 = Copenghagen 1772 - 74
26 = Japanese fabric mark Imari ware 1800 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Love you to the moon and back earrings

Moon and stars have always been a great motif to use in jewellery. So the current popular theme of "Love you to the moon and back" fits in with the moon and star earrings that we have. 80s and 90s inspired New Age jewellery is just perfect to wear. So here is our jewellery quote for today.

Love you to the moon and back - which is a very long way! 

love you to the moon and back earrings


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Part owner of Jewels and Finery UK website. We sell vintage jewellery right up to new designer jewellery and accessories. Love being different and unique as well as unusual. Learn about the history of jewellery as well as looking at beautiful jewels