Guide to Cheap Marcasite Bracelets + Proper Care

Marcasite antique bracelet with green stones

Cheap marcasite bracelets provide a unique look for rock bottom prices - what a bargain! If you love jewelry with an old fashioned look then you'll definitely want to check out marcasite jewelry, but there are also more contemporary designs available.

What is Marcasite?

Surprisingly, the substance that is called marcasite in the jewelry world isn't actually the real thing. Marcasite is actually iron sulfide, but that material is extremely brittle and crumbly, which makes it unsuitable for use in jewelry making. The stone that we commonly refer to as marcasite in jewelry is actually iron pyrite, also known as fool's gold, which is very similar to iron sulfide but has a different crystal structure that makes it much stronger.

Marcasite Bracelet Designs

There are numerous designs of marcasite bracelets to appeal to a variety of tastes. Marcasite is most often paired with sterling silver since the two materials complement one another so beautifully, however it is sometimes seen with other metals as well. Onyx is frequently seen in marcasite jewelry, as well as mother of pearl, amethyst and other stones.

Some bracelets are wide while others are quite narrow. Some are simple while others boast elaborate metalworking. For those who like antique jewelry but do not wish to pay the price of a genuine antique, marcasite bracelets are the perfect alternative. Marcasite jewelry was extremely popular during the Victorian and Art Deco eras, and many of the bracelets created today are designed to replicate those styles. Nevertheless, there are more modern styles of jewelry that are made with marcasite, such as marcasite charm bracelets.

Caring for Cheap Marcasite Bracelets

While marcasite bracelets are beautiful, the main drawback to them is that the marcasite can fall out of its setting if not cared for properly. This is because the marcasite is generally cemented into the setting rather than held in by prongs, and over time the cement can weaken, particularly if it becomes wet. For this reason it is important to remove your marcasite bracelet every time you'll be doing any cleaning that could cause the bracelet to become wet, such as plunging your hand into a wash bucket or doing the dishes. The bracelet should also be removed before showering, swimming, entering a hot tub or taking part in any other activity that could cause it to be submerged in water. High heat can also cause the stones to become loose and should be avoided.

Cleaning Marcasite Bracelets

Because liquids can damage marcasite, it should not be cleaned with the liquid jewelry cleaners commonly found at jewelry shops, nor should it be subjected to an ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. The best way to clean marcasite jewelry is to simply wipe the piece with a damp cloth then dry it with a soft, dry cloth. Make sure the bracelet is entirely dry before storing it.

Where to Purchase

Ever popular marcasite can often be found where silver jewelry is sold - gift shops, department stores, art & craft fairs and jewelry stores. There are also numerous websites that sell marcasite bracelets - here are just a few:

  • carries a nice selection of marcasite bracelets in a variety of styles, all at discount prices.
  • Etsy's collection of bracelets includes cheap marcasite bracelets as well as pricier choices.
  • QVC carries many different designs of marcasite bracelets, including bracelet watches.
  • has a variety of marcasite bracelets with different styles and colors to choose from.
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Guide to Cheap Marcasite Bracelets + Proper Care