Marcasite is iron pyrite and resembles a dark metallic bronze. When marcasite is rose cut it reflects light of the facets giving the piece a beautiful sparkle. It was used extensively in jewellery in Europe particularly in France and Germany from the 18th century on wards. Marcasite is usually set in silver, pewter or base metal. The marcasites were mounted in pavé settings to enhance the sparkle. Pieces incorporating pastes and enamel work were also made.
Marcasite jewellery had a resurgence in the post war era of the 1920s, as well as during the 1930s & 1940s when gold and silver were in short supply.