Marcasite, a bronze-yellow mineral often known as fool's gold, displays a sparkle and shimmer similar to diamonds -- but at more affordable prices. Ancient civilizations of China, Egypt, Greece and South America turned the versatile mineral into stones for ornaments and jewelry. Today, the marcasite stones are used to create elegant bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings. Although marcasite jewelry requires little care, occasional cleaning helps remove tarnish and restore luster and shimmer.
Wipe marcasite jewelry gently with a soft, damp cloth. Never use hot water and avoid soaps, cleaners, silver dips or other chemicals. Although soap and other cleaners won't damage the marcasite, they may dissolve the glue that holds the setting in place.
Dry the jewelry carefully with a soft, absorbent cloth or jeweler's cloth.
Lay the jewelry on an absorbent towel and allow it to air-dry overnight, or until you're sure the piece is completely dry.
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Wear marcasite jewelry frequently to keep it shiny and tarnish-free. If you choose to store the jewelry, place it in a pouch or jewelry bag and store it in a cool, dry place. Store it away from other jewelry to prevent damage.
Put on marcasite jewelry after applying perfume and hair spray, as the chemicals may damage the jewelry.
Remove marcasite jewelry before swimming or bathing. Remove rings before doing dishes or using household chemicals.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.