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 candlelight. Most antique marcasite was, therefore, the mineral pyrite embedded 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 was fused by heat into the silver settings. But as the years pasted and glue became a better option and much cheaper to use in the manufacturer. So the pyrite was glued into place. However, when silver prices increased, silver-coloured 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.


Marcasite jewellery is still 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 coloured 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. Here is a selection that was available from Jewels and Finery.

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 too short to wear boring earrings.

This is our jewellery quote for today and forever! Showcasing a pair of vintage snake earrings that are a clipped style that I have found on my travels. 

life too short to wear boring earrings

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

Watering can earrings by JJ 1990s

Watering can earrings by JJ (Jonette Jewelry) Dated to the 1990s.

Please note we have shut Jewels and Finery for good and no longer sell jewellery online.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Nickel free earrings and allergy reactions explained

Nickel-free earrings & allergic 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 (silverplate 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 whatever 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 someone 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.

Blue plastic earrings with post backs
Monet made earrings that are nickel free

Sunday 3 May 2015

Bank Holiday Blues

Let's 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 whatever 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

Swimming with the fish - dolphin brooch and jewellery

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.

Swimming with fish - jewellery quote

Small blue dolphin earrings in a child's size and made of plastic.

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 landmark in the progress of the art. But amongst all the productions of that age lover of old china are the fondest of Chelsea ware, 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 = Copenhagen 1772 - 74
26 = Japanese fabric mark Imari ware 1800 

Monday 13 April 2015

Love you to the moon and back earrings

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 acquired on my travels. 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
More New Age jewellery.
Moon and star brooch in the New Age style
Moon and star brooch in the New Age style. Made in the 1990s with a black background and multi coloured metal moon and star design.
Rainbow moon brooch pins

Rainbow moon brooch pins with colourful detail and faces on the moons.
Star fish jewellery set 1990s New Age

Star fish jewellery set 1990s. In a New Age design of silver and gold metal. Large star fish brooch with matching clip on earrings. Unsigned.

 Our website is no longer available. We are taking a rest from selling jewellery online. But have a look at our blog as I still buy a few pieces along the way. I just can't help myself....

Thursday 19 March 2015

One more day and it's Friday - pink necklace

Thursday, one more day and it's Friday! Of course Friday means its nearly the weekend. So to honour this day, I am wearing some thing pink - just because it feels like a girlie day. I have made this banner using a beautiful vintage pink necklace circa 1960s photographed for our website to highlight that it is a Thursday.

Pink necklace one more day and its friday

Another jewellery quote from Vintage Jewels Geek blog.. Please be aware that our website, Jewels and Finery is now closed.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Have a great St Patrick's day

Yes it is St Patrick's Day and we have a jewellery quote to show. Using the Irish green Shamrock or clover in this vintage bracelet, we have used it for a photograph. Now just roll out the Guinness, stick a tall green leprechaun hat on your head and enjoy this day.   

St Patrick's day green shamrock bracelet

Monday 16 March 2015

Diamante - A girl's best friend

A quick jewellery blog about Diamante - A girl's best friend. Diamante stones that are available in a huge range of colours and shapes add so much sparkle or that something extra to jewellery. In glass or acrylic they accent many different pieces. So its no longer diamonds but diamante - the versatile and much cheaper accessory.

diamante necklace a girls best friend

Above is a diamante necklace in purple with blue tinted aurora borealis diamante. Just one of the many vintage necklaces that have passed through our hands when we run our website. We closed down last year. But still love to show some of the jewellery and also I can not stop buying more to add to my growing unique collections.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Happy Mother's day from Jewels

This Sunday is Mother's Day and I would like to wish every mother, a Happy Mother's day. Every Mothering Sunday, moms everywhere receive a card and sometimes a gift from their children. Just to say thank you for being their mum and taking care of them. So here is a mom jewellery quote saying Happy Mothers day.

I love flowers - a fresh bunch of flowers in a vase brightens up the room. But I like things that last, and so plants and rose bushes for the garden are even better. An everlasting flower such as this water lily brooch by Sarah Coventry is even better. Attach a brooch to a card - just to make it that extra special and so inexpensive.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Have you got that Saturday feeling?

Yes it is Saturday again and have you got that Saturday feeling where you would like to stay in bed, but have too much to do. Got to shop for clothes, food or get ready to go out tonight? What have I done today so far..
Well changed a couple of categories around on our vintage jewellery and accessories website and added a couple of more items for sale. Then there is the shopping to do, visit son and I might get into the garden to tidy up. Maybe not though. What are you doing this Saturday?

vintage belt buckles this Saturday

This jewellery quote above has a pewter eagle belt buckle as its theme.

Friday 13 March 2015

Are you going to be unlucky today - Friday 13th

Are you superstitious? Today is Friday the 13th and its said to be an unlucky day. So for those of you who have got out of bed and faced this fine wet morn. Don't walk under a ladder and don't break a mirror or spill the salt. Don't let a black cat cross your path (no luck on that one already!) Don't put shoes on a table or an umbrella up indoors. Make sure that you only walk on the pavement and not step onto the pavement cracks. Then wear all your lucky charms and good luck jewellery, just to make sure...

Friday 13th and cat earrings

The above photograph have a fabulous pair of cat earrings on by JJ in pewter for pierced ears.

Lucky jewellery to wear includes crosses, jewellery with horse shoes, white heather, and certain gemstones for extra luck - above is a vintage style marcasite cross necklace. Have a look in your jewellery box now. If not then here are some for the next Friday 13th or just when you want some extra luck.

Sparkling clear diamante cross by Oasis.

A silver Celtic cross pendant with a black onyx center.

Wear this Medieval cross ring.

Pink and purple diamante cross necklace.

A stock pin with a lucky horse shoe. So have a very lucky day.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Melt my frozen heart - Tuesday's jewellery saying

Here is another jewellery saying for a bright spring Tuesday in March. Melt my frozen heart with a pretty photograph of a frosted blue heart necklace. The foiled heart pendant under blue tinted glass has that icy lady frozen look.  It is complete with a slinky silver tone chain.
Melt my frozen heart its all iced up a past love. The love them and leave them type? Well you can tell the story and what are you going to do about it? Cry and be pathetic or think 'he doesn't deserve my love' and go find someone who is by far better and will melt your frozen heart.

Another jewellery quote soon.  

Monday 9 March 2015

I'm not fishing - fish earrings jewellery quote

I'm not fishing - fish earrings jewellery quote

Jewellery quote for the 9th day of March. Go wear a pair of fish earrings and say...

I'm not fishing really - fish earrings jewelelry quote

More Fish jewellery to look at..

blue fish earrings
blue fish earrings in wood and painted. Long dangling pair circa 1990s to 2000s.
Plastic fish earrings
Plastic fish earrings in a stone colour. Another pair of long dangling earrings from the 1990s - 2000s.
Plastic skeleton fish bone earrings
Plastic skeleton fish bone earrings in brown. Dropper pair from the 1990s to 2000s.
Star fish jewellery set 1990s

Star fish jewellery set  of a brooch and clip earrings from the 1990s. Silver New Age design onto a gold metal setting. Unsigned set.

Sunday 1 March 2015

This years witch themed jewellery collection

So each year I choose a geek theme for jewellery to collect. So for this year (2015) I decided on witch themed jewellery. Well I have had aliens and dinosaurs over the last few years, so I like a different challenge. It has to be fairly cheap and interesting and can be old or new. This is what I already have below and around Halloween I will show just what I may have collected in the next few months.
Well witches on broomsticks are quite easy..

Witch brooch by Kirks Foley

This dazzling witch on a broomstick brooch is by Kirks Foley.

Enamel witch brooch

All enamel witch on broom stick brooch in my own collection already.

Well witches have cats and so this jewellery theme expands into cats and pumpkins and broomsticks.....

Cat on pumpkin brooch

Black cat on a pumpkin brooch - the familiar of witches a black cat. Though I thought they only came in that color, as we always end up with a real one that has black in them if not totally black!

Cat on broomstick brooch by Avon

Love this simple cat on broomstick brooch by Avon. Its now vintage but can still be found to buy online.

Witches of East End necklaces
Witches of East End necklaces in red and green

Do you recognise these necklaces - one in red and one in green. Well for anyone who did not see the show "Witches of East End" This is a copy of the necklace that is worn by Wendy Beauchamp. It was originally green but turned to red when she had just one life left. Found these very cheap on that online website that sells everything and they are from where else - China!

Hematite pentagram necklace

The five star pentagram in this pentagram necklace has its association with witch craft, so I have included it in this witch themed jewellery collection. This one is very cool to the touch being in metallic grey haematite/hematite.
Green witch ring from Greggs

That is it for now. So said earlier I will post all what I have managed to collect later this year and will included the shows that have witches in - so that's the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and more..

Sunday 1 February 2015

Dinosaur jewellery fun to collect review

Each year I usually choose a geek theme to collect in jewellery. In 2013 I choose dinosaur jewellery as that years theme. It has to be cheap and fun to wear. I set a limit at about £15 but rather pay just 50p or less if I can. Pound shops always seem to have the fun jewellery that is aimed at children. Yes I don't think that I will ever grow up! Back to the dinosaur jewels - it can be previously owned or new stuff. Not that I ever wear any of it. I just see what I can find and show here on my blog. So after 2012's alien jewellery collection - here are the photographs of what I found in jewellery with prehistoric dinosaurs...

tyrannosaurus skeleton necklace
This is hard to see, but its a skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex necklace. Fashioned in opaque white plastic and quite big.  Brought this as a pre owned piece. Most of the dinosaur jewellery appears to be made from the children's plastic figurines. Now that's an idea to try!

large dinosaur keyring
Large dinosaur keyring. Not sure what sort of pre historic animal this was and what it was actually called. Again quite large in plastic. Think this one looks like Godzilla!

pterodactyl brooch
Cute pterodactyl brooch in pewter. Found this at an antique fair! Unusual and just what I was looking for... Maybe I would wear this to a dinosaur convention if there is such a thing!

dinosaur stretch bracelet
This I brought new. A stretch bracelet that you can add the links in with different pictures on. So here is my dinosaur bracelet with different animals on.

loch ness monster dinosaur necklace
Again another new buy from that great auction website that you can get so much stuff that you didn't realise you wanted!! This dinosaur necklace is in an all silver tone. Quite cute if you like dinosaurs, especially when this looks like a Loch Ness monster necklace!

Horned triceratops dinosaur necklace in brass

A big horned dinosaur that is very familiar but for the life of me I could not name it - so googled and found this was a Triceratops necklace.

Perspex tyrannosaur rex necklace in green
Last for now is this green Perspex Tyrannosaurus Rex (T Rex) necklace. Medium in size and fabulous kitsch wear. Now unfortunately we had a bad 2013 family wise and so my collection took  a step back. But in 2015 I am able to revive it and so will add more through out this year as well as aliens. Because when you start something like this its difficult to stop. But for 2015 I think the theme will be witch and Halloween jewellery. I already have a few pieces which I will show in a future blog. Have fun with your own geek jewellery collections.. 

About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.