Depending on their age, some pennies will be more tarnished than others.

How to Polish Marcasite

by Mimi Bullock

Marcasite jewelery, donned by ancient Egyptians and monarchs such as Queen Victoria, remains a popular, vintage-style jewelry choice for collectors today. Extremely versatile with an antique look, true marcasite is brittle and may crumble over time. Modern jewelers prefer to use iron pyrite, or fool's gold, a relative of marcasite. Jewelers and artisans frequently set marcasite in silver using jeweler's cement, not prongs. As silver tarnishes, you may need to polish the jewelry to restore its fiery luster and shine.

Dampen a lint-free cloth slightly. Wipe the marcasite and the silver with the cloth, cleaning away the tarnish caused by oxidation.

Polish the marcasite with a dry, clean cloth. Check the piece for dampness. The item should be completely dry when you have finished polishing.

Wear the jewelery often to keep tarnish at a minimum.


  • Store the jewelery in a closed box when not wearing it.


  • Never soak marcasite in liquid. This may cause the jeweler's glue to dissolve.
  • Do not use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner on this type of jewelry.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

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