Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raw Mineral Jewelry by Kathryn Blackmore

By on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2 Comments

Pyrite and magnesite are minerals which aren't really thought of as gemstones. Yet one modern innovative artisan has made them the focals in her jewelry designs.

UK based Kathryn Blackmore's design shown on the left features a cluster of pyrite stones on a gold plated necklace.

You'll notice there is a metallic luster to the brass yellow stones. That's why pyrite (iron pyrite) is also known as fool's gold. The name comes from the Greek word pur or pyr which means fire appropriately describing the stone's ability to generate sparks when struck against steel. Pyrite lumps were used to fire early guns in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Small faceted pyrite pieces also features in marcasite jewelry which was particularly popular during the Victorian and Art Nouveau eras.  Marcasite jewelry does not actually contain marcasite as it is less stable and more brittle than the similar looking pyrite. Pyrite has a Mohs scale rating of 6- 6.5. (For an example of a vintage marcasite piece, check my past post, How to Make Convertible Brooch Pendant Necklaces)

The gorgeous green hue of her magnesite pendant necklace has been dyed and stabilized to resemble turquoise.  Magnesite is not that commonly used in jewelry probably because it is not very hard  - 3.5- 4.5 on the Mohs scale.

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  1. Great pendants,it is the style I like to wear!
    I've used pyrite on occasion...customers often fascinated with pyrite.

  2. Beautiful work. I like the look of bringing rough and smooth together in one piece. Very clean, sleek look.