Marcasite jewelry is made of pyrite, and has been made since the time of the Ancient Greeks. It was particularly popular in the eighteenth century, the Victorian era and with Art Nouveau jewelry designers. When Prince Albert died in 1861 Queen Victoria entered a period of mourning, requiring her entire court to wear black and avoid opulent jewelry. Marcasite became popular as an understated alternative for the nobility. It remains popular, often set in sterling or it’s alternatives.