A lovely marcasite stick pin in 9 karat gold, dating to the 1890's. The marcasite cluster measures 3/8 inches and the entire stick pin is approximately 2-3/8 of an inch. The four faceted marcasite gemstones that are set into the 9 KT gold measure 2.7mm each. They have a really gorgeous deep iron green color, accentuated by the yellow gold of the stick pin. Marcasite is a balancing gemstone. It is very similar to pyrite and has fantastic reflective qualities. The back of the stick pin is marked ARG and the stick pin is acid tested to 9 karat gold. This stick pin is a really lovely Victorian piece of jewelry. It is a sweet detail for any outfit and would make a special gift.
Stick pins have a rich and interesting history. In the early and mid-1800s, it was customary for upper class men to wear tie pins to secure their cravats.. Women took interest in these ornamental pieces and began to procure them for themselves. They began wearing stick pins to secure their scarves, however the functionality of these items quickly evolved. Soon enough, these pins were worn on the lapels of coats and incorporated into hats. Stick pins rose to prominence in the Victorian era. This first generation of pins were made with gold, pearls, precious stones and gems. Over time, stick pins became less ornate and more subdued. To this day, collectors from around the world lust after antique stick pins for their ornate detail and beauty.