Learn about Jet

Jet is a dense black fossilised wood, almost like coal, and very light in weight. It is easy to cut, so carved well.

It became popular in the Victorian era for mourning jewellery, which became fashionable after the death of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert in 1861.

The latter part of the Victorian era was characterised by the sentimentality associated with mourning. Black has been the colour for mourning in the Western world since at least the Roman Empire, and as well as jewellery, the period saw the colour used in furniture, clothing and stationery as a mark of respect to the deceased.

Jet was in abundant supply around Whitby in Yorkshire and so jet became the obvious material for this type of jewellery. Some jet was also imported from Spain at the height of its popularity in order to meet demand.

As well as factories producing jet items, carving of the material became a cottage industry, with the fruits of labour displayed in the front window of houses in and around Whitby.

Jet may show marks of the carver's tools unlike Vulcanite, a similar coloured material which was moulded into shape. more...

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Vintage long jet necklace with large beads interspersed between smaller beads

Long graduated French jet necklace approx 100 cm in length

French Jet necklace with pendant, 46 cm long approx (necklace length)

A silver pendant necklace; set with marcasites and a chequerboard French jet. Weight 42g.

Erickson Beamon jet crystal necklace black faceted Swarovski crystal beads and mounted resin stones with rhodium plated chain, symmetrical design and adjustable length with lobster clasp, stamped 'Erickson Beamon'

Peking glass, jade and jet necklace

Art Deco French jet beaded necklace, c.1930's, with silver clasp (tested), the necklace has four graduated strands of faceted, glass beads

Measuring 70 cm in length the hematite and jet bead necklace is set to a dragon head clasp with cloisonne enamel bead highlights.

Whitby jet and French jet necklace circa 1920, approx 70 cm

Facetted French jet necklace with gold clasp marked 9ct, c:1900, approx 70 cm length

Very good original Victorian opera length Whitby jet bead necklace