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

A pair of antique jet pendant earrings, each pendant comprising pyramid shaped jet with carved keystone pattern. Articulated ball jet drops with applied scroll decoration. Surmounted by a single polished jet ball with hook fittings. 9 carat gold. Total len

Pair of French jet long drop earrings, with sterling silver hooks

Pair of French jet facetted bead earrings, with sterling silver hooks

Pair of French jet long drop earrings, with sterling silver hooks

French jet earrings with butterfly, and silver hooks

An antique pair of jet earrings and jet brooch. The earrings fitted with 9ct yellow gold pierced hooks, designed as teardrop shaped drops of articulated form, heavily detailed by carved foliate motif with smaller links surmounting, along with a Victorian m

Three pieces of jet jewellery, a pair of faceted jet ball earrings suspended from screw-on earring fittings and two carved jet bar brooches.

French jet earrings with 4 graduated beads, and silver hooks

Edwardian 9ct circular pendant with two 9ct band rings and pair jet pendant earrings

A pair of Victorian Whitby jet earrings, 9ct yellow gold, drop earrings, screw-on backings. Weight 9.7g.

A pair of Whitby jet earrings, each earring comprising graduating splayed panels suspending a fluted sphere, to cap and shepherd hook fittings in 18ct gold.

Three various necklaces, including early double string jet & matching drop earrings; and 2 various wire strung crystal.

Pair vintage carved Whitby jet and garnet earrings, with hooks

A pair of earrings by Yves Saint Laurent, each French jet heart surmounted by graduated triangular crystals, in gilt metal to clip fittings.

A pair of antique jet earrings, 9ct rose gold, Victorian, Whitby jet set earrings of drop design, each with a faceted geometric drop of acorn shape, capped in a smooth gold mount of tubular form with scalloped edging, merging to pierced hook fittings. Leng

A pair of French jet drop earrings; 70mm drops featuring mixed cut faceted beads on silver hooks