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.

A tourmaline quartz and jet necklace, comprising twenty eight round tourmaline quartz beads, measuring 15mm. Interspaced with thirteen smaller carved jet beads. Finished with a round satin finish 18 carat white gold ball clasp. Made by Kozminsky. Total len

A rock crystal, jet and pearl necklace, comprising twenty four carved rock crystal beads, alternating with twenty four carved jet beads, and twenty freshwater pearls, having a feature tassel comprising seven strands of freshwater pearl and onyx, with furth

A Victorian Whitby jet necklace, comprising nine graduated carved and pierced circular panels interspaced by anchor links, having five graduated tear drop panels with crimped decoration and applied oval panels, circa 1880. Total length 525mm.

A jet necklace and pendant, jet ring links with a carved floral pear shaped pendant.

A modern jet necklace, consecutive rectangular panels with two inner circle cut-outs.

Vintage opera length facetted jet necklace, length: approx 180 cm

Good vintage opera length facetted jet necklace, length: approx 140 cm

Vintage jet necklace length: approx 130cm (as inspected)

Vintage long jet necklace with large beads interspersed between smaller beads

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'

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

C.1930's carved dark coral and jet bead necklace