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What Exactly Is Whitby Jet?

Jewellery & Watch News

Find out everything you need to know about the rare gemstone, Whitby jet! It’s distinctive colour, unique origins and lustrous shine has always drawn many to the picturesque seaside town where the finest, naturally sourced jet is found. If you’re thinking of investing in a unique piece of Whitby jet jewellery, we find it’s always nice to know all about the gemstone that you’re adding to your collection. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed with a legacy as interesting as this one. 

 

Where It All Began

 

It sure does look good considering it’s a million years old! First discovered in the Jurassic era along the coast of North Yorkshire, Whitby jet is naturally formed from the fossilised wood of the Araucaria tree, known today as Monkey Puzzle or Chilean Pine. The fossilisation process is pretty spectacular and extremely slow yet definitely worth the wait! It’s hard to believe but its the pressure of water and sediment over millions of years that compacts the wood from the Monkey Puzzle tree transforming it into the famous black stone that we love today. 

 

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Only the Best Will Do

 

We’re lucky enough to call Whitby our home and it’s our small seaside town that the finest, most natural jet is sourced. Nestled in the middle of the 7.5 mile North Yorkshire coastline, Whitby jet is found in seams of shale all along the cliff. During winter months when the current is strong and the waves are rough, fragments of Whitby jet are regularly found on the shore. There have been deposits discovered across the globe in places like Spain, North America and the Baltic Region however, none match up in comparison to our local offering as the lack of oxygen and pressure during the fossilisation process do not produce the same high quality. 

 

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It’s Impossible to Miss 

 

If you’ve ever wondered where the popular phrase ‘jet black’ comes from, you’ve found it’s origin. Whitby jet is adored for its intense black hue that when polished its mirror-like shine allows for many to admire their reflection. It is the perfect stone to fasten around the neck, dangle from the ear or slip on the finger as it is extremely lightweight and therefore, effortless to wear. We love creating unique pieces of jewellery from the rare gemstone, our outstanding Whitby jet jewellery collection features striking earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings like no other. 

 

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An Impressive History 

 

As you can imagine, Whitby jet has a tale to tell with it origins dating back so far. It’s legacy is an impressive one that’s good enough for royalty. Queen Victoria famously wore Whitby jet jewellery after Prince Albert died in 1861 making the gemstone a must have item when in mourning. However, during the Victorian Age the popularity of the distinctive gemstone became a fashionable souvenir when holidaying at the seaside town and a style statement during this period. 

 

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Anything else you would like to know? Don't hesitate to get in touch with our Whitby jet experts by phone or email. 

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