WHITBY JET NECKLACE -180 million years old, the gemstone Whitby jet is anaerobically fossilised wood of the Araucaria tree. ... Whitby jet is famed for is deep and intense black colour and the lustrous shine that can be achieved by polishing it. It is also very light in weight making it perfect for jewellery.
Whitby Jet was a favourite of Queen Victoria and after the death of Prince Albert in 1861 she and (by extension) the whole country entered into a deep period of mourning. During her mourning period Victoria wore exclusively Whitby Jet jewellery which facilitated the trend for Whitby jet to be worn in mourning and established the 'mourning fashion' trend.
Jet is a type of lignite, the lowest rank of coal, and is a gemstone. Unlike many gemstones, jet is not a mineral, but is rather a mineraloid. It is derived from wood that has changed under extreme pressure.
The English noun jet derives from the French word for the same material, jaiet (modern French jais), ultimately referring to the ancient town of Gagae. Jet is either black or dark brown, but may contain pyrite inclusions which are of brassy colour and metallic lustre. The adjective "jet-black", meaning as dark a black as possible, derives from this material.
- Jet is not cool to the touch.
- True jet will either float or sink very slowly, in water.
- Jet does not fade over time.
- Gently rub an inconspicuous part of the object across some unglazed pottery or stone; true jetproduces a brown/black streak.