Jewellery & Watch News
You sure can but it is not as easy or as idyllic as it sounds. Whitby Jet is extremely rare and those in the know have their favourite spots to find sea-washed Jet. It takes a keen eye, walking many miles keeping full attention on the sand and being in the right place at the right time. Well known areas near Whitby include Staithes, Runswick Bay and Robin Hoods Bay. We advise for you to get to know these places really well to make the most of your time there.
During the 19th Century, it was common practice for Whitby Jet to be mined however, since the late 1800s the 300 Victorian mines have been deemed too dangerous or have already collapsed. Therefore, all Whitby Jet is found on the beach. Under no circumstances should you try and enter a mine as it is illegal and not safe to do so. It’s much safer and easier to leave it up to nature. Stormy weather always delivers ensuring that some Jet has broken off from the cliff by the rough sea and left on the beach as the tide comes out and returns. The best time to go Jet hunting is after a gale from the north west to south east combined with a strong tide. Whitby Jet easily follows the ebb and flow of the ocean as it only just sinks in salt water.
We are proud to offer the finest, locally sourced Whitby Jet that is handcrafted into the most beautiful pieces of jewellery.
Ask a Professional
Whitby Jet can easily be mistaken for another stone such as coal (highly likely as there is so much coal washed up on the Northern coastline) or your findings could be charcoal left from beach barbecues. It is actually very difficult for enthusiastic amateurs to distinguish Jet from its many lookalikes. Identifying Jet requires an expert to assess whether the stone is authentic as an untrained eye may be mistaken. If you do find a piece of Whitby Jet makes sure you check the surrounding area for more!
Here are a few tips to identify a genuine Whitby Jet stone before seeking help from a trained professional:
- When making a mark on a light coloured piece of sandpaper Whitby Jet leaves a light brown colour however, coal’s mark is a definite black.
- Whitby Jet is much harder than coal.
- Our favourite gemstone is warm to touch and very lightweight.
Safety Always Comes First
Scouring the coastline for Jet is a really fun hobby for many however, it can be very dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions and choose the correct time.
- Before setting off to the beach it is important to check the tide times to ensure that you arrive at the beach as the tide is going out. Becoming stranded as the tide comes in is no laughing matter and is extremely dangerous. Typically, the majority of the beaches are accessible approximately two hours before low tide.
- We advise to stay away from the cliffs as they are very unstable. Made from shale with a cap of sandstone means that pieces become lose regularly, which can sometimes be fatal. It is best to keep a wide distance and walk along the tideline instead as this is where the best pieces of Jet are usually found. A hard hat is an essential item for those just in case moments!
- Watch out for slippery rocks, it’s no laughing matter if you sprain your ankle on a Jet hunt. Therefore, sensible footwear is highly recommended.
- It’s not the most glamorous of pastimes, therefore, a pair of rubber gloves and hand sanitiser is always a good idea.
- Bring a waterproof coat and a woolly hat to keep warm and dry when scouring the beach for Jet.
Happy and safe Jet hunting!