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How Can I Tell If My Whitby Jet Is Real?

Jewellery & Watch News

The imitations can fool the best of us. Professionals who work with Whitby Jet almost daily can easily spot the lookalikes such as coal, French Jet and Onyx however, the untrained eye will need a little more help. Luckily there are a few tests that you can carry out to identify authentic pieces found on the beach or in local boutiques. They’re easy to do and will provide a definite answer. 


The Tests


  1. The smudge test is an easy one. Make a mark on an unglazed ceramic tile or a wet/dry piece of paper and take a look at the colour left behind. If it leaves a brown streak then the piece of Jet is genuine.
  2. Many are surprised to learn that Whitby Jet is cool to touch. It’s usually around room temperature. Place against the cheek or wrist to gauge the warmth of the stone.
  3. It’s so lightweight compared to its copycats. It’s weightlessness is what makes it so comfortable to wear.
  4. You’ll be happy to know that Jet’s deep black hue does not fade with time. Therefore, if you’re lucky enough to find an antique piece the striking shade will be as intense as the day it was made.
  5. When placed in water Jet with either float or sink very slowly. Another easy test for you to do at home.
  6. If rubbed against your hair briskly, true Whitby Jet will always produce static electricity.
  7. A test that is best carried out by a professional requires putting a red hot needle on an inconspicuous part of the stone, which will release a coal smell. The reason that we advise that an expert carries out this test is due to the high risk of destroying your piece of jewellery.




Ask an Expert


If in doubt it’s always a good idea to ask an expert and someone you trust. It goes without saying that every piece of Whitby Jet that we sell is naturally sourced from our local coastline by our gemstone specialists. Therefore, every piece of jewellery that you buy from The Whitby Jet store is 100% genuine. If you’d like for us to help identify a piece that you already own, our talented team will be more than happy to help.




The Victorian Era


The uncertainty surrounding Jet started in the Victorian era when the popularity of the gemstone was at it’s all time highest. Queen Victoria had begun to wear the black gem after her beloved Prince Albert died causing many to follow her lead. That, combined with the growth of Britain’s railway network, many started taking vacations to seaside towns with Whitby being one of them. Picking up a Whitby Jet souvenir was a must during this time and many started to sell fake Jet from overseas causing for many to doubt the authenticity.


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