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What Is Special About Whitby Jet?

Jewellery & Watch News



It’s so special, it may just be our favourite gemstone to work with. Not only is it striking to look at, it has a story to tell too. Although it may appear to be brand new with its mirror like shine, it’s actually millions and millions of years old. Over the centuries, it’s been adored by royalty, imitated by copycats, passed down through generations and admired all over the world. It doesn’t get better that that! 


Its British Heritage 


Our local gemstone will always have a special place in our heart with it being naturally sourced on the North Yorkshire coastline. We’re proud of our unique British stone that can be found - if you look hard enough - on our nearby beaches. There’s not many places that are home to a rare gem that is packed with so much history and character. We can’t just keep it to ourselves, we love to share Whitby Jet with the world, showing every tourist just how special it really is with our unique designs. Jet is perfect for jewellery with its weightlessness and warmth, which many find it extremely comfortable to wear, no matter how large the piece is. This was particularly true during the Victorian era when Jet was at its peak of popularity due to Queen Victoria’s influence. 




The Origins


It’s quite unbelievable how Jet arrives on our stretch of coastline after the journey its been on. From its beginnings as a monkey puzzle tree to its ending as a deep, intense black gemstone, the conditions have to be just right. To know how Whitby Jet is formed we have to take a look back at the Jurassic era where the story starts with many Araucaria trees falling into the sea after a natural disaster. The trees get waterlogged becoming heavy and stuck in the sedimentary mud on the seabed, which over time slowly gets buried in layers and layers of the stuff. Due to the enormous pressure of the sea and no oxygen under the thick mud the wood eventually transforms into Whitby Jet. So there you have it, if you didn’t already know, Whitby Jet is fossilised wood and a beautiful stone brought to us by nature. 




From Beach to Bench


It’s quite the transformation from what our gem specialists find on the beach to how each design leaves our workshop. Pieces that are discovered on the shore obviously do not have the brilliant lustre that tempts many to our seaside town and into our boutique. Our talented experts polish each piece to achieve this unrivalled high sheen, that makes Whitby Jet stand out alongside its rich black shade luring many to invest in a one-of-a-kind design that you will not find anywhere else in the country or world. Whitby is the only place to find the finest, most beautiful pieces of Jet, which are cherished for a lifetime. 


Everyone who owns a piece of Whitby Jet is impressed by its British heritage, royal approval, opaque shade and high polish. 


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