The Very Highest Quality Jet Information...


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Jet
Jet is one of the organic gemstones, being fossilized wood, and therefore related to coal. As such it is millions of years old. It appears surprisingly light and warm to the touch. It usually will create static electricity when rubbed, but not always. Jet has been mined since about 1500 B.C., before recorded history. Items of jet such as beads, pendants and charms have been found in ancient burial mounds.
It was formed by driftwood which was subjected to chemical action in stagnant water, before being subjected to heat and pressure.

Colour
Jet is of course black, and the description "jet black" is used to denote something which is absolutely black.

Sources
One of the earliest sources appears to have been called Gagee or Gagas, a place on the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor, after which is named, via Latin, German and French variations of the word. When the Romans came to Britain, there was a thriving jet mining, carving and polishing industry in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, and elsewhere in Yorkshire. This industry continues today on a smaller scale, and Whitby jet is recognised as one of the main sources of the finest quality of jet.

Imitations
French jet is not jet at all, but is actually glass. More recent types of coal are sometimes used as an imitation of jet, but are softer, and more brittle. Vulcanite, hardened rubber, has been used to imitate jet. Glass, obsidian, stained chalcedony, bakelite, celluloid, perspex, casein, polystyrene, and albertite have all been used to simulate jet.

Jet in Jewellery
Jet was used by the Romans, who exported it from Whitby, and it was also very popular with the Victorians. It has often been used in mourning jewellery, which has possibly made it slightly unfashionable. It takes a good polish, but is probably at its best when carved. It can be used for quite large pieces of jewellery because of its light weight.

Technical Information
Hardness2.5 - 4.0
Refractive Index1.64 - 1.68
Specific Gravity1.10 to 1.40


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