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Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover -

◆ Jet is some­times known as black am­ber, partly for its ap­pear­ance and partly be­cause it too gen­er­ates an elec­tric charge when rubbed. ◆ Jet jewellery was all the rage in Queen Vic­to­ria's time as she deemed it mod­est and som­bre enough to wear as part of her mourn­ing dress fol­low­ing the death of beloved hus­band Al­bert. ◆ It had long been used in pen­dants as it was said to ward off the evil eye. Ro­man Pliny the El­der wrote that ‘the kin­dling of jet drives off snakes’ and would cure toothache ‘when thor­oughly boiled with wine’. ◆ In the mid­dle of the 19th cen­tury, Whitby was home to 50 jet work­shops which em­ployed 1400 peo­ple. The gem takes a high gloss when pol­ished and is soft enough to carve eas­ily (and scratch eas­ily).

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