Did you know?
◆ 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).