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Whitby Jet Jewellery

Black as Jet is an online store for Whitby Jet jewellery and its simulants. In addition to Whitby Jet the store section of the site also features Baltic Amber, coloured Diamonds and other vintage jewellery including items made from gold, silver, ivory and bone.

New items are constantly being added to the store and featured on the 'News' page. To be kept informed you can also join the 'Jet Set' and receive email notification of new items and special offers. Just submit the form at the bottom of the Contact Us page.
Whitby Jet Jewellery

Victoria Brooch

The carved Whitby Jet brooch below is a classic item of mourning jewellery, circa 1850. The large brooch is an expensive commissioned item and would have been produced by one of the master carvers.
Whitby Jet Victoria Brooch During the reign of Queen Victoria protocol dictated that only Jet jewellery could be worn at court during periods of official mourning. This royal endorsement confirmed the status of Jet as the material of choice for mourning jewellery and fuelled the expansion of the Jet industry in the late 1800's. Never was this more so than in the period following the death of Victoria's husband Prince Albert from typhoid fever in December 1861.
Whitby Jet Carved Letters
The intertwined gothic letters are notoriously difficult to decipher but careful observation can identify the individual letters V I C T O R I A. The workmanship is exquisite and a testament to the skilled craftsmen who toiled in the small, dust ridden Victorian workshops in the northeast fishing port of Whitby. This item is now sold!
Victorian Whitby Jet St Cecilia Cameo Bracelet

Victorian Whitby Jet St Cecilia Cameo Bracelet

At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from the sacred store,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down.


John Dryden (1631-1700)
The stunning bracelet shown above is one of the many unique pieces we have acquired over the years and is part of our private collection. Unfortunately this particular item is not for sale.

The Gift of the Locket

From time to time we acquire unique memories in the form of mourning jewellery containing photographs or locks of hair. Sometimes the people who buy the items want to use them for their own precious memories and in these cases we are happy to remove and store the contents and will guarantee that the memories are never destroyed.
The Gift of the Locket
But we would prefer to see the items remain intact. In which case the buyer will become the keeper of the memory and with that memory comes a gift... "You will become the keeper of a memory. It is of no consequence that you do not know the person remembered, only that you respect their memory. If you keep the memory safe the memory will repay your compassion a thousand times over. This is the gift of the memory."

Victorian Whitby Jet Necklace

The shop section of this site contains many beautiful and unique pieces of Whitby Jet. Most of the items date back to the Victorian era when Whitby Jet jewellery was at the height of fashion. We also occasionally sell modern and contemporary pieces. Visit the Jet Collection...
Victorian Whitby Jet Necklace
A Guard Against All Evils

A Guard Against All Evils

The cross as familiar symbol of religious faith and a recurring design in Jet jewellery, particularly when linked with the anchor and heart in the trinity of Faith, Hope and Charity.

But when Hugh P. Kendall, former Honorary Curator of the Whitby Museum, recorded the recollections of Jet worker Matthew Snowdon, he reported that Jet crosses were also used as charms against witchcraft.

An even earlier reference from the "Lapidarium of Marbodus" (Antique Gems, their Origin, uses and Value, by Rev. C. W. King) lists a long list of curative properties for Jet, as well as the claim that it "chases far away the powers of Hell".
So Whitby Jet can truly claim to be the original 'Black Magic'.

The Symbolism of Design

At first glance this pretty silver brooch appears to display two scenes from any country garden. On the left there is a single-stem rose, above which there is a butterfly, and on the right a single swallow in flight. But there is symbolism in the images and a story to be told...
The Symbolism of Design
The butterfly is a symbol of the spirit or soul and is occasionally found on Victorian grave stones. It also depicts the three stages of existence and the transformation of the soul: Caterpillar (Life); Chrysalis (Death); Butterfly (Resurrection).

Today we tend to associate the rose with love but white roses are traditionally associated with death and depict the next world. Another factor to be taken into account in this particular scene is the shape of the flower. The single closed rosebud engraved carefully onto the front of this brooch is a symbol of beauty, youth and a heart innocent of love. In other words a child.

The swallow, or indeed most birds in flight, usually symbolise the winged soul. However here the meaning is slightly different as the swallow is also a depiction of a child or, as in this case, motherhood.

The story so far... The left-hand panel depicts the death of a much loved child (the rose). The passing is mourned by a grieving mother (the swallow), who looks on from the right-hand panel and puts trust in her Christian faith for the resurrection of her child's soul on the wings of a butterfly.
Accessories

Accessories

This section of the Black as Jet shop contains accessories including Victorian carriage parasols and vintage fans. Click here to visit the accessories section.

Gold and Silver Collections

The shop also contains other jewellery collections where you can purchase vintage items in Gold and Silver.

The collections include bracelets, lockets, rings and brooches dating from the mid 19th century through to the later part of the last century. You can browse these and all the other collections by clicking on 'Shop' at the top of this webpage.
Gold and Silver Collections
Ivory and Bone

Ivory and Bone

Our shop also contains a section devoted to vintage Ivory and Bone jewellery.

A worldwide ban on commercial imports of raw and worked ivory came into force in 1989-1990 through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The EU currently allows the import of ivory antiques defined as items manufactured prior to 1 June 1947. The jewellery contained in this collection all pre-dates 1947 and is therefore exempt under the terms of the Convention. Visit the Ivory and Bone Collection...

Baltic Amber

We also have an interest in Baltic Amber Jewellery and through our contacts in the Baltic region we import specific pieces of stylish and unusual design.

Baltic Amber is a fossilized resin that has long been used for the fashioning of jewellery and ornaments and has also been used for medicinal purposes. Even today homeopathic pharmacies in Poland sell Amber ointment and Amber spirit to fight against rheumatic or neuralgic pains and arthritis. More about Amber...

Shipping can be arranged worldwide and please feel free to contact us if you want to know more about a particular piece, or have any special instructions regarding shipping.
Baltic Amber
Visit the Amber Collection...
Archaeological Jewellery

Archaeological Jewellery

I have a very limited number of custom made pieces of exciting and unique jewellery items featuring antiquities of great age. These silver set items feature genuine arrow heads from the Bronze Age and Roman and Greek Empires. These are the oldest man-made items you are ever likely to own and each is a contemporary and desirable piece of unique jewellery.
Visit the Archaeological Collection

Coloured Diamonds

We also source black and other coloured diamonds of 0.5cts and above. These are available as loose stones, or can be made up into rings or other jewellery items to your specification.
Coloured Diamonds
Coloured diamonds are very fashionable and each ring will be a unique piece of jewellery. We source diamonds in a range of colours including black, blue, green, red, pink, yellow and of course white. If you wish to select a particular stone and style of setting we can have these made up for you. Visit the Diamond Collection...

Repairs and Restoration

Most of the Victorian items offered for sale on this site have undergone sympathetic restoration. In many cases this means simply cleaning and polishing, but some items will have required more work.

As a general guide all bracelets will have had new elastic fitted as this deteriorates over time and has often been replaced with inferior materials. Similarly many necklaces will have been restrung in order to make them secure.

In response to a number of enquiries we now undertake repairs and restoration as a customer service. If you have an item of Jet jewellery that requires work then please let us know and we will be happy to give you a quote.

Items Purchased

We are also constantly acquiring items of Jet jewellery, so if you have a piece you wish to sell then please email us using the link on the 'Contact Us' page.

Whitby Jet - Baltic Amber - Coming Soon - Shop - Contact Us



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Black as Jet is a trading name of Talent Consulting Limited
Registered in England - Company No: 5075806

Registered Office: 50 Robinhood Lane, Winnersh, Wokingham, RG41 5NQ