About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

J is for JET

Jet is a semi-precious stone and when it's polished, it takes on an extraordinary lustre of deep black.  This rich black colour never fades, and the shine is so intense that polished jet was even used as mirrors in medieval times. It comes from a pure and hard form of fossilised wood and is found in thin seams of shale rock. 
Whitby, in North Yorkshire (England), is famous for its jet. In the 19th century it was found and mined throughout the North York Moors and brought into Whitby by pack pony to be made into a wide range of decorative items ranging from jewellery, busts, dolls house furniture, models of Whitby Abbey, chess tables to many other small objects.

However, when the railroad lines eventually made their way to Whitby, the Victorians started to arrive because it made a jolly seaside holiday destination.  And a piece of jet was de rigeur as a souvenir!  Queen Victoria even began wearing jet jewellery in remembrance of her husband Prince Albert.
My joyful and dear friend Jill, my hostess this past summer in North Yorkshire, took us both on a jaunt to the old part of Whitby where we jostled the crowds and looked at lots of jet jewelry.  I wanted to bring my daughter a small piece (it's not cheap, believe me!) to thank her for looking after Tegan while I was away.  We went into many jewelry shops and peered at all the jazzy displays.  You can see the ones I chose on the slideshow.

If you're interested in a presentation of how jet is produced and some samples of current day jet jewelry, please feel free to check out the slideshow I've put together.  In order to have time to read the brief signs explaining each piece of equipment, etc., just pause the slideshow and then click to continue.  It is quite fascinating to see all this old equipment they used back in the day!

With jovial thanks to the creator of ABC Wednesday (Denise Nesbitt) and to our jocular administrator, Roger.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

10 comments:

Melody Steenkamp said...

What a wonderful and informative post Leslie, I'd never heard of it before, its lovely...

Have a nice ABC-day / – week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (ABC-team)
http://melodymusic.nl/abc-wednesday-9-j

photowannabe said...

It would be wonderful to have a piece of that jewelry. It's so unusual.

Photo Cache said...

I learned something new today. Thanks.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

Joy said...

The earrings are lovely. I nearly bought a jet necklace in an antique shop when on holiday about thirty odd years ago, if only I'd known I would be buying an accumulating asset. Isn't it strange I can still remember the shop window and necklace but not where I was.

Roger Owen Green said...

It is gorgeous, especially that 1st pic

ROG, ABCW

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

Thank you for this most interesting post, my friend!

Amit Agarwal said...

Very interesting! Thank you Leslie:)

Ann said...

I learn so many things here, how interesting. Would love to have a piece of jewelry.
Ann

jeannettestgermain said...

Ah, that's where the expression jet black comes from! Looking at the image of queen Victoria,it seemed that in the past they had more outside representations on clothes, etc. of remembering the ones who died than now. Interesting post, Leslie!
Sorry I haven't been more prompt with my replies to your comments lately, because of changes in my schedule:)

Trubes said...

Most intersting story of the Jet stone Leslie.
I'm sure your daughter was delighted with the earings, they're truly
gorgeous.
love Di.
xxx