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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
organic 1.32 2.5-4.0 1.660 none


Carved Jet Beads

Black with brown modifiers

Rather fragile, but good for beads and pendants

British Isles


Jet is a variety of coal called lignite. It is rather fragile but lends itself well to carving. Examples of carved jet date back to the Paleolithic period. It was used extensively in Victorian mourning jewelry after the death of Victoria's husband, Prince Albert in 1861. Due to it's chemical composition (hydrogen, oxygen and carbon) it can be burned. The fumes it gives off were once thought to have medicinal powers, able to cure hysteria and diagnose epilepsy. In the ancient British Isles, jet was believed to protect against the work of the devil, demonic possession, and the consequences of witchcraft. It was also burned in magical ceremonies to aid in contacting the dead and foretelling the future.


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