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Topics: Gemstones, Jet

Q.
I have several pieces of antique jet very black, very sharp edges, very cool to the touch and heavy. What is it? I see in your catalog that you call several things even crystal as jet. Is that just a color name, and not the stone? What is my faceted stone they all called jet?
- Sandra
A.
Natural jet is an organic gemstone comprised of fossilized wood, which makes it light weight and warm to the touch. Due to the natural fossilization process it takes millions of years for the earth to produce jet. Most jet is mined, carved and polished in England, and there is a good grade that comes from northern China. The phrase ''jet black'' comes from this gemstone which ranges from very dark brown to black.

Jet has also become another name for the color black, so ''jet'' and ''black'' are interchangeable in color descriptions. It would be difficult for us to determine what your beads are made up of. It sounds like they are a jet color. You could bring the pieces to your jeweler or local gem society, if you have one, to get help identifying them.

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