Gem quality jet is rare in nature. The best quality jet from a durability and stability perspective is Whitby Jet, the material collected from the Toarcian Lower Jurassic stratigraphy of the North York Moors area of North Yorkshire. The Asturias Spanish jet, known as ‘azabache’ is also excellent quality, as too is the material Oltu-tasi from Turkey.
Sadly all of our indigenous jet working communities around the world are threatened by other materials being sold as our indigenous jets. The biggest threat to the Spanish, Turkish and British markets at present is a material from the Georgian Republic. Despite being a true jet, this material is neither durable or stable and has a very short shelf life as a jewellery product.
Many other natural hydrocarbons are also commonly sold under the umbrella term “jet”. A label of “jet” on a piece of jewellery does not guarantee the authenticity of the material. Alway buy directly from the manufacturer to ensure a genuine product, protect our industry and avoid disappointment!