Victorian Whitby Jet Bracelet - Irene Byrne & Co
Victorian Whitby Jet Bracelet - Irene Byrne & Co Victorian Whitby Jet Bracelet - Irene Byrne & Co Victorian Whitby Jet Bracelet - Irene Byrne & Co

  • Description
  • Specifications
  • History
  • An easy way to add some style to any outfit, is with bold statement pieces such as Whitby Jet jewellery.

    Whitby Jet is a hard black petrified wood, fossilised from trees that flourished during the Jurassic period, 180 million years ago. The ‘best’ jet, comes from Whitby in England, and it gained popularity from 1861, as Queen Victoria extensively mourned the death of her beloved Prince Albert. Jet was the only jewellery Victoria could wear whilst in mourning.

    Today, Whitby Jet is worn at any time, and is revered for its simple beauty and bold statement. Here, we are showcasing a Victorian Whitby Jet bracelet with a prism type pattern.

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  • Circa: Late Victorian c.1860
    Gemstones: Whitby Jet
    Colour: Black
    Style: Elasticised Bracelet

  • The Victorian Period (1837 - 1901):

The Victorian Period defined by none other than Queen Victoria herself, had three stages - the Romantic, the Grand and the Aesthetic.

It was during the Romantic era that Queen Victoria married her Prince, Albert. Sentimental motifs such as; hearts, lover’s knots, flowers, bows, crescent moons and particularly serpents (which was subject to Queen Victoria’s engagement ring which represented enduring love) became extremely popular in jewellery design. Cameos, Enamelling and the use of bright coloured gemstones such as; garnets, amethysts, turquoise, pearls and diamonds gave way to the creation of jewellery that was beginning to speak a symbolic language of its own.

    The Grand era was a sombre period which saw Queen Victoria mourning the death of her beloved husband Albert. It encompassed 20 years during which time Victoria would only wear black and mourning jewellery. As a result the Whitby Jet industry flourished and onyx and deeper coloured garnets rose in popularity. Rings, lockets and brooches were commissioned with compartments for a lock of a loved one’s hair and were often engraved with the person’s name, age and date of death.

    The Aesthetic era saw a return to the light-heartedness of the Romantic Era. The discoveries being made through archaeology led to an Etruscan Revival with Greek, Roman and Renaissance influences becoming apparent in jewellery design as well as symbols of good luck and fortune.