Jet is a black fossilized wood (other theories believe it to be a form of coal or sap similar to amber) found in may countries including France, Spain, the United States, Turkey, China, Germany, India, Poland and Russia. It is formed when wood would fall into stagnant water and then fossilize, similar to the way that coal was made. There is generally two recognized types: soft and hard Jet. It is believed that the soft Jet was formed in fresh water and the hard in salt water. When her beloved Albert died, Queen Victoria bought and wore masses of Jet. As a result, the Jet trade received much publicity and entered a boom period moving far beyond simple mourning.
Absolutely wonderful and unusual carved Jet earrings from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Each earring begins with a 14kt yellow gold earring wire that is riveting into a round Jet ring. A bar attaches in the center of a "U" shaped link that loops through the ring and a large teardrop link hangs from the bar. The teardrop has a triangular cutout at the top and a layered textured border. In the center of each is an oval-shaped plaque of Jet that has a round, 3-dimensional cameo center. The image, which is hand carved, depicts 2 Roman looking individuals. The carvings are wonderfully detailed with flowing locks of hair, intricate facial features and flowers in the hair. The earrings have a wonderful and unique design and would make a lovely addition to any collection!
Measurements: Each earring hangs 2 5/8" long, is 1" at the widest point and is a little less than 1/2" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. There is no apparent damage to the carved Jet plaques or cameos or to the earrings wires.