We at C W Sellors are passionate about British gemstones and aspire to symbolise our great connections to the past by incorporating unique pieces of British heritage into modern interpretations of beauty. Jet has been discovered in many parts of the world, some including Siberia, Canada, China, Australia and New Zealand however, the Jet which has evolved over 180 million years ago and found on the shores of Whitby, is distinguishable by its very own characteristics.
Jet necklaces were used as an embellishment to tradition, craftsmanship and religion as far back as the Bronze age. Excavation work has unveiled that beads were most probably the most popular form of Whitby Jet together with conical studs and buttons. Nourishing the rich jewellery making history of the company, CW Sellors firmly believe in the importance of keeping the skills of stone cutting and jewellery making local, remaining faithful to the highest levels of quality. Our bespoke Whitby Jet handiwork invents a connective bond between local heritage and natural beauty for all to enjoy. Although the colour black has long been associated with mourning, particularly since the 1870’s when the production of the stone rapidly flourished as inspiration taken from Queen Victoria’s mourning Jewellery was copied within 200 manufacturing shops in the town, the stone has held onto a certain timeless allure over the years. Reaching its Zennith in popularity during the Victorian age after the death of Prince Albert however, the Whitby tides had changed and by the year of 1900 many of the 1,500 highly skilled gem cutters and jewellery crafters local to Whitby town had downed tools to work in other industries as the ebb and flow of fashion dramatically changed direction for a time, and the need for such powerful statements receded.
Formed from the fossilised monkey puzzle tree, Whitby Jet is a precious stone native to the British Isles. Found along a small stretch of beach in the coastal area of Whitby town, the finest quality of Jet is collected within a ten mile radius today where it is cleaned, polished and nurtured until it is transformed into a breathtaking piece of British heritage. The fossilised remains of trees which have rested under layers of sediments for millions of years under the sea are cut and polished into the wonderfully transformed products of instantly recognisable beauty that can be appreciated among our jewellery collections today. The deposits of the stone in England, particularly in Yorkshire are of the highest quality thus allowing our highly skilled workshop craftsmen to welcome visitors from around the world to marvel at our exhilarating creations. This beautiful soft opaque gemstone composed of carbonised wood may sound rather ordinary, yet when it is sculpted into both our traditional designs as well as favouring the more delicate of our creations, its mirror-like polish is simply intoxicating. Showcasing the finest examples of pure Whitby Jet gathered from local shores, we are proud to offer designs based on beautiful original Victorian pieces inspired from the large ostentatious items of jewellery desired by the ladies of that era to reflect their social standing and to complement their voluminous corseted dresses, to the more contemporary new-age inspirations.
Whitby Jet has continued to compliment C W Sellors’ traditional and antique ranges alongside a versatile selection of elegant, lighter and more modern pieces which have been combined with silver, a variety of gemstones or diamonds for a fresh and ultra sleek look. As an incredibly forgiving stone to work with, the material is sculpted into intricate designs for an antique-inspired appeal, or crafted into the company’s signature piece – the heart shaped necklace. The light, warm and incredibly tactile gem culminates the perfect contrast against the cold metal from the Sterling Silver that it is cast within and as the traditional craftsmanship of Whitby Jet has altered very little since the Victorian, Viking and Roman times, C W Sellors are able to fuse the art of jewellery making and the philosophy of gem formation to create truly stunning innovations, all of which embrace an expression of individuality and uniqueness. With ever-increasing interest in the formation, unique processes and breathtaking jewellery designs involved in the product it has now become a prized gemstone of its Victorian heyday. Presenting an exceptional and versatile range of prestigious, award winning Whitby Jet collections, our styles attract and entice any lover of independent gemstone jewellery manufacturing. Our handiwork and intricate detailing to these innovative designs seen throughout the whole of our jewellery collections, continue to inspire and captivate with modern designs that embed strong British culture and a desire to enjoy the simplistic pleasures in life.