Jetting to Whitby

Course Overview:

Date: 8th to 9th  March 2019

Venue: Museum of Whitby Jet, Church Street, Whitby,N.Yorks

“Enjoy a fascinating insight into one of history’s most intriguing jewellery industries, the story of a gemstone which perfectly encapsulates an era dominated by social hierarchy, symbolism and death. From its humble beginnings as a seaside souvenir, to being worn by some of Europe’s most important and influential women, the fluctuating success of Whitby Jet is a compelling step back in time from ancient man, right up to present day”.

This short course will enable participants to:

  • Understand how Jet is formed;
  • Understand the history of the Jet trade;
  • Identify Jet from other common Victorian and modern Jet simulants;
  • Beachcomb for Jet;
  • Experience rough fashioning, shaping and polishing of Jet.

With any successful fashion trend, there inevitably develops an industry specialising in the manufacture of like-items, copies and imitations. Any jeweller, valuer or antique dealer will know what a minefield it can be when assessing a piece of black jewellery. Without an expert knowledge of the potential materials it could be, it can be very difficult to tell the difference. This enjoyable hand-on workshop is designed to equip everyone with some very useful identification methods that are both simple, practical and accurate.

Previous attendees have said,

"Amazingly jet has been used since ancient man to modern times for personal adornment in one form or another. It was particularly fascinating to learn what other materials have been used to imitate jet, especially in the height of its popularity. The beach combing was enjoyed with excitement in anticipation of the first find of jet.

"Jetting to Whitby was a really informative and worthwhile course enhanced by the enthusiasm, knowledge and working experience of Rebecca Tucker making it very enjoyable."

Monika Wingrove


"I have always been interested in jet. I am a pearl threader for many jewellers and antique dealers so I have worked with jet before. but I had been asked to identify what certain beads were and apart from French jet /black glass I was unsure on identification. The course taught me so much on that and to have the opportunity to handle so many variations and imitations and be tested on identification was great experience."

Helene Jackson




This short course will be of interest to valuers, retailers, designer makers and others with an interest and passion for beautiful British gemstones.

All participants will receive learning materials and handouts, and a catalogue of Jet prices.

Course Programme

Day 1

2 p.m. Welcome and Introduction

2.15 p.m. The History of Jet

3.15 p.m. Museum Tour

4.15 p.m. Refreshment Break

4.30 p.m. Tour of the Whitby Jet retail shops

7.30 p.m. Dinner, Albert’s Eatery at The Museum of Whitby Jet

Day 2

10 a.m. Beachcombing for Jet

12.30 p.m. Lunch

1.30 p.m. Identifying Jet and Simulants

3 p.m. Manufacturing Workshop

4.30 p.m. Close

Tutor Name and Biography

This short course will be delivered by Rebecca Tucker, jet worker and curator at the W.Hamond Museum of Whitby Jet.

Prior Knowledge and Experience

No previous knowledge or experience is required.




The workshop price is £249+ VAT for NAJ Members Non Members £349+ VAT

The price includes dinner on Day 1, lunch on Day 2, and refreshments throughout.

Participants will need to book their own accommodation for Friday 8th March. A list of accommodation close to the venue is available here


Marie Garnett

Phone: 020 7613 4445