This page is dedicated to providing detailed information about all the materials used in the manufacture of our Jewellery. There are also some important after care details listed in order to keep your jewellery in good condition and looking beautiful for a long time to come. Scroll down the screen or choose one of the following.
Jet is 180 million year old fossilized wood formed from a species of Araucaria (the monkey puzzle tree). It has been used in the manufacture of jewellery since Roman times. Jet is warm to the touch for a gemstone and when polished takes on an intense beautiful deep black lustre which never fades and gives it an alluring beauty which is unrivalled by any other gemstone. Jet has long been famed for mystical qualities and is commonly used as a stone of protection, It is famed in folk medicine for carrying wonderful healing properties, including pain relief for headaches and migraines and enhanced healing of traumatic injuries. It reached the height of its fame during the Victorian era where it was traditionally worn as a mourning stone used to alleviate grief and worn by Queen Victoria after the death of her husband. Today it is being used to make more modern pieces of jewellery and unusual gifts. Whitby Jet is renowned as being the best quality Jet in the world and all our Jewellery is made using only the finest Whitby Jet hand collected by ourselves from the rugged and stunning Whitby coast.
Although Jet is a tough material it lacks hardness, which makes it easy to carve but also easy to scratch or chip. The following guidelines should be followed to keep your Jet jewellery in superb condition. Do not let it come into contact with coins, keys or other hard metals. When not in use store it in a soft padded box on its own so it can't come into contact with other pieces of jewellery. It should only ever be cleaned with a very soft cloth.
Some items on the website contain Ivory. The elephant is a protected species and so we only use the Ivory from the long extinct wooly mammoth species. These fantastic creatures died out during the last ice age around 10,000 years ago. However the mystery and legend surrounding these creatures lives on and all of our Mammoth ivory is sourced from the Yakutia Republic of Russia. The frozen ground of this region just south of the Arctic Circle is known as the wooly mammoth graveyard. It has preserved the remains of tens of thousands maybe even millions of extinct Wooly Mammoths. During the summer months the frozen tundra thaws just enough to reveal these ancient treasures to those who know where to look.
Ivory is bone and as so should not be exposed to extreme temperature swings from hot to cold or vice versa. Keep the jewellery out of direct sunlight as this will prevent expansion which in some cases will cause the ivory to crack.
Ivory should also be kept dry and out of water. Exposure to water can result in swelling and warping and could damage your jewellery.
Ivory will dis-colour over time and develop a natural patina or coating. To keep your Ivory looking good try and avoid handling the ivory as much as possible. Oils from your fingers will speed up the dis-colouration. Cleaning the Ivory should be done with a soft dry cloth.
This truly amazing species of tree has the reputation of being the tallest tree on the planet. Some of them grow to over 100 meters high. That's taller than a 30 storey tower block. These trees have been around for Millenia and are truly astonishing as they can live for upto 4000 years. The American Redwood we use in our Jewellery is storm damaged pieces that have come down in high winds which we collect ourselves. These truly amazing trees are protected and rightly so. Please click the pictures below for more detail.
The Baltic Amber we use is fossilized tree resin dated to around 35 million years old. It has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Artifacts from the Neolithic age some 13,000 years ago have been found to date. Amber is also used as an ingredient in perfume and as a stone of protection, healing & cleansing in folk medicine. Due to it's electro-static properties it still has that mystery surrounding it as well as its natural beauty. People have always desired & worn amber jewellery. It's one of the oldest semi-precious materials used for human adorment and it was worn for many reasons such as for protection, for beauty, to signify tribal affiliation & frequently given as a gift with a personal meaning. Just as it is today. Amber can hold animal & plant material as inclusions.
Although Amber has survived for Millenia it can easily chip or scratch and as so care should be taken when handling it. Avoid it coming into contact with hard metallic objects such as coins or keys. Do not drop it onto hard surfaces and when not being worn keep it out of direct sunlight preferably in a soft padded box. Avoid it coming into contact with solvents of any type and never put it in an Ultrasonic to clean it. It should be cleaned with a soft cloth and luke warm water and if it's lustre is starting to fade the smallest drop of Olive oil applied to a soft polishing cloth will bring back its shine.
These long extinct creatures thrived in the warm shallow tropical seas and first appeared some 400 million years ago. The Ammonites faced several mass extinction events during their time and no less than 90% of their population were wiped out by one such event. None the less they made an astonishing recovery where numerous species evolved and survived between 240 - 65 million years ago, when finally they became extinct at around the same time as the dinosaurs. The majority of the Whitby Ammonites used in our Jewellery are dated to the Jurassic period some 180 million years ago. Inside their shells were a series of chambers which the sea creature filled with or expelled gases to adjust its depth and bouancy in the ocean. Few of the ammonites found around whitby exceed more than 9 inches in diameter. However larger ones are found in the later rocks of the cretaceous period and grew to over 6 feet in diameter.
A simple wipe with a damp soft cloth is all that is needed to keep your sliced and polished Ammonite looking beautiful.
Mother of Pearl which is also known as Nacre is an organic - inorganic composite material produced by marine mollusc's. It is deposited on the inside of pearl oyster and freshwater pearl mussel shells and of course Pearls themselves are made of Nacre. It is a very strong and resilient material and is sought after due to it's irridescent properties whereby it gives off a stunning array of colours when viewed at different angles. It has been used for hundreds of years as a decorative material and is still used today for inlays into jewellery, furntiure and musical instruments.
To keep your mother of pearl looking good it should be cleaned using mild soap and water with a soft cloth. Avoid storing it with jewellery which may scratch it, wearing away the luminous layers of nacre.
Abalone is a small to very large-sized edible sea snail which is of the marine gastropod mollusc family. They are farmed as far away as Australia and New Zealand and sold as a delicacy food item in some countries. The beautiful colour of the shell is very variable from species to species, and may reflect the animal's diet. The iridescent nacre that lines the inside of the shell varies in colour from silvery white, to pink, red and green-red, through to deep blues, greens and purples. The highly iridescent inner nacre layer of the shell of abalone has traditionally been used as a decorative item, in jewellery, buttons and as inlays in furniture and in musical instruments such as guitars, etc. It is a very popular item of jewellery in Australia and New Zealand.
A simple wipe with mild soapy water and a soft cloth is all that is needed to keep your Abalone jewellery looking beautiful. Try and apply perfume or hairspray before you put the jewellery on. This will prevent the spray from covering the abalone. The abalone can easily chip or break so take care not to handle it too roughly.