If you have ever heard the term “jet black” in description of something that is of the darkest black imaginable, then you have heard of the mineraloid (or “minor gemstone”) “jet,” from which the term derives. Jet, also sometimes referred to as “black amber” or “black jewel,” is not actually a mineral. It is organic in origin. It is created when decayed wood (often from trees of the Araucariaceae family) is put under extreme pressure for millions of years. Jet is classified into 2 forms: soft and hard. Carbon compression and fresh water produce soft variety, and carbon compression and salt water produce the hard one. Interestingly, the final product commonly retains the shape of the original tree, branches and twigs and all. This mineraloid can be found in Germany, Spain, Turkey, China, Poland, France, Russia, India, Portugal and the US. However, England– specifically the coast of Whithy, Yorkshire– has historically produced the finest specimens. It is easily polished and made into jewelry. A set of jewelry dating back as far as 17,000 BC was found in Spain. It was particularly worn on occasions of mourning. Queen Victoria wore it in mourning during her reign. Valued and relatively popular for its modest appearance and somber color in the 19th century, it was also traditionally put into rosaries. Today, though, mourning jewelry is no longer something that is in demand, so it is neither particularly popular nor valuable. It has a Moh’s hardness of 2.5 to 4, so it is easily breakable, and a specific gravity of 1.3 to 1.34. It can come in either black or dark brown coloration.

On a metaphysical level, jet is said to provide protection for its wearer in the form of negative energy purification. It is believed to perform especially well when worn as a necklace or pendant set in silver. It must, however, be fully cleansed after each use in order to be able to work to its fullest potential the next time you need it. Since jet is also claimed to purify vibrations, it is also used for psychic work (clairvoyance, past life work). Jet is believed to give off a calming energy, so it has been used to assist those with depression or those in need of grieving (hence its traditional use as mourning jewelry). It may help to gently bring buried grief to the surface so that it can be alleviated and its owner can move on and experience inner growth. This mineraloid is associated with the root chakras, but it may also have the ability to purify and clear all of one’s chakras. Additionally, some claim that it seems to be a money attracting substance.

In crystal healing therapy, jet is used to aid those experiencing migraines, epilepsy, tumors, congestive heart failure, colds, stomach pains, menstrual cramps, lymphatic problems, male or female infertility, clinical depression, manic depression, bipolar disorder, kidney, liver, and glandular issues.