Jet beads can be used in antique and vintage style necklaces, and are also versatile enough to be used in modern designs. This organic material is a type of lignite coal, which is actually carbonized driftwood. Jet is usually warm to the touch and becomes electrically charged when rubbed with wool. Its name is derived from the old French jaiet, which came from the Latin word gagates after the River Gages, where it was first mined. It has a low to moderate hardness and is easily burned. It is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for large pieces of jewelry. Only clean jet with warm, soapy water.
Jet has historically been considered protective against illness, the evil eye and personal attacks. Jet is an important gemstone for the first chakra, thought to strengthen psychic awareness. England is the major source of jet, but other suppliers include Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the U.S.A.