Jet Black: What is Jet Black?

“The breeze-tousled strands of her jet-black hair, shimmering and gleaming in the sunlight, whilst her dog bounced enthusiastically beside her, his coat shining like polished jet…”

If you’ve read a fair bit of fiction, you’ll have come across the phrase “jet black” occasionally, but many of us don’t know what this jet is!

What is Jet?

Jet is a  gemstone, which is also called lignite, or black amber. The name “Jet” is based on a place in Turkey, where deposits are found, although Jet can also be found in other places in the Middle East, Europe, India and the USA.


Jet usually has a deep black glittering appearance, although shades of dark brown jet also exist.

The gemstone is formed through millions of years of heat and pressure being subjected to wood. It’s a bit similar to the process of coal formation. In fact Jet *is* fossilized coal, and it’s chemical composition is therefore mostly of carbon.

Although today most of us are far more likely to buy jewellery decorated with other gemstones, black jet used to be a popular choice for rosaries used by monks, and in Victorian times jet-stone use was far more prevalent, even being used to decorate Queen Victoria’s famous black mourning attire.

Is the word Jet in the gemstone linked to Jet Planes or Jet Skis?

No. Jet planes or jet skis arises from the French word  for to throw, or to thrust: “jeter”. This describes the propulsion method (jet propulsion/ jet engines) which these forms of transportation use.

Spiritual Significance of Jet

Coal is famous for it’s use in purification, serving in water filters for this purpose. Likewise, Jet, which is chemically similar to coal, acts as an energy purifying, cleansing crystal. It thus is believed to help clear negative energies and crowded auras, which may be contributing to anything from a bad mood, to a physical illness.

It is also believed that Jet helps awaken the Kundalini energy, and is wonderful for grounding and for protection of your positive energies.


Thank you Orna for sharing the spiritual dimension of Jet for this article :)

Related Articles
See other articles in the Etymology category including:
- Cold Shoulder: Why do we say that we give the “Cold Shoulder” to someone?
- Gobbledygook: Why do we say something is gobbledygook?
- Honeymoon: Why do we call it a honeymoon?
- Pitch Black: Why do we say something is “pitch black”?

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6 Responses to Jet Black: What is Jet Black?

  1. Ana Canovas says:

    That’s interesting. I love jet :)

  2. Alberto says:

    Very good! I have been wondering about this for quite a while now. With thanks!

  3. Blackjack says:

    Aw, this was a really nice post. I would like to put stuff like this in writing taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article like this… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get one thing done. At least if I dont get to write about it, I get to read about such interesting things here!

  4. Jet Black says:

    Thanks for writing such nice things about my real
    Name. I am a very spiritual person so it is refreshing
    To hear the words positive and healing

  5. sero says:

    Great post I must say. Simple but yet interesting and engaging. Keep up a good work!

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