[Tidbits] Gaget...The Coal We Wear

Gaget…The Coal We Wear

It is a form of coal–lignite-- that easily takes to a high
polish. It was, at one time, thought to be Black Amber. The
Celts of Ancient Ireland fashioned complete rings out of it.
Prehistoric peoples throughout Europe used it. It was mined near
the River Gages in Lycia, in ancient Asia Minor. From the River
Gages we get the word Gaget–pronounced “gajet”–which ultimately
led to the word we use today: Jet.

Greek mythology speaks of seven amulets used by sailors in order
to ward off the furies of the elements. The last and seventh of
these amulets were supposedly made of Jet. Whatever vessel
carried this stone was offered great protection on the high
seas. Jet was also used–especially in mediaeval Spain–as a
talisman to ward off the evil eye.

Jet beads and charms were found in ancient English burial
mounds. It was popular in Victorian times and was worn to
indicate the grieving for a deceased or loved one. The finest Jet
is considered to come from Whitby, England…though most of you
won’t have to stray too far from home to find some…for in the
seams of most coal-bearing rock in the Wet Mountain Valley, in
southeast Colorado, Jet can be found with ease. Some pieces have
been found that were over a foot long.

Now then…there may be a few of you out there who not only
underestimate the power of Jet, but also think of it as an
inconsequential word to describe an insignificant stone. To you I
say pish-posh…and I cite the following as potent evidence. Jet
is the most frequently used word in the English language to
describe something that is beautifully dark. She who has
jet-black hair ain’t no slouch, let me tell you. Tennyson
described a lass’s locks as being Jet Black…and Shakespeare
referred to Jet as a jewel.

For the celestial minded…jet works well with Capricorns. It’s
tint blends in with the deeper shadows on Saturn. Folks, I have
no idea what that means…none at all…zero…but I pass on
this info for those out there wiser than I…of which there are
surely a multitude.

Oh why oh why then, many of you may ask, isn’t there more Jet
around? Heck…I might want to go to sea one day…I might want
to ensure I’m not pestered by the adversity of annoying
elements…I want a piece of Jet…if not in my pocket…then
surely around my neck. It is truly quite clear to anyone who
knows anything, that one can not have too many amulets around.
It’s a tough world out there…we all need all the protection we
can get. Well folks…the reason is quite simple…or perhaps not
so simple. What do I know? In any case, for the most part, Jet
has been replaced by Black Onyx, which is cheaper to get, and is
also a harder material. Will a Black Onyx amulet save you when
your ship is being tossed about like so much driftwood barely
afloat on the crest of an angry wave? I doubt it…but then
again…look how little you had to pay for it. Magic, my
friends, at least true magic and good magic…as that found in
well crafted amulets…is not cheap.

And so ends my tale of The Agate of the Ancients…as Jet is
sometimes referred to in inner circles, to which you now all
belong because I just voted you in. I hope you’ve all become
more enlightened as to the power of this stone…and I hope none
of you go to sea with at least one piece of Jet in your pocket. I
can’t believe there is anyone one out there who would even
dare…is there?

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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Hello Benjamin, Cool stuff as usual. Do you or anyone out there
know who in England produces jet jewellery for the V. and A. in
London? My wife saw some there last year and thought it was
beautiful. We would like to sell it in our store. I’ll bet
someone can help. Tom Arnold