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What is Jet Crystal: Meaning, Healing Properties, and Practical Uses

What is Jet Crystal: Meaning, Healing Properties, and Practical Uses

What makes jet a gemstone with historical gravitas and contemporary charm? This article outlines jet stone's unique attributes and uses, from its formation millions of years ago to its role in modern healing and jewelry, addressing how it stands apart in the vast world of crystals and gemstones.

Key Takeaways

  • Jet crystal, an organic gemstone formed from fossilized wood, is valued for its lustre and metaphysical properties. There are several types of jet stone, including Whitby jet, soft jet, hard jet, and Acoma jet, each possessing unique characteristics and historical significance.

  • Jet boasts a range of metaphysical properties, such as absorbing negative energy, aiding in grief, boosting psychic abilities, and providing spiritual guidance. Due to its aesthetic appeal and ease of carving, it is also used in jewelry and ornamentation.

  • Proper maintenance of jet crystals is critical for their longevity and energetics, involving regular cleaning, charging, and pairing with other stones for enhanced effects and chakra balancing, notably aligning with the root and third eye chakras and sign of Capricorn.

Jet Crystal: Formation and Types

Jet specimen Photo By Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Imagine a dense, ancient forest. Over time, the trees fall and decay, gradually becoming engulfed and protected by layers of mud and sediment. As the eons pass, these remnants of ancient life are subjected to extreme pressure and heat, transforming them into the unique substance we know as jet stone. Primarily composed of carbon, jet crystal is an organic gemstone formed from fossilized wood millions of years ago under high-pressure conditions. This intense geological metamorphosis results in a jet black stone that is highly prized for its lustre and metaphysical properties.

There are several types of jet crystals, each with unique characteristics. The primary types include:

  • Whitby jet

  • Soft jet

  • Hard jet

  • Acoma jet

Let’s take a closer look at each of these fascinating forms of jet.

Whitby Jet

A Whitby Jet stone sample from the Whitby museum

Whitby jet is the product of a precise set of geological circumstances. This type of jet is formed from fossilized driftwood from the Toarcian Period of the Lower Jurassic, which dates back approximately 183 million years. The intense black coloration and lustre of Whitby jet result from the toxic conditions during its formation, which promoted bacterial and algal blooms. These organisms impregnated the wood, giving Whitby Jet its distinctive aesthetic appeal.

Whitby jet is found as distinct pieces, ranging in size from small fragments to entire tree trunks rather than in continuous seams like coal. This unique formation process and the stone’s magical properties made it highly esteemed in Roman Britain. It was used extensively in the creation of jewelry, amulets, and pendants and was an important export commodity.

Soft and Hard Jet

The conditions of their formation distinguish soft and hard jet. Soft jet forms as a result of carbon compression in fresh water, while hard jet forms in salt water. Both types of jet are formed through different processes. These two types of jet are similar in hardness, as indicated by their positions on the Mohs hardness scale. However, soft jet is prone to cracking when exposed to changes in temperature, making it slightly less durable than its hard counterpart.

These differences in formation and durability highlight the fascinating variety within the world of jet crystals. Each type of jet has its unique characteristics, making each stone a unique piece of geological history.

Acoma Jet

Acoma jet adds another layer to the diverse world of jet crystals. This distinct form of bituminous coal, used by the Navajo and Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, is found in various parts of the United States, setting it apart from European jet types like Whitby jet. The native tribes used Acoma jet in crafting jewelry and ornamenting weapons, attesting to its aesthetic appeal and workability.

What makes Acoma jet truly unique is its ability to become electrically charged when rubbed, a phenomenon known as the triboelectric property. This characteristic, akin to amber, sets Acoma jet apart from other types of jet and adds to its allure.

Jet Crystal Properties and Benefits

Illustration of jet crystal with metaphysical properties absorbing negative energies

The transformative power of jet crystal extends beyond its physical formation. This stone harbours significant metaphysical properties, including:

  • The ability to absorb negative energies

  • Providing spiritual guidance

  • Aiding in letting go and coping with grief

  • Enhancing psychic abilities

  • Providing energetic protection

Spanish jet encourages crystal enthusiasts to revere it for these qualities and more.

Jet crystal has several benefits, including:

  • Regulating life-force energies for rejuvenation

  • Drawing out unwanted energy, such as negative energy

  • Calming effect to alleviate fears and anxiety

  • Impacting emotional healing

  • Enhancing psychic abilities

  • Offering protection against negative energies and threats

  • Grounding the user and providing a stabilizing effect on their emotions.

Physical Properties

Jet stone tumble polished

Jet crystal’s physical properties are as intriguing as its metaphysical attributes. This stone has the following physical properties:

  • Intense black colour, which can appear brownish when cut thin or when it contains impurities

  • Feels warm to the touch with a waxy or greasy texture

  • When unpolished, jet has a dull sheen, but polishing can bring it to a bright lustre.

Jet crystal has a relatively soft composition, with a Mohs scale hardness of 2.5 to 4, influencing its ability to achieve a metallic sheen when polished. Chemically, jet is predominantly composed of about 75% carbon, with oxygen making up roughly 12% of its composition and sulphur and hydrogen constituting most of the balance. One of the characteristic methods to identify a jet stone involves heating the material with a red-hot needle, which releases a coal-like odour.

Metaphysical Properties

Jet crystals transcend their physical characteristics, boasting a range of powerful jet metaphysical properties. Some of its key properties include:

  • Calming effects that help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression

  • Support during emotional stress and grief

  • Grounding properties that aid in staying present and restoring lost balance and harmony in life

  • Cultivating courage, strength, and determination

These properties make jet crystal a valuable healing stone for personal growth and healing. It is often used alongside prayer beads for enhanced benefits.

Jet Beads

Jet is valued for its ability to:

  • Absorb negative energies and provide psychic protection

  • Cleanse, motivate, and promote positivity

  • Enhance psychic abilities and connect with clairsentience

  • Promote mental clarity, especially when placed on the third-eye chakra during meditation.

Moreover, jet supports hormonal balance, stabilizes mood swings, and helps individuals recover from traumatic physical and emotional injuries, assisting in breaking negative behavioural patterns.

Jet Crystal Jewelry and Ornamental Uses

Jet jewelry was popular during the Victorian era as mourning jewelry like this broach

Jet crystal’s allure extends beyond its formation and metaphysical properties. It has found a place in the world of fashion and decor. Its deep lustre, ease of polish, low specific gravity, and triboelectric properties make it a valued decorative item. Jet’s lightweight nature and ability to be easily carved or moulded have contributed to its popularity in jewelry and ornamentation.

Jet can be found in thin layers or as isolated nodules which can be cut into thin slabs or turned on a lathe for intricate designs. Its lightweight quality makes jet crystal particularly suitable for pendants and earrings, which are less prone to impact damage. Carved jet pieces, often used for pendants and brooches, highlight detailed imagery or patterns on their dark, lustrous surfaces.

Historical Use

Jet crystal has a long and storied history in human culture. It was commonly utilized in mourning jewelry during the Victorian era, providing comfort in times of grief and believed to offer protection in the afterlife. Across different civilizations, jet crystal’s uses have varied. For example, Vikings crafted it into rings and miniature animal sculptures, showcasing its broad historical appeal and versatility.

Jet has maintained a presence in fashion, valued for its sophisticated appearance. It is often combined with vibrant red gems like coral or ruby and formed into elegant items such as hairpins, rings, and intricately crafted beads. This rich history has established the jet as a coveted gemstone, treasured for both its physical beauty and symbolic significance.

Modern Applications

Jet Pendant Photo By Y. André - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Jet’s timeless appeal has ensured its place in modern fashion and design. The rise in the value of jet beads and antique jet jewelry in the ‘80s signalled its resurgence in contemporary fashion. Today, designers incorporate jet into modern jewelry lines, creating pieces that blend historical roots with current fashion trends.

Jet crystal has found its way into home decor beyond the realm of jewelry. It’s used in furniture inlays and ornamental carvings, showcasing its versatility and aesthetic appeal. Whether as a statement piece in a minimalist outfit or as an intricate carving in a home, jet continues to captivate with its deep lustre and intriguing origins.

How to Cleanse, Charge, and Care for Your Jet Crystal

Owning a piece of jet crystal is like owning a piece of Earth’s history. Proper care is essential to ensure its longevity and maintain its optimal energy. Make sure to clean your jet stone with a microfiber cloth after use to prevent the buildup of natural oils and dirt from direct handling. This will help maintain its appearance and quality.

It’s also important to cleanse and charge your jet crystal. This should be done initially upon receiving your crystal and continue to do so once or twice per month. This helps to maintain its optimal energy and enhances its metaphysical properties, ensuring your jet stone remains a powerful tool in your crystal healing practice.

Combining Jet Crystal with Other Stones

Illustration of combining jet crystal with other stones for spiritual growth

While jet crystal is powerful on its own, combining it with other stones can enhance its properties and provide additional benefits. For increased protection, jet can be paired with stones like Turquoise, Silver Leaf Jasper, and Sardonyx. It can also be combined with Amethyst, Black Obsidian, and Ammonite, among others.

Pairing jet crystal with Black Obsidian, for instance, is particularly beneficial for psychic protection and enhancing psychic abilities. Stones such as Hematite, when combined with jet crystal, are recommended for their grounding effects. Furthermore, inclusions like Amethyst and Labradorite, in combination with jet crystal, contribute to spiritual growth.

Chakra Balancing

Jet crystal’s grounding properties make it a potent ally in chakra balancing. It’s particularly effective in balancing the root (base) and third eye chakras. Its association with the root chakra helps stabilize one’s energy, facilitating a sense of security and physical well-being.

For the third eye chakra, jet stone is believed to enhance intuitive abilities, foster clarity of psychic visions, and promote insightful dreams. Beyond the root and third eye chakras, jet is said to benefit the earth star chakra and align with Capricorn’s natural affinity for earth-related attributes. In this context, the jet stone meaning is closely tied to its spiritual properties and chakra associations.

Crystal Pairings

Jet crystal pairs well with a range of other stones to create powerful combinations. Pairing jet with Black Amber can strengthen the connection between the root chakra and third eye chakras, enhancing meditation experiences. Combining jet stone with Amethyst brings energies of spirituality that are beneficial for deepening meditation practice and developing psychic abilities.

When combined with Black Obsidian, jet creates a shield for the aura against negativity, aiding in achieving psychic clarity. A combination of jet and Aventurine can alleviate stress, anxiety, and tension during meditative practices. Jet’s purification and healing properties are significantly enhanced when paired with Clear Quartz due to its ability to transform energy into a more positive vibration.

Jet Crystal in Astrology and Birthstone Significance

Illustration of jet crystal associated with the zodiac sign of Capricorn

Astrology often assigns gemstones to specific zodiac signs; jet crystal is no exception. It’s associated with the zodiac sign of Capricorn, which resonates with the pragmatic and disciplined nature of this earth sign. Traditionally, jet is considered a birthstone for those born under this sign, which corresponds to the month of January.

For individuals born in January under the sign of Capricorn, jet crystal may serve as a significant and potentially lucky birthstone. Its grounding properties and protective qualities align well with Capricorn’s affinity for stability and security, making it an ideal stone for individuals under this sign.

Crystals Commonly Confused with Jet

Obsidian is often mistaken for jet stone

Given its deep black colour and lustrous appearance, jet crystal is often confused with several other stones, such as:

  • Obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass, is shinier and harder than jet and forms from rapidly cooling lava, unlike jet, which is organic in origin.

  • Onyx, a banded variety of chalcedony, a mineral in the quartz family, is harder than jet and usually has a very smooth, polished surface.

  • Black Tourmaline, a mineral that is also black in colour, has a different crystal structure and is not organic like jet.

  • Shungite, a black stone that is believed to have healing properties, is not as lustrous as jet and has a different composition.

  • Black Amber, a fossilized tree resin, is not as shiny as jet and has a different origin.

It’s important to be able to distinguish jet crystal from these other stones to ensure that you are getting the right stone for your needs.

Black Tourmaline is also commonly confused for Jet

Black Tourmaline, known for its powerful protective and grounding properties, is a popular protective stone. It is harder than jet and has a more defined crystalline structure, often with striations along its length. Shungite, a rare carbon-rich stone known for its antioxidant properties, is similar in appearance to jet but is much harder and is renowned for its purported ability to purify water and shield against electromagnetic fields.

Black Amber, another stone often confused with jet, is a dark variety of amber, which is fossilized tree resin. It’s generally lighter than jet and can sometimes show a slight translucency when held up to the light. Distinguishing jet from these look-alikes often involves examining hardness, luster, and warmth to the touch, as jet is relatively soft, has a warm feel, and a matte luster compared to most of its mimics.


Jet crystal, a unique, organic gemstone formed from fossilized wood under high-pressure conditions, is truly a marvel of nature. Its intense black colour, lustrous shine, and unique metaphysical properties make it a prized possession in the world of crystals. From its historical significance in jewelry and ornaments to its modern applications in fashion and decor, jet crystal continues to captivate and inspire. Whether you’re drawn to its grounding energies, protective qualities, or simply its timeless beauty, jet crystal undoubtedly holds a special place in the realm of gemstones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the jet crystal used for?

Jet crystal is used to ground oneself and affect the root chakra. It is believed to help break negative behavioural patterns, bring good luck, and provide clarity during difficult times. Jet crystal is not a mineral but a mineraloid derived from wood under extreme pressure.

Is jet a real crystal?

No, jet is not a real crystal but is a type of lignite, the lowest rank of coal, and is a gemstone derived from wood under extreme pressure. It is not a mineral but rather a mineraloid.

How can I tell if my jet crystal is real?

You can perform the smudge test by making a mark on an unglazed ceramic tile or wet/dry paper. It is likely a real jet crystal if it leaves a brown streak.

How rare is jet stone?

Jet stone is considered to be rare due to the diminished supply caused by the outdated mining methods and dangerous collection techniques. This has made it a scarce gemstone.

What is the benefit of the jet stone?

The jet stone is believed to affect the root chakra, help with grounding, break negative patterns, and bring clarity to difficult situations. It is also considered a stone of good luck.

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