Talks & Education
Aimed at Key-Stage 2 students, schools are invited to book their visit to the Museum of Whitby Jet, where they can enjoy our comprehensive range of exhibits and displays. Students will also be given a talk with the museum curator Rebecca Tucker and a visual presentation about the history of the Whitby jet gemstone, which covers its gemmology, jet’s influence on Victorian fashion, its association with mourning, the symbolism of its designs and the lives of Whitby’s jet workers. Refreshments will be provided for every child, which includes juice and biscuits and children will get the opportunity to dress in traditional Victorian mourning dress. Children’s classes last approximately 1 hour. Please get in touch here to book or for more information.
Jetting To Whitby – 2 Day Course
Next Date TBC
In Association with the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), ‘Jetting to Whitby’ is a two-day course run once a year that is aimed at retailers, valuers, designer makers and people with a general interest and passion for jewellery and gemstones.
This short course will enable participants to:
* Understand how jet is formed;
* Learn about the history of the jet trade;
* Identify jet from other common Victorian and modern jet simulants;
* Beachcomb for jet;
* Experience rough fashioning, shaping and polishing of jet.
No prior knowledge or experience is required. All participants will receive learning materials, handouts, a catalogue of jet prices and a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.
Previous attendees have said:
"Amazingly jet has been used since ancient man to modern times for personal adornment in one form or another. It was particularly fascinating to learn what other materials have been used to imitate jet, especially in the height of its popularity. The beach combing was enjoyed with excitement in anticipation of the first find of jet."
"Jetting to Whitby was a really informative and worthwhile course enhanced by the enthusiasm, knowledge and working experience of Rebecca Tucker making it very enjoyable."
"I have always been interested in jet. I am a pearl threader for many jewellers and antique dealers so I have worked with jet before. but I had been asked to identify what certain beads were and apart from French jet /black glass I was unsure on identification. The course taught me so much on that and to have the opportunity to handle so many variations and imitations and be tested on identification was great experience."
Lectures & After Dinner Speaking
Whether you’re a small specialist group, a large luncheon club or anything in between, our museum curator Rebecca Tucker has been delivering her acclaimed talks about the history of Whitby jet for many years.
Each talk is accompanied by a visual presentation of high quality pictures, and a range of original antique Whitby jet examples that viewers are invited to look at and even handle at the end.
‘The History of Whitby Jet’ comprises a fascinating insight into one of history’s most intriguing jewellery industries. This is the story of a gemstone which perfectly encapsulates an era dominated by social hierarchy, symbolism and death. From its humble beginnings as a seaside souvenir, to being worn by some of Europe’s most important and influential women, the fluctuating success of Whitby jet is a compelling step back in time from ancient man, right up to present day.
For bookings or more information click here.
Rebecca Tucker Bio
Rebecca Tucker is an award winning jeweller and lapidary who studied her craft at Birmingham School of Jewellery, before joining prestigious manufacturers C.W Sellors Fine Jewellery, the leading representatives of British gemstones within the jewellery industry.
Rebecca relocated to the beautiful seaside town of Whitby, home to the company’s North Yorkshire brand W. Hamond, The Original Whitby Jet Shop, where her abilities at the bench we’re honed in on the ancient gemstone Whitby jet, producing core line jewellery as well as one-off, bespoke customer commissions and expert repair work.
From a young age, Rebecca has had a passion for antique jewellery, in particular Whitby jet. Her eager and dedicated research as well as her fortunate position within the heart of Whitby’s Jet industry has meant she has become a leading authority on the subject, a title which has seen her appear on various documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as a regular conference and after-dinner speaker and lecturer around the UK and USA. Rebecca has also written many articles for magazines, newspapers and online sources.
Her biggest achievement so far is as curator for the Museum of Whitby Jet, where her research, knowledge and passion has created the only dedicated museum of its kind, promoting education and recognition for one of history’s oldest and most unique gemstones.