Taking Whitby heritage stateside

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The history and heritage of Whitby Jet was taken to the worldwide stage recently at a conference in America.

Christopher Sellors from C.W Sellors and Rebecca Tucker from W. Hamond were representing British gemstones at the 2014 Gem Lover’s Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Guests enjoyed three days of talks, classes, and activities only available from a group of the world’s leading experts in the gemmological and jewellery industry. 

Rebecca gave five classes explaining in detail the history, geology and importance of Whitby Jet and Derbyshire Blue John.

She said: “I wanted to put across to people just how important these gemstones are to our British history, not just on an industrial level, but socially as well.

“Whitby Jet has been the craft of Yorkshires finest artisans for generations, and some of the Blue John ornaments made in the 18th century are now hugely important pieces of our creative history.”

Chris and Rebecca gave customers the chance to purchase some of Britain’s natural treasures setting up a small shop.

Rebecca added: “It was great to be able to share my knowledge with such an interested audience.

“A lot of the people there hadn’t even heard of one or both of the gemstones, so showing them some of the pieces in our shop was a delight.

“Gemstone collectors just couldn’t believe the lightness in weight of the Whitby Jet, or the unusual colour banding of the Blue John.

“It’s touching and holding the gems that makes it interesting, there’s only so much you can get from the pictures in a book.”