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Jasper is an opaque, fine grained variety of chalcedony quartz. It is typically found in red, yellow, brown or green colors and is generally spotted with these colors. Its name comes from the Latin word for the gem, iaspis, meaning "spotted stone."

Jasper Polished
Jasper Classification
Common Name Jasper
Species Quartz
Jasper Optical Properties
Transparency Opaque
Dispersion Strength: None
Refractive Index 1.535-1.539
Birefringence 0.004
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
CCF Reaction Dyed blue: pinkish
Pleochroism None
Jasper Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Streak White, Yellow, Brown And Red
Specific Gravity 2.500-2.600 Typical:2.600
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Jasper is sometimes dyed often to look like lapis but will not have calcite or pyrite inclusions with higher luster. The stone will have a finely grained structure.
Luster Vitreous, Greasy
Stability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, Granular
Cleavage None
Jasper Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name silicon dioxide (aka silica)
Chemical Formula SiO2
Crystal System Trigonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Jasper Colors

  • Black Jasper Black
  • Yellow Jasper Yellow
  • White Jasper White
  • Red Jasper Red
  • Purple Jasper Purple
  • Orange Jasper Orange
  • Green Jasper Green
  • Gray Jasper Gray
  • Blue Jasper Blue

Alternate Names

Agate Jasper, Banded Jasper, Basanite, Egyptian Jasper, Hornstone, Nunkirchner Jasper, Scenic Jasper, Silex

Countries of Origin

United States of America (the); Unknown; Uruguay; China; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Mexico; South Africa; Madagascar; Australia; India


Jasper is an opaque, fine-grained variety of chalcedony quartz. Leopard skin jasper has circular-like patterns, red picture jasper will have you looking for the pictures in each stone, ocean jasper can take you on an imaginary journey to the bottom of the sea. Its name comes from the Latin word for the gem, iaspis, which means "spotted stone".

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More About Jasper

Historically, black jasper was said to help discern forgeries and pinpoint dishonesty. Some people believed that other colors of jasper had healing powers. Others state that jasper protects against the bites of snakes, scorpions, and other venomous creatures. There's no scientific evidence that jasper has any healing powers. We have a lot of evidence that it has the power to add something lovely to your jewelry collection.

Sisk Gemology Reference

Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.