Jasper

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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 1.532-1.539
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, Dull, Waxy, Greasy
Fracture Conchoidal, Granular, Uneven
Cleavage None
Jasper Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name silicon dioxide (aka silica)
Chemical Formula SiO2
Crystal System Trigonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Jasper Colors

  • Bi-color Jasper Bi-color
  • Yellow Jasper Yellow
  • White Jasper White
  • Red Jasper Red
  • Purple Jasper Purple
  • Orange Jasper Orange
  • Green Jasper Green
  • Gray Jasper Gray
  • Blue Jasper Blue
  • Black Jasper Black
  • Multi-color Jasper Multi-color

Alternate Names

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

Countries of Origin

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

History

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".

Care

Normal care unless dyed in which case avoid heat, harsh chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners.

Related Videos

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.

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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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Species/Variety

Kambaba Jasper or Kambaba Stone

Kambaba jasper is not a true jasper and should be called "Kabamba stone". This material comes from Madagascar and It is often reported to contain fossil stromatolites, but this is not true. It is a volcanic rock made up of a green quartz, aegirine, potassium feldspar and black amphibole that creates the orbicular and swirling patterns.

Kambaba Jasper or Kambaba Stone Jasper
Kambaba Jasper or Kambaba Stone Classification
Common Name Kambaba Jasper or Kambaba Stone
Kambaba Jasper or Kambaba Stone Characteristic Physical properties
Toughness Good
Stability Good

Bloodstone

Bloodstone, once known as heliotrope, comes from Australia, Brazil, India, and the United States. It has a dark green body color caused by small particles of chlorite, speckled with red iron oxide inclusions. It has been used as signet rings and decorative objects since ancient times and remains popular today.

Bloodstone Jasper
Bloodstone Classification
Common Name Bloodstone
Bloodstone Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Red iron oxide
Stability Good

Porcelain Jasper

Porcelain jasper, which is also known as exotica, santefe or scifi jasper comes from the area around Sonora, Mexico. The stone has a cream or white background with gray, mauve, maroon and plum colors creating unique patterns.

Porcelain Jasper Jasper
Porcelain Jasper Classification
Common Name Porcelain Jasper
Porcelain Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Sometimes shows iron staining
Stability Good

Brecciated Jasper

Brecciated jaspers are often found in earthquake prone locations. The stone shows cracks that were formed during tectonic movements and then became re-cemented back together.

Brecciated Jasper Jasper
Brecciated Jasper Classification
Common Name Brecciated Jasper
Brecciated Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Agate in cemented cracks
Stability Good

Orbicular Jasper

Orbicular jaspers contain rounded zones or concentric circular rings that differ from the main body color. Many orbicular jaspers sold in the market are actually agate or rhyolite.

Orbicular Jasper Jasper
Orbicular Jasper Classification
Common Name Orbicular Jasper
Orbicular Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Stability Good

Ocean Jasper

Ocean jasper is a variety of orbicular jasper. Most ocean jaspers are agate which is the translucent variety of chalcedony. The best ocean jasper comes from Madagascar where it gets its name from the beach location where it is found.

Ocean Jasper Jasper
Ocean Jasper Classification
Common Name Ocean Jasper
Ocean Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Stability Good

Poppy or Flower Jasper

Poppy or flower jasper is a type of orbicular jasper that gets its name from the red rings that look like a poppy flower. Some varieties are mustard in color and looks like a mustard yellow ocean jasper. Some flower jaspers are actually rhyolite.

Poppy or Flower Jasper Jasper
Poppy or Flower Jasper Classification
Common Name Poppy or Flower Jasper
Poppy or Flower Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Flower shaped orbs sometimes with a different colored core
Stability Good

Scenic or Picture Jasper

Scenic or picture jasper gets its name from the patterns that are reminiscent of landscapes paintings. Most come in earth tones, but other colors are possible. Some of the best known varieties are sunset, rocky butte, Biggs, Deschutes, Wild Horse Canyon, Royal Sahara, and Owyhee Jaspers.

Scenic or Picture Jasper Jasper
Scenic or Picture Jasper Classification
Common Name Scenic or Picture Jasper
Scenic or Picture Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Stability Good

Leopard or Leopard Skin Jasper

Leopard or leopard skin jasper is a variety of rhyolite and not a true jasper and comes from Mexico. It is tan with green, red, and zones resembling leopard spots.

Leopard or Leopard Skin Jasper Jasper
Leopard or Leopard Skin Jasper Classification
Common Name Leopard or Leopard Skin Jasper
Leopard or Leopard Skin Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Toughness Good
Stability Good

Rainforest Jasper

Rainforest jasper is a variety of rhyolite lava found in Mt Hay, in Central Queensland, Australia. It is green or brownish in color with red and cream zones. When the lava cooled gas bubbles became trapped in the material. Later agate, quartz or opal filled the voids.

Rainforest Jasper Jasper
Rainforest Jasper Classification
Common Name Rainforest Jasper
Rainforest Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Toughness Good
Stability Good

Basanite

Basanite is a black, glassy variety of jasper also known as touchstone. It is used by jewelers to test the streak of precious-metal alloys.

Basanite Jasper
Basanite Classification
Common Name Basanite
Basanite Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Stability Good

Fossil Jasper

Fossilized jasper is sometimes better known as “petrified” material. Bone, coral, fern, shell, and wood can be replaced by silica and preserves the structure of the original material.

Fossil Jasper Jasper
Fossil Jasper Classification
Common Name Fossil Jasper
Fossil Jasper Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.55
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Structure of the bone, coral, wood, or palm of the original material
Stability Good
Tim Matthews

Author

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.