The Gemstone “Jasper”

After a long sabbatical from my gemstone blog, I am back to my research into gemstones.

 “Jasper” is a very interesting gemstone that I’ve just been introduce to.  Jewelry made from this is extra beautiful.
Being such a touchy stone to work with, it is amazing what craftsmen have done with it.

“Jasper” is a variety of quartz, but is put in it’s own category because of  the unique structure of veins and splotches.
The word jasper  is from the Greek language meaning “spotted stone”. In ancient times the word referred to green, transparent stones.

Modern jasper is very different today.  It is a dense stone with up to 20% inclusion (foreign material) that make up its color, streaks,blotches and grainy appearance.

This jasper is found in Egypt, Australia, Brazil, India, Canada, Russia, Uruguay, United States and still more countries…
It is not an easy stone to work with as it tends to crack along the layers of veins.
It is often called “blood jasper”  or “Bloodstone”  but I have just found out that “bloodstone” is a totally different gemstone,although the colors are much the same.

Jasper is found in a variety of colors. From yellow,brown or green blended to fine grained black and pink to light red and cloudy. There are at least 50 varieties, each having it’s own coloration.

Poppy Jasper

One of the most sought after types is “picture Jasper”. This gemstone actually comes out of the ground  with markings resembling trees or landscape scenes. At present “Biggs Jasper” is the most common source.  It is found in Oregon, USA.  You can visit Biggs Junction, Oregon and see picture junction being mined, with a little help you can pick some yourself.

Picture Jasper is petrified mud that has dripped into gas pockets of molten lava ( as the earth was formed) then solidifying  creating the unusual veined patterns.

In modern literature jasper is assigned to the planet Mars, in the Zodiac it belongs to Aries and it is also the state rock of Massachusetts USA.

In ancient times the stone was thought to bring rain.  It also was the protector against spiders and snakes. Even now there are as many positive powers given to the gemstone as there are varieties.


***A place for gemstones and jewelry making….***

**Research:  Online: wikipedia  Offline: “Colored Gemstones” by Antoinette Matlins and “Gemstones of the World” by Walter Shuman as well as information picked up at a marvelous little store here in Guelph. called “Harmony”

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