11/25/2014

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Jasper

Jasper is an opaque, microcrystalline, variety of quartz that is found in many colors. It is rare to find a solid colored jasper gemstone because most are infused with red and white stripes and spots.

The name "jasper" is of Greek origin meaning "spotted stone."

The stripes and spots are formed from a high concentration of foreign materials from other minerals.

There are more than fifty varieties of jasper with various colors and stripes but the most prized jasper gemstones have a combination of red and green patterns.

As precious gemstones, jasper has been worn as jewelry and used in other capacities for centuries.

Jasper is mentioned in the bible as one of the precious gemstones adorned to the breast plate of the high priest during the Exodus and it is also mentioned in other chapters of the bible.

In some ancient cultures, jasper was believed to protect its wearers from poisonous animal bites and was considered to have magical powers.

There are several varieties of jasper named for where it is found, it's color, and it's appearance.

  • Blood jasper: reddish color (also bloodstone)
  • Scenic jasper: iron oxidation that makes it look like a painted scene.
  • Hornstone: fine grained gray to reddish brown color.
  • Agate: yellowish brown or green blended (grown with agate)
  • Egyptian: yellow and red
  • Silex: yellow and brown with red stripes and spots
  • Zebra: black or brown with white, red, or brown stripes.
  • Moukaite: pink to light red
  • Multi-colored: different colors

Care must be taken due to it's delicate nature, but when cut and polished, jasper makes beautiful mosaics, jewelry, and other ornamental objects.

Jasper is found in a number of countries, most notably Egypt, South Africa, India, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, Uruguay, Australia, the USSR, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.

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