A Little More About Jasper

Yesterday’s blog entry got me thinking about jasper. I love the stone, but other than the fact that it’s a hard stone, I don’t know much about it. So, I decided I want to learn a little more about it. Let’s explore jasper together, shall we?

According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), there are four different types of jasper:

– Oceanic jasper (formed by organic sedimentation),

– Volcanic jasper (silicification of volcanic rocks),

– Pseudomorphous jasper (silicification after fossils),

– Chemical jasper (chemical precipitation from silicic solutions and gels)

(Definition: Silicification is the process in which organic matter becomes saturated with silica. Silica is a hard, colorless compound that occurs as the mineral quartz.)

Jasper is a form of chalcedony, which is an opaque variety of silica.

Because conditions can vary as the stone forms, jasper can show up in many different colors and patterns. Just in my jewelry collection alone I have red jasper, leopardskin jasper, picture jasper, autumn jasper, and brecciated jasper. I just checked one of my suppliers, and they list over 40 types of jasper! These variations are caused by foreign matter becoming involved with the stone’s development process. A very finely grained jasper stone can contain up to 20 percent foreign matter!

On the Mohs hardness scale, jasper ranges from 6.5 to 7, putting it on the slighter higher side of hardness for stones. (The Mohs scale runs from 1 to 10, 1 being softest, 10 being hardest.)

Jasper is a fairly common stone and can be found throughout the world. The places it is known to come from are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Russia, Uruguay and the United States. Because it is so common, it is quite affordable.

Jasper has been used since ancient times and there are even mentions of it in the Bible.

Here is a photo of a necklace featuring picture jasper nuggets and a pretty picture jasper focal stone:

What do you think? This is a chunky necklace with a little weight to it…a true statement piece! It can be found here: Picture Jasper Necklace

Do you have any jasper jewelry? What type of jasper is it? I would love to see a photo of it since there are so many different types of jasper out there.

Thanks for stopping by!


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