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Gemstones 250x250

The Gemstone Jasper

Tan and Cream Jasper

Jasper is an opaque variety of Chalcedony, and is usually associated with brown, yellow, or reddish colors, but may be used to describe other opaque colors of Chalcedony such as dark or mottled green, orange, and black. Jasper is almost always multicolored, with unique color patterns and habits.

Color

? White, Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Gray, Black, Banded, Multicolored

Hardness

? 6.5 - 7

Chemical Formula

? SiO2

Mineral Class

? Quartz (Chalcedony). See also the Jasper mineral page.

Additional Properties

Crystal System
? Hexagonal
Refractive Index
? 1.54 - 1.55
Double Refraction
? .009
Transparency
? Opaque
SG
? 2.63 - 2.65
Luster
? Vitreous
Cleavage ? Indiscernible

All About

The appeal of Jasper is its interesting color patterns and formations. Though it can be a solid color, it is most often mottled, spotted, ringed, or striped. Each Jasper has a unique color or pattern, lending this gemstone much variety. Jasper is an ancient gemstone, and is mentioned in the bible and other classical sources. Though fairly common and affordable today, Jasper in antiquity was regarded as a valuable stone.

Uses

? Jasper is generally an inexpensive gemstone when used in jewelry. It is cut and polished into cabochons, and used as beads for necklaces and bracelets. It is also carved into cameos which can be worn as pendants.

Varieties

?
Jasper has an over-abundance of variety names. Some variety names are generally used by collectors and dealers, but there are many made up by dealers to describe a locality or other habit. The varieties below are the well-known names or varieties that are commonly encountered. Seldom-used and localized trade names are not described here.

Treatments & Enhancements

? Most Jasper is natural and not treated or enhanced, although occasionally it is dyed.

Jasper Sources

? Jasper is common and found worldwide. Important deposits exist in India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Egypt, Madagascar, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay and the United States (Oregon, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, and Texas).

Similar Gemstones

? Jasper is distinguished from other Chalcedony varieties such as Agate and Carnelian by its opacity. The unique color patterns (combined with hardness) can distinguish Jasper from all other gemstones.

Jasper in the Rough Photos

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