Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Jasper


Etymology, History, and Formation of Jasper

  • The name 'jasper' means spotted or speckled stone and is derived from Old French and Latin.
  • The word 'jasper' can be traced back in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Greek, and Latin.
  • Green jasper was used to make bow drills in Mehrgarh between 4th and 5th millennium BC.
  • Jasper was a favorite gem in the ancient world.
  • Jasper forms through the deposition of silica-rich fluids in sedimentary environments.
  • It is often found in association with volcanic rocks.
  • The formation of jasper can take millions of years.
  • Jasper can be found worldwide, with notable deposits in countries like Russia, Germany, and the United States.

Types and Colors of Jasper

  • Jasper is an opaque rock of virtually any color.
  • Patterns arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns.
  • Jasper can be modified by the diffusion of minerals along discontinuities.
  • Weathering creates intensely colored superficial rinds.
  • Jasper varieties are named after geographic localities, descriptive features, or places of origin.
  • Common varieties include red jasper, picture jasper, and brecciated jasper.
  • Jasper can exhibit a wide range of colors, including red, brown, yellow, green, and blue.
  • The color of jasper is determined by the presence of impurities and mineral inclusions.
  • Some varieties of jasper are highly sought after by collectors and gem enthusiasts.

Historical Significance and Uses of Jasper

  • Jasper has been used for thousands of years for its aesthetic and symbolic value.
  • It has been used in jewelry, decorative objects, and religious artifacts.
  • Ancient civilizations believed that jasper had protective and healing properties.
  • Jasper was highly valued in ancient Egypt and Greece.
  • It is mentioned in various historical texts and religious scriptures.
  • Jasper is widely used in jewelry making, including beads, pendants, and cabochons.
  • It is also used for ornamental purposes, such as in vases, sculptures, and decorative tiles.
  • Jasper has been used in traditional medicine for its believed healing properties.
  • It is sometimes used as a material for carving and engraving.
  • Jasper is valued for its aesthetic appeal and is often used as a focal point in design.

Banded Iron Formations and Picture Jaspers

  • Jasper is the main component in the silica-rich parts of banded iron formations.
  • Banded iron formations indicate low amounts of dissolved oxygen in the water.
  • The red bands in banded iron formations are microcrystalline red chert, also called jasper.
  • Picture jaspers exhibit combinations of patterns resulting in scenes or images.
  • Patterns include banding, dendritic variations, and orbicular appearance.
  • Specific colors or patterns of picture jaspers are unique to their geographic region of origin.
  • Examples of picture jaspers include leopard skin jasper, liesegang jasper, and brecciated jasper.
  • Ynys Llanddwyn in Wales is known for its picture jaspers.

Basanite and Other Types of Touchstone

  • Basanite is a deep velvety-black variety of amorphous quartz.
  • Basanite was the touchstone of the ancients and used to test the purity of precious metal alloys.
  • Basanite, Lydian stone, and radiolarite are terms used to refer to several types of black, jasper-like rock.
  • These rocks are dense, fine-grained, and flinty/cherty in texture.
  • Different rock types have been used as touchstones, leading to confusion in this field of study.

Jasper Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

Read more

Jewelers of America

Acquisition of National Jeweler Jewelers of America acquired National Jeweler from Emerald Expositions in January 2015. The acquisition expanded Jewelers of America's reach and influence in the jew...

Read more

Jet (gemstone)

Origin and Properties of Jet Jet is a product of decomposition of wood from millions of years ago, commonly the wood of trees of the family Araucariaceae. Jet is found in two forms, hard and soft. ...

Read more