Jasper

Fossil Wood Labradorite

Sources

Jasper is found worldwide.

Origin

Jasper (a type of chalcedony) is formed in veins or slabs when silica-rich solutions solidified in a variety of situations. It is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz – meaning it has individual crystals too small to be seen with a light microscope. It also occurs as a petrifying agent in fossilwood.

Composition

Silicon dioxide: SiO2 – plus other minerals, such as haematite and other iron-bearing minerals, which give the wide range of colours and patterns. Dendritic mineral inclusions can produce ‘vegetative’ growths.

Structure

Trigonal (Mohs scale 7)

Colour

Almost all colours appear in the full range of jaspers! Opaque jasper will take a very high polish.

Numerous types of jasper have been found and are mostly named after their appearance or their source, e.g. Picture, Red, Orbicular, Wild Horse, Wonder, Riband, Imperial, Brecciated etc.

Orbicular Jasper is named after the many ‘orbs’ or small spheres (from 1–10mm diam.) in its matrix which appear as circles on cut sections. It is sometimes referred to as Ocean Jasper as it is found in tidal areas on the Madagascan coast. Typically green, pale grey, pink/orange and sandy yellow.

Picture Jasper – is valued for its superb miniature ‘landscapes’ and range of colours. It is a petrified or silicated sample of fine mud which entered gas pockets in a molten lava flow, became super-heated, and then solidified.

Historically, panels of jasper have been used to richly adorn church interiors (superb examples can be seen in the Czech Republic and Russia).


Our View

Jasper is well suited to imaginative carving work, being relatively low in cost. The Chinese, especially, have appreciated its many colour and pattern variations and their enthusiasm has resulted in a huge explosion in the colours and shapes of jasper beads in the last few years. Much of this energy has come from a key supplier and friend of Crystals (UK). The Guangzhou (Canton) area excels in jasper animal carvings.

Crystals (UK) orbicular jasper is sourced from Madagascar and in challenging circumstances. Access to an important working is affected by tides and civil unrest further impedes the very limited supply of this beautiful stone. Our supplier cuts, shapes and polishes our jasper in the capital of Madagascar.

  • Month stones
  • January - Garnet also Ruby
  • February - Amethyst also Bloodstone
  • March - Aquamarine also Jade
  • April - Quartz also Opal
  • May - Rose Quartz also Agate
  • June - Pearl also Moonstone
  • July - Ruby also Carnelian
  • August - Peridot also Sardonyx
  • September - Iolite also Lapis Lazuli
  • October - Opal also Pink Tourmaline
  • November - Topaz also Citrine
  • December - Turquoise also Tanzanite
  • Zodiac Stones
  • Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) Amber, Carnelian, Garnet, Onyx, Smoky Quartz, Turquoise
  • Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) Aquamarine, Amethyst, Amber, Celestite, Fluorite, Labradorite
  • Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20) Moonstone, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Blue Lace Agate, Fluorite, Turquoise
  • Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) Ruby, Aventurine, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Garnet, Kunzite
  • Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) Azurite, Kyanite, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Rhodonite, Tigers Eye
  • Gemini (May 21-Jun 20) Chrysocolla, Citrine, Serpentine, Tourmalinated and Rutilated Quartz, Tiger's Eye
  • Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22) Moonstone, Pearl, Opal, Ruby, Moss Agate, Amber
  • Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22) Tiger's Eye, Ruby, Carnelian, Kunzite, Larimar, Rhodocrosite.
  • Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22) Peridot, Amazonite, Citrine, Garnet, Moonstone, Opal
  • Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22) Iolite, Opal, Kunzite, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Peridot
  • Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21) Topaz, Malachite, Charoite, Garnet, Obsidian
  • Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Turquoise, Amethyst, Labradorite, Sugilite, Topaz, Garnet
  • There are a few stones that are suitable for every Zodiac sign: Moldavite, Tourmaline, Clear Quartz and Herkimer Diamond.