Jasper

Jasper
Jasper

Jasper is yet again another form of Quartz. It is found all over the world and, like Agate, it is named for the location it is discovered in or the pattern it resembles most to the mind of the discoverer. Therefore, it is possible to have very close varieties of Jasper with different names as the discoverers were unaware that the form had already been spotted, and named, elsewhere. Some simple forms of this stone are named the same everywhere. Examples are the solid colours, Green Jasper, Red Jasper and so on. A distinctively coloured and patterned type of Spotted Jasper with a universal name is Bloodstone; an Opaque Dark Green base with Blood Red spots occurring throughout. Other commonly recognized varieties are Poppy Jasper, Leopard Skin Jasper, Banded Jasper (used in Cameos) and Brecciated Jasper.

Jasper is a Micro Crystalline Quartz, composed of Silicon Dioxide and coloured by a myriad of trace elements. It is opaque, fairly hard and chip resistant but the Banded varieties will sometimes separate at the layer interface when struck sharply. When polished, it exhibits a hard, glassy shine.

It is most commonly shaped into Beads, Cabochons and Carvings. and is an inexpensive material that will take long and hard wear in almost any application. It is very well suited as a ring stone for some men who use their jewellery roughly. In Ancient times, Jasper was carved into handles for tools and utensils, goblets and fancy tableware as well as Amulets and Jewellery. As labour costs rose, these customs were abandoned in favour of glass and synthetics.

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