Jasper Stone Properties, Meaning, Facts and Photos
1. What is Jasper?
2. Jasper Stone Trade Names
3. Meaning of Jasper
4 Jasper Healing Properties
5 Types of Jasper
6. Article Pictures
7. Shop Jasper
What is Jasper?
Jasper is a microcrystalline variety of the mineral chalcedony. Microcrystalline means its crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Although often referred to as a mineral some consider jasper to be a rock. This is because although made up primarily of quartz and/or chalcedony it often features impurities of other minerals and substances.
Impurities are the reason why jasper is opaque. They're also responsible for the different colours and markings.
The presence of iron oxides usually in the form of hematite turn jasper red. Impurities of clay cause a yellowish, white or grey colour and goethite introduces yellows and browns.
Impurities of chlorite will usually turn jasper green.
Jasper is known for its vibrant colour and patterns. Stones mostly exhibit more than one colour. They're rarely uniform and often overlap or merge into each other.
Whilst blue jasper is rare, shades of red yellow and brown are common. Stones can also exhibit many other colours.
The formation of jasper can begin when loose sediments become stuck together. This happens when groundwater containing silica that has seeped into sedimentary rock dries up. The silica then acts like glue and cements everything together.
The different sediments determine the colour of the stone. Patterns are often the result of the motion of natural forces that brought the sediment (or volcanic ash) together.
Jasper can also develop through the crystallisation of hot solutions in cracks of igneous rocks.
Well known for its variety of colours and markings, jasper is widely used for decorative purposes.
A relatively hard stone, jasper grades 6.5 to 7 on Mohs scale of hardness. Different varieties can be found in almost every country in the world.
Jasper Stone Trade Names
Many stones are given trade names to boost popularity and increase sales. Names often relate to a specific characteristic or the locality where the stone is found.
Dalmatian, leopardskin and zebra jasper all exhibit colour or markings similar to the respective animals.
Landscape, scenic and picture jasper which are all types of mudstone exhibit markings that resemble a landscape.
Mookaite from Western Australia is named after Mooka Creek. Red jasper whose colour comes from hematite is named for its brick-red colour.
There are hundreds of trade names but many including noreena, polychrome, poppy and imperial offer little or no clue as to the origins or characteristics of the stone.
The trade name 'jasper' is often used for rocks and minerals that contain no jasper at all. Kambaba and dalmatian 'jasper' are perfect examples.
The name is used because jasper is a well known material that occurs in a wide variety of colours and with many different markings.
This often causes a considerable amount of confusion for those trying to establish what the stone really is.
Meaning of Jasper?
The meaning of jasper varies across cultures and traditions. Throughout history is has been associated with strength, protection and grounding energy.
In many ancient civilizations jasper was used as a talisman to ward off dark and negative forces. It was also used for courage and determination.
Although known for thousands of years the stone referred to as 'jasper' by ancient writers such as Theophrastus [c.371-c.287 BC], Pliny the Elder [23-79 AD] and others is not believed to be the same stone as the jasper we know today.
The stone they referred to as 'iaspis' was mostly described as being translucent. Some wrote it may also be cloudy and was often associated with 'smaragdos'. Smaragdos is known today as emerald.
Although documented as being green, some writers including Pliny claimed 'iaspis' also occurred in blue, purple, pink and could even be colourless.
It's widely believed 'iaspis' was a generic name for translucent or transparent varieties of quartz that were not known by any other name.
There are indications that fluorite and even jade may also have been included in this group. This is because at this time it was common for rocks and minerals to be grouped together according to their colour.
The stone referred to as pink iaspis is likely to have been rose quartz. Blue would have been a type of chalcedony whilst green was probably chrysoprase. Stones with hues of brown were probably smoky quartz.
These varieties of jasper were all widely used as seals which has helped historians to identify them.
Jasper has been used as a carving material for thousands of years. It was particularly popular for use in jewellery.
There are references to jasper in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian and Latin literature.
In the Bible (Exodus 28.20) jasper is identified as one of the gemstones in the high priest breastplate. 'Iaspis' is said to have been the third stone in the fourth row of this biblical garment.
Jasper Healing Properties
Jasper is known as the supreme nurturer. It possesses exceptional grounding abilities so keeps you calm and level-headed even in the most difficult of situations.
It's a great companion for those who deal with stressful situations.
Jasper occurs in a kaleidoscope of colours. It’s widely used for its ability to soothe mind and body, to balance energy and to bring harmony and serenity into our lives.
It aligns with the root chakra so connects you to Earth's nurturing energies and instills a sense of stability and security.
Jasper acts like an anchor keeping you rooted in place and focussed on the present moment. When the root chakra is out of alignment it can feel as if you're being pulled in all directions.
Jasper increases strength and resilience so gives you courage when the world around you appears to be falling apart. In the face of challenges it's a guiding force. It encourages you to step away from a situation in order to take a third-party perspective.
From this vantage point you’ll be able to think clearly and can come to a decision that’s not influenced by personal emotions.
Jasper is a stone of transformation. It improves focus and clarity enabling you to shut out unwanted distractions. Over time you'll be able to slip easily into a deep state of concentration.
Using jasper during mindfulness or meditation is an opportunity for new ideas to flow. Your mind will become a blank canvas free from confusion and doubt.
Whilst embracing this time of deep inner peace you can prioritise your goals, set yourself targets and make wise, well-informed decisions.
The essence of jasper is to show you that with the right mindset the possibilities are endless. It ignites a flame of motivation within your soul. Jasper is fuel for your inner self that will propel you forward even in the face of obstacles.
Its nurturing energy will magnify your determination and serve as a constant reminder of your incredible potential and unwavering perseverance.
Many different types of jasper are used for their healing properties. Although the benefits of each variety varies slightly, they're all profoundly grounding.
They have an intense nurturing ability that brings comfort, reassurance and protection especially when times are tough.
The colours in jasper are not sensitive to UV light so stones can be placed outside on a sunny day. They can also be charged in the light of a full moon.
To avoid causing damage to jasper it should not be soaked in salt water.
Different Types of Jasper
- Landscape, Picture , Scenic (varieties of mudstone)
- Mookaite (Australian Jasper)
- Owyhee (type of picture jasper)
- Willow Creek
The jasper in the picture at the top of this article comes from Cave Creek, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Stan Celestian.
The red jasper veined with quartz in our second picture is on display in London's Natural History Museum. Photo by Stone Mania. Both photos are clickable and redirect to the original images.