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Jasper Stone, Properties, Meaning, Facts and Photos

Contents

1. What is Jasper?
2. Jasper Stone Trade Names
3. Meaning of Jasper
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 the stone's 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 primarily of quartz and/or chalcedony, it often features impurities of other minerals and substances.

Impurities are the reason why Jasper stones are opaque.  They're also responsible for the different colours and markings.

The presence of iron oxides, usually in the form of hematite, turns Jasper red.  Impurities of clay cause a yellowish, white or grey colour and goethite introduces yellows and browns.  Chlorite usually turns Jasper green.

Jasper stones are known for their vibrant colours and patterns.  They commonly exhibit more than one colour.  Colours are rarely uniform and often overlap or merge.

While blue Jasper is rare, shades of red, yellow and brown are common.  Stones can also exhibit many other colours. 

The formation of Jasper often begins when loose sediments become stuck together.  This happens when groundwater containing silica that seeped into sedimentary rock, dries up.  The silica then acts like glue and binds everything together.

The different sediments determine the final 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 various colours and markings, Jasper is widely used for decorative purposes and its healing properties. 

Jasper is a relatively hard stone that grades 6.5 to 7 on the 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 material is found.

Dalmatian, Leopardskin, and Zebra Jasper all exhibit colours or markings similar to animals.

Landscape, Scenic and Picture Jasper, which are all types of mudstone, exhibit markings that resemble landscapes.

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 to the stone's origins or characteristics.

The trade name 'Jasper' is often used for rocks and minerals that contain no Jasper.  Kambaba and Dalmatian 'Jasper' are two examples. 

The name 'Jasper' is used because it's a well-known material that occurs in a wide variety of colours and with many different markings. 

Trade names often cause considerable confusion for those trying to establish the chemical composition of a stone. 

red jasper stone in a museum display cabinet

Meaning of Jasper?

The meaning of Jasper varies across cultures and traditions.  Throughout history, it has been associated with strength, protection and grounding energy.

In many ancient civilisations, 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 like 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 translucent.  Some wrote it may also be cloudy and was often associated with 'smaragdos'.  Smaragdos is known today as emerald.

Although documented as green, some writers including Pliny claimed 'iaspis' also occurred in blue, purple and pink and could even be colourless.

It's widely believed 'iaspis' was a generic name for translucent or transparent varieties of quartz not known by any other name.

There are indications the mineral 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 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 may have been smoky quartz.

These minerals were all used widely as seals, which has helped historians identify them.

Jasper has been used as a carving material for thousands of years.  It was particularly popular in jewellery.

There are references to Jasper stones 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 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, balance energy and bring harmony and serenity into our lives.

It aligns with the root chakra, connecting you to Earth's nurturing energies and instilling a sense of stability and security.

Jasper is like an anchor that keeps you rooted in place and focused 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 giving you courage when the world around you seems to be falling apart.  In the face of challenges, it's a guiding force. It encourages you to step away from a situation to take a third-party perspective.

From this vantage point, you’ll be able to think clearly and make 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 allows 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 your own targets and make wise, well-informed decisions.

The essence of Jasper is to show that with the right mindset, the possibilities are endless.  This stone 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 vary slightly, they're all profoundly grounding.

They have an intense nurturing ability that brings comfort, reassurance and protection, especially during tough times.

The colours in Jasper are not sensitive to UV light so stones can be charged outside on a sunny day.

To avoid damaging Jasper, it should not be soaked in salt water.  

Different Types of Jasper

      • Biggs
      • Brecciated
      • Bruneau
      • Bumblebee
      • Florence
      • Green
      • Kambaba
      • Landscape, Picture, Scenic (types of mudstone)
      • Leopardskin
      • Morrisonite
      • Mookaite (Australian Jasper)
      • Noreena
      • Ocean
      • Orbicular
      • Owyhee (type of picture Jasper)
      • Polychrome
      • Rainforest
      • Snakeskin
      • Willow Creek
      • Yellow 
      • Zebra

Article Pictures

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 displayed in London's Natural History Museum.  Photo by Stone Mania.  Both photos are clickable and redirect to the original image.

Pop-up images courtesy of Stan Celestian (hematite), Amir Akhavan (Bumblebee Jasper), Steve (Singingstone48) (fluorite and chrysoprase).

The Kambaba Jasper and Mookaite are from our collection. 

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