1. Ocean Jasper an Orbicular Jasper
2. History of Ocean Jasper
3. More Ocean Jasper Facts
4. Article Photos
5. Ocean Jasper | Explore Our Collection
6. Read More
Ocean Jasper Variety of Orbicular Jasper
Ocean jasper is a rare variety of orbicular jasper which comes in a wide range of colours and with many different patterns. Orbicular jaspers are known for their distinctive spherical orb-like markings. Although orbicular jasper can be found in abundance in many locations worldwide, ocean jasper is unique to Madagascar and has only been found in a small number of locations on the entire island. Sadly all deposits are now depleted so there's little or no gem grade material left available to mine.
The wide variety of colours that can be seen in ocean jasper are the result of many different mineral inclusions. Red is caused by iron in the form of the mineral hematite, yellow or grey is the presence of clay and any brown in the stone tends to be caused by goethite. Although jasper generally tends to be opaque, ocean jasper can occasionally be very slightly translucent and when held up towards the light fascinating patterns and markings can often be seen.
History of Ocean Jasper
Although first discovered during the 1950's there was some uncertainty about the precise location where ocean jasper had been found. For that reason it was soon forgotten about until a picture appeared of a particularly striking stone in an encyclopedia of minerals. The source of ocean jasper was then re-discovered in a remote area on Madagascar's north west coast. The reason the deposit had remained hidden for so long was because it only became visible during low tide. Due to lack of access by road the area could initially only be reached by sea hence mining was carried out by hand because it wasn't possible to transport heavy lifting equipment or industrial machinery to the site.
Ocean jasper first emerged onto the world's stage at the International Gem and Mineral show in Tucson, Arizona in January 2000 but by 2006 the deposit on the north west coast of Madagascar was almost depleted.
Ocean jasper in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
A Few More Ocean Jasper Facts
In the metaphysical world of crystal healing ocean jasper is a stone for improving patience and understanding. It can be used for detoxifying, stress, insomnia and for bringing the entire body back into balance. A stone of serenity and fulfillment, it's the perfect stone for those who feel run down because of the pressures of work. The gentle nurturing energy of ocean jasper will bring a sense of calmness and soothing energy to the mind, body and spirit.
Ocean jasper grades 6½ to 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Sadly the really nice stones are becoming increasingly difficult to find because the deposits in Madagascar are now depleted of all gem grade material.
The photo at the top of our page was taken in London's Natural History Museum. The ocean jasper stones in our second photo are in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. Photos by Stone Mania ©