Ocean Jasper Stone from Madagascar
Ocean Jasper Properties and Meaning
Ocean jasper is a rare variety of orbicular jasper which comes in a wide range of colours and with many different patterns. The spherical orb-like markings that are typical of this stone make it relatively easy to identify. Although orbicular jasper can be found in abundance in many locations worldwide, Ocean Jasper is unique to Madagascar and has only been found in two or three locations on the entire island. Sadly all deposits are now depleted so there's little or no gem grade material left 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 colouration in the stone tends to be caused by goethite. Although jasper generally tends to be opaque, Ocean Jasper can occassionally be very slightly translucent and when held up towards the light fascinating patterns and markings can often be seen.
History of Ocean Japser
Although first discovered during the 1950's there was some uncertainty about the precise location where Ocean Jasper had been found so it was quickly forgotten about until a picture appeared of a particularly striking specimen in an encyclopedia of minerals. The source of the stone was then re-discovered in a remote area on Madagascar's North West coast and the reason it 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 mine on the island's north west coast was almost depleted.
Ocean Jasper in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
More about Ocean Japser
In crystal healing Ocean Jasper is said to be beneficial for detoxifying, stress, patience, circulation, insomnia, eczema, colds and also for bringing the body into balance. This popular lapidary material grades 6½ to 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness which makes it quite easy to work with but sadly with it now being almost completely mined out, fine grade stones are becoming increasingly rare.
The photo at the top of our page was taken in London's Natural History Museum. The slabs in our second photo are in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Photos: Stone Mania ©
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