What are Jaspers?
Those who love earth tones and the vintage style, this stone is definitely for them. Jasper is a variety of silica that is known for its opaque appearance with stunning reddish-brown - which looks a lot like vibrant red clay soils - to yellowish brown hues. Adding up to the exciting tones of the stone are its inherent beautiful crystal habits and patterns, which make it even more attractive.
Called different other names aside from the one it has been very popular as, Jasper is sometimes referred to as Banded Jasper, Silex, Agate Jasper, Basanite, Scenic Jasper or Egyptian Jasper. This stone is one of the oldest stones in the history of mankind, and its story is as colorful as it can get. 10, 000 years ago, this stone was used by ancient people as a material to perform ancient ceremonies and rituals, as a weapon during war, and as a valued jewelry-making material. Although this stone is considered common in today’s generation, it was highly valued in the ancient times.
Classical sources, even including the Bible, prove Jasper’s value in the olden days. According to archaeological findings at the Knosses palace in Minoan Crete, Jasper used to be utilized as a material for producing seals in the year 1800 BC. This stone was also mentioned a few times in the Bible.It was said to be the twelfth or last jewel in the breastplate of the High Priest Aaron.
Derived from the Anglo-French word jaspre or jaspe which means “variegated or mottled”, Jasper was named after a word that defines its innate physical appearance.
Jasper Physical Properties
Due to its iron content, Jasper usually appears as red or reddish-brown. However, it can also be found in some other colors like black, green, white, orange, purple, gray, and rarely, blue. It can even sometimes be multicolored or two-toned.
Jasper belongs to the tectosilicate class, and it is characterized by a hexagonal crystal system. It is famously recognized for its beautiful opaque appearance, but the stone exhibits a slight translucency especially when tiny chips of bits of it are held up to the light. Its unique patterns and bands make the stone very appealing. These patterns - usually striped, ringed or spotted - are the effects brought about by the consolidation process from which Jasper is formed. Depending on the location where a Jasper specimen is formed, each pattern is unique from each other. When this special (patterned) feature goes with a nice polish that gives Jasper a vitreous luster, one would surely make a great deal for an additional jewelry or gem collection. It can also sometimes be in either greasy or dull luster.
Compared to other gemstones, Jasper is quite a durable stone with a hardness score of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. A high score means greater chance (for the stone) to withstand abrasions and impacts brought about by different external pressures and forces. When the stone breaks, Jasper exhibits a granular, uneven or conchoidal fracture.
Where can Jasper be found?
Unlike other gemstones which have very limited supply globally, you can find Jasper all over the world. Significant deposits of the stone are found in places including Portugal, India, South Africa, Madagascar, Uruguay, Australia, United States of America, Netherlands, Peru, China, Morocco and Russia to name a few.
Jewelry-Making : Jasper as a Gem
Because of its natural beauty, Jasper is widely used as an ornamentation; more specifically, a raw material in making designer jewelry pieces. It is loved not only by gem and jewelry professionals, but also even by hobbyists because of its availability, beauty and relative affordability.
This stone is usually cut and polished into cabochons, beads and loose stones for it to be used in making necklaces, bracelets and rings to name a few. Its durability also makes it suitable for making small carvings for office or households, and other ornamentations, that require meticulous cutting and detailing.
Because the stone in itself, with all its unique and dainty patterns of stripes, dots or blotches, is already a package of undeniable appeal, they can be assembled together in a cord (for a bracelet or necklace) even without other gemstones of different types or complementing colors. But of course, a perfect mix-and-match of this stone and other gems of different colors and types would also be as interesting!
As this stone usually has a vintage appeal to it brought about by its color and (commonly opaque) appearance, metallic straps, bezels or cords like gold, silver and bronze would add spice to the stone’s already enticing charm.
Jasper Stone : Meanings & Metaphysical Properties
Aside from the stone’s captivating beauty, Jasper is also loved by many jewelry and gem collectors and enthusiasts because of its many beneficial metaphysical & healing properties.
Nurturing stone. It is believed that Jasper is a nurturing stone. In fact, it has been called “supreme nurturer” by experts. It anchors its wearer in times of stress and keeps his/her focus and drive intact in order to bring him / her wholeness and tranquility. The stone protects its wearer and gets rid of negative energies that could bring about overthinking and worrying. Jasper’s relaxed and very ground energy is said to always bring comfort that keeps one’s balance.
Stone of gratitude & emotional healing. As Jasper relinquishes negative energies, it is said to make its wearer see the goodness in every little thing, situation and person, and makes him / her see these things as something he / she should be grateful for. Through this, someone wearing a Jasper stone, or who is using a tumbled Jasper stone in the office or at home, learns to forgive and heal from heartbreaks and situations that placed a burden in their hearts.
Overall, Jasper is a good and goodness stone that brings only the positive side of things and persons. It nourishes one’s self-worth and turns negative auras into positive ones - which is why it is called a nurturing stone. One could encounter several varieties of Jasper, but they significantly differ only on the level of the stones’ appearance. Their metaphysical values, however, do not change regardless of what variety they are.
How to properly take care of a Jasper stone
Jasper does not get scratched or bruised easily, but like a standard procedure in taking care of all gems - durable or not - as much as possible any jewelry made of Jasper stones should not be exposed from too much external impact. No matter how hard the stone is, if an external force is too much for it to handle, it eventually breaks.
Also, some Jasper stones undergo dyeing in order to make the stone look more vibrant and appealing. This type is relatively weaker compared to natural ones, so extra care should be given to it.
When choosing a Jasper stone for your jewelry-making needs, it is important to source them from legitimate stores who sell genuine specimens - or at least tell you if a sample is a knock-off or not.
At Gomggsale, we only give our customers gemstones and jewelry-making materials that are of the best and premium quality, so every penny is worth it.
Jasper is an impressive stone given its beauty, quality and (metaphysical) abilities. The stone may be much cheaper compared with other gemstones in the market, but this does not make its value any less.