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Jasper is a member of the chalcedony family of gemstones. The name is of Greek derivation meaning spotted stone. Throughout history it has been used for cylinder seals, intaglios, cameos and for amulets. Today we use jasper for ornamental objects, mosaics and cut in cabochons or as beads for jewelry.

Varieties are named by the appearance of the stone, the locality where it was mined or its composition. The names tend to change with fashion and are somewhat arbitrary. Some familiar varieties would be moukaite, picture or scenic jasper, ocean jasper and leopard jasper.

Gemological Information

Gemological Information for Jasper
Color All Colors (except black), usually stippled or spotted, semitranslucent to opaque
Crystal Structure Hexagonal, Microcrystalline
Refractive Index 1.54
Durability Good
Hardness 6.5 to 7
Similar Stones Other Chalcedony
Treatments Dyeing and Heat Treatment
Country of origin India, Russia, U.S., France and Germany
Jasper Care
Ultrasonic Cleaning Usually Safe
Steam Cleaning Usually Safe
Warm Soapy Water Safe
Chemical Attack Easily Attacked
Light Sensitivity None
Heat Sensitivity May Cause Color Change