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 for Jasper|
|Color||All Colors (except black), usually stippled or spotted, semitranslucent to opaque|
|Crystal Structure||Hexagonal, Microcrystalline|
|Hardness||6.5 to 7|
|Similar Stones||Other Chalcedony|
|Treatments||Dyeing and Heat Treatment|
|Country of origin||India, Russia, U.S., France and Germany|
|Ultrasonic Cleaning||Usually Safe|
|Steam Cleaning||Usually Safe|
|Warm Soapy Water||Safe|
|Chemical Attack||Easily Attacked|
|Heat Sensitivity||May Cause Color Change|