What is Jasper?
If you have asked the question, “what is jasper?”, then we have an answer for you. Jasper is an opaque and fine grained variety of Chalcedony. It is found in all colors including: red, brown, pink, yellow, green, grey/white and shades of blue and purple. It often contains organic material and mineral oxides which give it interesting patterns, bands and colors. Many of these patterns resemble landscapes with mountains and valleys, thus the name “picture” is part of the name of many well know jaspers.
Found worldwide, a wide variety of named jaspers is found in the western areas of the Unites States; California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Washington. It was a favorite gem in ancient times and is referenced in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian and Latin literature.
Although its term is now restricted to opaque quartz, the ancient iaspis was a stone of considerable translucency. The jasper of antiquity was in many cases distinctly green, for it is often compared with the emerald and other green objects. Jasper is referred to in the Niebelungenlied as being clear and green. Probably the jasper of the ancients included stones which would now be classed as chalcedony, and the emerald-like jasper may have been akin to the modern chrysoprase. The Hebrew word yushphah may have designated a green jasper. Flinders Petrie suggested that the odem, the first stone on the High Priest’s breastplate, was a red jasper, whilst tarshish, the tenth stone, may have been a yellow jasper
The Metaphysical Powers of Jasper:
Traditionally when worn as a decorative necklace jasper is known to combat exhaustion.
Jasper is protective. It can align all the chakras and balance yin yang energies, it is stabilizing and healing. Legend says that Jasper would drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. In the fourth century it was thought to bring about the rain.
As well, Jaspers of all kinds have long been attributed magical powers in just about every culture known to man. It was used in Ancient European times as a “rain bringer” and it is interesting to note that the word for jasper in some American Indian cultures also meant, “Rain Bringer”. It is a fairly common stone, and it is generally worn or carried to promote mental processes and to restrain dangerous desires or whims that may lead to hazardous situations.
Jasper needs direct contact with the skin, after each use, the stone should be cleaned under warm running water and recharged overnight in a bowl of tumbled hematite stones to be recharged.
General Information About Jasper:
Color: All colors, mostly striped or spotted
Chemical composition: SiO2 silicon dioxide
Crystal system: (Trigonal) microcrystalline aggregate
Hardness: 6.5 – 7 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 2.58 – 2.91
Refractive index: About 1.54
Color of streak: White, yellow, brown, red
Absorption spectrum: Cannot be evaluated