NOVEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER - All about Jasper
Many times, "Jasper" and "Agate" are used interchangably to define a stone, however, this could not be further from the truth.
Trditionally, Jasper is defined as "A dense, opaque, microcrystalline variety of Quartz (SiO2 Silicon Dioxide), which is usually red, brown or yellow and coloured by oxides of iron." MinDat.org A microcrystalline material is defined as a crystallized substance or rock which contains small crystals that are visible only through microscopic examination. Wikipedia
While Agate is defined as a fibrous cryptocrystalline variety of Quartz (SiO2 Silicon Dioxide). Cryptocrystalline is identified as a "rock texture which is so finely crystalline, being made up of such minute crystals, that its crystalline nature is only vaguely revealed even microscopically in thin section by transmitted polarized light." Wikipedia Agates can be semitransparent to opaque.
Where does Jasper come from?
Jaspers, in general, are common World wide. Jasper can be found in India, Brazil, and the USA among others. However, many varieties are limited to specific areas. For instance, Banded Jasper, more correctly identified as Riband Jasper is a type of banded Jasper found only in Arizona and Kansas, USA or Zebra Jasper, also called Brown Striped Jasper (not to be confused with Zebra Stone, a type of marble), which is a dark brown Jasper with tan to off white streaks, only found in India and South Africa. Mookaite Jasper, as you will later see is not really a Jasper at all, is only found in a specific area of Western Australia. There are many other Jaspers that are named specifially after the location in which they were found such as Biggs Jasper from Biggs, Oregon.
Jasper is an opaque stone (meaning you cannot see through it even when placed in front of a light source) in hues of Red, Yellow and Brown. Many Jaspers have orb like patterns (like Ocean Jasper) or banded (like Rainbow Jasper). The color of Jaspers come from iron oxide inclusions.
Various Types of Jasper
Biggs Jasper from Biggs, Oregon
Blood Jasper aka Bloodstone is one of those stones that is not even agreed upon by the geological community. Many say it is a dark green to greenish-blue Chalcedony with small red blood-like spots. Others say that Chalcedony is translucent while Jasper is opaque. So for our purposes, we will consider this a Jasper.
Brecciated Jasper-Brecciated Jasper is a type of Jasper that was broken geologically as it grew. These broken areas and veins were filled in with Quartz.
Bruneau Jasper aka Porcelain Jasper-Red, Brown and/or Cream in beautiful patterns and swirls.(Bruneau Canyon/River, Idaho)
Cave Creek Jasper - Bright Red Jasper from Maricopa Co., Arizona
Ocean Jasper aka Orbicular Jasper aka Ocean Agate is the name given to a highly silicified Rhyolite or tuff that has Quartz and Feldspar crystallized into a collection of needle-like crystals which radiate outwards in order to form circular orbs or spheres. Ocean Jasper is currently only located in Madagascar and the USA.
Leopardskin Jasper is a type of Orbicular Jasper. Normally tan to pink with dark brown to black circular orbs.
Ochoco Jasper - Ochoco Lake, Oregon
Owyhee Jasper - Owyhee River gorge (Malheur Co.), Oregon.
Picture Jasper- a tan colored Jasper with darker brown to black lines and swirls
Poppy Jasper is also a type of Orbicular Jasper. Normally, Poppy Jasper is red, orange or yellow with red circular orbs.
Rainbow Jasper is a type of banded (Riband) Jasper
Starry Jasper is Red Jasper with pyrite inclusions, which appear as tiny sparkling stars.
Stone Canyon Jasper which is a type of Brecciated Jasper from Stone Canyon, California.
Zebra Jasper-a dark brown Jasper with tan to off white streaks which is only found in India and South Africa.
Mookaite Jasper is not a Jasper or a Chalcedony at all! Mookaite is actually a local, unofficial name given to a type of silicified porcelainite found only in a specific geological formation (known as the Windalia Rediolarite) in Western Australia. While Mookaite can be incorrectly identified as either a Chirt, a Chalcedony or an Opalite, it seems that due to its geological make up the term Mookaite Jasper is widely accepted and a lot simpler!
Other Jaspers, like Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper, are named from the locality in which they are found (Morgan Hill, CA). Still others are named after the primary color of the Jasper such as Red Jasper, Yellow Jasper, or Brown Jasper.
Metaphysical Properties of Jasper
"Known as the 'Supreme Nurturer', Jasper sustains and supports during times of stress and unifies all aspects of life. this stone facilitates Shamanic journeys, dowsing, and dream recall. Providing protection, it absorbs negative energy, balances yin and yang, and aligns the physical, emotional, and mental bodies with the etheric realms.
Bringing the courage to get to grips with problems assertively, and encouraging honesty with oneself, Jasper imparts determination to all pursuits and supports during necessary conflict. this stone aids quick thinking, promotes organizational abilities and seeing projects through, and stimulates imagination, transforming thoughts into action." Judy Hall, The Encyclopedia of Crystals
Jaspers are an opaque mass of swirls, bands, and orbs located in a variety of places around the world. Jaspers help us to connect to Mother Earth, grounding, balancing and centering. Jaspers are an important tool to use in all aspects of spiritual growth. The variety and affordability of Jaspers make it easy to use them in all types of healing modalities, meditation, crystal grids, or altars to Mother Earth and the changing of the seasons. They are also fascinating to look at. I highly suggest having a few Jaspers in your collection. They work well alone or with other crystals.
Written by Kristi Huggins
Author and Project Manager for Healing Crystals
P.S. Shawn & Cynthia at Healing Crystals just adopted a dog this week and guess what they named him?.......Jasper :-)
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