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JASPER: Mineral Factsheet and Information

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PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Of JASPER

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Varieties of QUARTZ


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QUARTZ (Jasper) BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Jasper is a cryptocrystalline variety of the mineral Quartz (SiO2). There are many named varieties of jasper. Quartz is the most abundant single mineral on earth. It makes up about 12% of the earth's crust, occurring in a wide variety of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

Quartz varieties are commonly separated into two groups based on the size of the individual grains or crystals; macrocrystalline quartz in which individual crystals are distinguishable with the naked eye, and cryptocrystalline quartz in which the individual crystals are too small to be easily distinguishable under the light microscope.

Some of the macrocrystalline quartz varieties are: Amethyst, Ametrine, Cat's-eye Quartz, Citrine, Phantom Quartz Crystal, Rock Crystal, Rose Quartz, Rutilated Quartz and Smoky Quartz.
Blue Aventurine Quartz and Green Aventurine Quartz are actually quartzites (a rock, not a mineral) composed essentially of interlocking macrocrystalline quartz grains with disseminated grains of other color imparting minerals.

The cryptocrystalline varieties of quartz may be separated into two types; fibrous and microgranular. Chalcedony is the general term applied to the fibrous cryptocrystalline varieties. Agate is an example of a fibrous cryptocystalline banded chalcedony variety of quartz. Carnelian, Chrysoprase and bloodstone are other chalcedony varieties.
Chert is the general term applied to the granular cryptocrystalline varieties of quartz, of which Jasper and flint are examples.

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JASPER GEOLOGIC OCCURRENCE AND DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES

Jasper Jewelry Jasper Jewelry: ocean jasper jewelry

Jasper is a variety of chert, which is the general term applied to granular cryptocrystalline quartz varieties. There are dozens of named varieties of jasper, usually based on the colors and/or the patterns in the jasper. It is thought to form by the replacement of calcareous rock by silica-rich solutions, also by direct marine precipitation of silica gel or organic silica. Jasper is commonly associated with interbedded hematite ore deposits of Precambrian age. It occurs as a petrifying agent in fossil wood and bone. Jasper's typical reddish brown color is due to hematite or goethite impurities.

Jasper is characterized by its occurance, hardness, fracture, specific gravity, refractive index and luster.

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HISTORICAL INFORMATION AND USES

Jasper has been used as gemstones and other ornamental objects for thousands of years.

In medieval times jasper was said to give the wearer, with God's help, the power to heal insanity and to heal those possessed by devils. In the fourth century, the wearing of green jasper was said to bring rain and to cure snake bites.
Jasper amulets were engraved with passages from the Book of the Dead by the ancient Egyptians to procure safe passage for the deceased in the realm of the dead.

Some of the earliest primitive stone tools (axes) fashioned by man's ancestors 2.5 million years ago in the Omo valley in Ethiopia, were made of quartz varieties such as jasper or chert. These materials were used because of their hardness and their isotropic brittleness which made it possible to shape the tools with relative ease.

The astrological sign of jasper is leo.
Jasper is an alternate birthstone for the month of January.

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METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Jasper Sphere: polychrome jasper sphere Jasper Sphere: ocean jasper sphere

Jasper is said to provide protection, and to have a calming effect, giving stability and security. Jasper is also said to balance one's physical, emotional and intelectual states.

Jasper is said to help treat disorders of the kidneys and stomach, and to help remove toxins from the body. It is said to strengthen the liver and bladder, and to provide relief from intestinal ailments.

For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.

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Last Updated: July 9, 2018
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