JASPER, an opaque and colorful variety of chalcedony
- VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline
- USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
- COLOR: black and/or white
- HARDNESS: 7
- CLEAVAGE: none
- CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
- For natural Jasper mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists
Jasper is a colorful variety of
chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz).
The name "jasper" means "spotted or speckled stone." It is a fine-grained quartz whose crystals are
too small to see. Jasper may be the result of metamorphic processes on quartz
deposits, as the different colors often show flow patterns.
Picture jasper is a variety whose scenes (a human interpretation of the patterns
resulting from multiple colors preserved in the specimen) are appealing, often
reminiscent of sunsets or distant mountains.
Jasper is only one of several
chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties.
The primary varieties are as follows:
- Agate is a banded variety
(sometimes with translucent bands)
- Bloodstone is
green with red speckles
- Carnelian is yellow
- Chrysoprase is
- Flint is generally black
with a fibrous microscopic structure
- Jasper is any colorful
- Onyx is black, white, or
alternating black and white
- Sard is yellow to brown
- Sardonyx is banded,
alternating sard and (usually white) onyx