JASPER, an opaque and colorful variety of chalcedony


  • VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline Quartz , SiO2
  • USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
  • COLOR: black and/or white
  • 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 to orange
  • Chrysoprase is green
  • Flint is generally black with a fibrous microscopic structure
  • Jasper is any colorful chalcedony
  • Onyx is black, white, or alternating black and white
  • Sard is yellow to brown
  • Sardonyx is banded, alternating sard and (usually white) onyx

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