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For other uses, see Jasper (disambiguation).
Jasper outcrop, Bucegi Mountains, Romania

Jasper, a form of chalcedony,[1] is an opaque,[2] impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in color; and rarely blue. The common red color is due to iron(III) inclusions in what is basically a chert. The mineral breaks with a smooth surface and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is used for vases, seals, and snuff boxes. The specific gravity of jasper is typically 2.5 to 2.9.[3] Along with Heliotrope (bloodstone), jasper is one of the traditional birthstones for March. Jaspilite is a banded iron formation rock that often has distinctive bands of jasper.

Etymology and history[edit]

Moveable ring from 664 to 322 BC (Late Period). Green jasper and gold.[4] The Walters Art Museum
Goat-headed basket carved from red jasper. Russian, late 19th century, Kremlin Armoury

The name means "spotted or speckled stone", and is derived via Old French jaspre (variant of Anglo-Norman jaspe) and Latin iaspidem (nom. iaspis)) from Greek ἴασπις iaspis, (feminine noun)[5] from a Semitic language (cf. Hebrew יושפה yushphah, Akkadian yashupu).[6]

Green jasper was used to make bow drills in Mehrgarh between 4th and 5th millennium BC.[7] Jasper is known to have been a favorite gem in the ancient world; its name can be traced back in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Greek and Latin.[8] On Minoan Crete, jasper was carved to produce seals circa 1800 BC, as evidenced by archaeological recoveries at the palace of Knossos.[9]

Although the term jasper 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 to 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.[10] 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.[11]

Types[edit]

Jasper is an opaque rock of virtually any color stemming from the mineral content of the original sediments or ash. Patterns arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns in the original silica rich sediment or volcanic ash. Hydrothermal circulation is generally thought to be required in the formation of jasper.[citation needed]

Jasper can be modified by the diffusion of minerals along discontinuities providing the appearance of vegetative growth, i.e., dendritic. The original materials are often fractured and/or distorted, after deposition, into myriad beautiful patterns which are to be later filled with other colorful minerals. Weathering, with time, will create intensely colored superficial rinds.

The classification and naming of jasper presents a challenge.[12] Terms attributed to various well-defined materials includes the geographic locality where it is found, sometimes quite restricted such as "Bruneau" (a canyon) and "Lahontan" (a lake), rivers and even individual mountains, many are fanciful such as "Forest Fire" or "Rainbow", while others are descriptive such as "Autumn", "Porcelain" or "Dalmatian". A few are designated by the country of origin such as a Brown Egyptian or Red African leaving tremendous latitude as to what is called what.

Picture jaspers exhibit combinations of patterns (such as banding from flow or depositional patterns (from water or wind), dendritic or color variations) resulting in what appear to be scenes or images, on a cut section. Diffusion from a center produces a distinctive orbicular appearance, i.e., Leopard Skin Jasper, or linear banding from a fracture as seen in Leisegang Jasper. Healed, fragmented rock produces brecciated (broken) jasper. Examples of this can be seen at Llanddwyn Island in Wales.

The term basanite has occasionally been used to refer to a variety of jasper, for example a black flinty or cherty jasper found in several New England states of the USA. Such varieties of jasper are also informally known as Lydian stone or lydite and have been used as touchstones in testing the purity of precious metal alloys.[13]

Gallery[edit]

Varieties of jasper
Brecciated red jasper tumbled smooth, 1 in (2.5 cm) 
Brecciated yellow jasper, cut and oiled 
Dalmatian jasper, Pune, India 
Green jasper rough, Montjuïc, Barcelona 
Orbicular jasper, 5 cm (2.0 in), Madagascar 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Geological Survey, Chalcedony Site". www.USGS.gov. 
  2. ^ "Jasper". Mindat.org. 
  3. ^ Dietrich, R. V. (2005-05-23). "Jasper". GemRocks. Central Michigan University. 
  4. ^ "Finger Ring with a Representation of Ptah". The Walters Art Museum. 
  5. ^ "Strong's G2393-iaspis". Lexicon. Blue Letter Bible. 
  6. ^ "Jasper" at etymonline.com
  7. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004). A History of India. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-32920-5. 
  8. ^ "Jasper". Gem by Gem. International Colored Gemstone Association. 
  9. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (2008-04-14). "Knossos fieldnotes". The Modern Antiquarian. 
  10. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainFrederick William Rudler (1911). "Jasper". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  11. ^ Hastings's Dict. Bible, 1902, as cited in 1911 Britannica.
  12. ^ "World of Jaspers". Hans Gamma. 
  13. ^ "Mindat data for basanite". Mindat.org. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper — Please support Wikipedia.
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52751 news items

Tristatehomepage.com

Tristatehomepage.com
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Our media partner News Now Dubois County went to "Fifth Street School" in Jasper to see how they're handling the situation. The cafeteria staff tried boiling large pots of water this morning. Then, instead had parents send students to school with ...
 
Bluffton Today
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:18:45 -0700

Jasper County school board member Alina Hamilton-Clark, whose residency had recently come into question, has resigned effectively immediately, according to board chairwoman Berty Riley. In a letter Hamilton-Clark submitted to Riley on Thursday, ...
 
14 News WFIE Evansville
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:22:30 -0700

In the meantime, people who have Jasper water are still being advised to boil water that is being used for drinking and washing dishes. A boil order was issued Wednesday after higher than normal amounts of manganese were causing an adverse effect on ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:42:50 -0700

A Jasper County school board member -- whose eligibility to serve was questioned after she sent her son to a public school in Beaufort County -- has quit her post, effective immediately. Alina Hamilton-Clark's resignation Thursday came four days before ...
 
Daily Mountain Eagle
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 05:56:15 -0700

When a small hound-mix puppy was brought to the Jasper Animal Shelter suffering from mange and a broken leg, most people would have given up on the dog. But, new shelter manager Debra Nix said there was just something about the puppy named ...
 
Daily Mountain Eagle
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 05:56:15 -0700

On Friday afternoon, students at Memorial Park Elementary School participated in an upbeat assembly, aimed at implementing the Leader in Me initiative. The Leader in Me program is being used in school's throughout the country to equip students with the ...
 
Savannah Morning News
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:56:15 -0700

They will close Oct. 15 and the Allendale-Hampton-Jasper Regional Library branch managers judging the contest will announce the winner shortly after. “This year we wanted to get teenagers involved in the festival,” said Pratt Memorial Library branch ...
 
Timesonline.com
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:02:30 -0700

Jasper's Lights. Jason Holsapple | Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014 3:54 pm. I was checking the strands of lights for the Christmas tree to make sure that there were no burned out bulbs on them last year and Jasper was my helper.
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