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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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66957 news items

 
al.com
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:48:45 -0700

The ordeal began about 4 a.m. Sunday at the home of Rusty Moore, owner of Moore's Landing Seafood-Steaks at College Hills Plaza, said Jasper police Chief Connie Rowe. Police responded to a domestic violence call at the home on New Prospect Road.
 
Cincy Jungle
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Jasper Collins is in his second year in the league out of Division III Mount Union University. This is also the alma mater of Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon and Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III. Collins was actually rated as a ...
 
Joplin Globe
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:03:45 -0700

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, ...
 
Daily Journal Online
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:07:07 -0700

Survived by children, Delana Mortenson, Carlene Willis, Kelly Severs, Jasper C. Hampton Jr., Josh Hampton and Julie Hampton; nine grandchildren; one great grandson; two brothers, Rick Hampton and Jim Hampton; three sisters, Wanda Grubbs, Connie ...
 
WCTV
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:07:30 -0700

JASPER, Fla. -- 'Road Work Ahead' signs have taken over the downtown Jasper area. It's all part of a large project being done by the Florida Department of Transportation to improve the roads. According to FDOT, around 6,100 vehicles travel through ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:33:42 -0700

GIVEN HOW UNASSUMING his work is, it may seem a stretch to describe 54-year-old British designer Jasper Morrison as controversial. But his crusade to create and evangelize what he calls "super normal" design—unpretentious objects that do their job ...
 
WJCL News
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:33:45 -0700

A wooden board now covers the front window at the newest Jasper County Fire Department Office in Ridgeland. Someone broke into the new station, Saturday morning, “It really shocked me,” says Jasper County Fire Chief Wilbur Daley. Fire Chief Wilbur ...

Boise Weekly

Boise Weekly
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:46:16 -0700

Carrie Semmelroth and her border collie, Jasper, hiked up Table Rock pretty regularly. Sunday, July 20, was just another one of those hikes. At the end of it, on the way back to the car near the Bishop's House, Jasper ran over to a little stream to get ...
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