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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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116142 news items

 
New York Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:48:45 -0700

A man who worked for nearly 30 years as a studio assistant to the artist Jasper Johns pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday to a charge of unlawfully transporting artworks stolen from his employer. Mr. Johns, whose work ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:12:38 -0700

A longtime assistant to Jasper Johns pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling 22 artworks he stole from the artist's Connecticut studio. The plea deal followed a separate case, earlier this year, in which another former collaborator of Mr. Johns pleaded ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700

Off-Island Dental has recently organized free, quarterly dental services for Bluffton Jasper Volunteers In Medicine to provide its patients in most need of dental services, and free services and procedures from extractions to cleanings. In order for ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

WSAV-TV
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 08:00:01 -0700

Three Lowcountry men were charged with unlawful trapping and killing of migratory birds at Mackay Point Plantation in Jasper County, according to United States Attorney Bill Nettles. William Martin, 59, of Yemassee, Keith Gebhardt, 54, of Yemassee, and ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:37:30 -0700

"I don't think that she should be serving on the board," according to Jasper County Council Chairwoman Barbara Clark, who is a former school board member. "She should have relinquished her position the moment she decided she was going to Beaufort ...
 
Joplin Globe
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:34:50 -0700

“Up front, we challenged the offensive line,” Jasper coach Rich Adkins said. “We told them that if we're going to win this game and move the ball, it's up to you guys. I think the front seven played tremendous tonight. And, of course, Levi, Jordan and ...

CBS Local

CBS Local
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:52:37 -0700

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Pleading guilty to a single charge, a former Jasper Johns assistant told a federal judge Wednesday that he transported works of art stolen from the pop artist's Connecticut studio over state lines. James Meyer, 52, of ...
 
14 News WFIE Evansville
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:54:46 -0700

The Jasper Police Department says another incident of a catalytic converter theft has been reported. Police say thieves stole a catalytic converter off a new truck on the Ruxer Ford Lincoln car lot in Jasper. The cost of the damage has not been released.
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