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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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68681 news items

Guardian Liberty Voice

Guardian Liberty Voice
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Glacier Skywalk Jasper National Park The wild west of Canada has always been an attraction for nature lovers from all over the world and now Alberta has a new attraction to offer, the Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park. This new attraction just ...

Four States Homepage

Four States Homepage
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:52:30 -0700

CARTHAGE, MO.--- Over the past six weeks, Jasper County residents have been able to participate in absentee voting before the upcoming election on August 5th. James David Young says he has been actively voting since he was 18-years-old. Young is ...
 
ABC NEWS 4
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Woodward says SLED has nearly completed its review of the killing of 24-year-old Joseph Kilpatrick of Pineland in Jasper County. Woodward says SLED's report will be sent to the local prosecutor. Officials would not say how the evidence was lost ...
 
WTOK
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:52:30 -0700

After a long search, officials have found the body of a man who has been missing since July 26. Fifty-four-year-old Ricky Page was discovered Thursday dead in his vehicle off Highway 11 in Jasper County. Just south of the Clarke County line ...
 
Branford News
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:00:00 -0700

JasperJasper Fire Chief Bill Trinder has announced his retirement, effective Aug. 1, according to Jasper City Manager Charles Williams. Trinder was recognized for his service on Monday, July 14, at the regularly scheduled Jasper City Council meeting.

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:07:30 -0700

The first phase of his 4,000-acre Jasper Mountain development is coming along. The first phase's 98 lots are completely sold and half of the 100 lots in the second phase of the gated community have been bought or are under contract. Houses are going up ...
 
Joplin Globe
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:48:45 -0700

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Two incumbents are facing challengers and three candidates are vying for what will be an open county office in primary balloting Tuesday in Jasper County. Jim Lessy is seeking to oust John Bartosh, incumbent presiding county ...
 
WTOK
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:48:45 -0700

Jasper County, Miss. Officials in Jasper County say 54-year-old Ricky Page has been missing since Saturday. Page is described as a black male, 5' 10", 200 pounds, has green eyes and a long scar on his chest. Page was last seen July 26 around 7:30 a.m. ...
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