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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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66719 news items

 
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press (blog)
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:04:47 -0700

In the depth chart released by the team Tuesday, in preparation for Sunday's regular-season opener at St. Louis, Robert Blanton is listed as the first-string strong safety and Jasper Brinkley as the first-string middle linebacker. Zimmer wouldn't ...
 
WBIW.com
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:02:48 -0700

(JASPER) - A Jasper man was arrested on several felony charges after police found meth and he fought with deputies. Leon Mehling was driving his scooter when deputies with the Dubois County Sheriff's Office pulled him over. Smelling alcohol, deputies ...
 
Beaumont Enterprise
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Princess Ali, as she prefers to be called, is an effervescent 9-year-old from Jasper who is obsessed with Disney princesses. Ali got her letters and her unofficial title after she was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease just after her eighth ...

Wall Street Journal

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 ...
 
Newton Daily News
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:03:52 -0700

The Victorian House display at the Jasper County Historical Museum is probably my favorite. I love the furniture and the incredible details and care that was given to its carvings and fashioning. The display is broken into three sections: the parlor ...
 
The Chattanoogan
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:57:18 -0700

Mortimer Craig Hampton, of Jasper, TN, passed away on Friday, August 29, 2014, at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. He was a retired member of the U S Army and National Guard, who had also served in the US Air Force. During his military ...
 
WSB Atlanta
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:53:44 -0700

A woman charged with killing a father in a drunk driving crash did not face a judge Monday because she is still in the hospital. The crash claimed the life of 38-year-old Jasper Collier on Sunday. Police said that at about 5 a.m., Collier was driving ...
 
Beaumont Enterprise
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 08:44:58 -0700

The Jasper Bulldogs (0-1) took Hardin-Jefferson (1-0) deep into the fourth quarter, but wound up on the wrong end of a 35-21 decision to the Hawks in the season opener for both teams. The game began as a high scoring affair, featured by a first half ...
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