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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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CT Post
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:47:23 -0700

There's a mission, headed by Lowry and former UConn wide receiver Kashif Moore, to have a Jasper Howard monument in Rentschler Field by next fall's homecoming, which will mark five years since the cornerback was murdered during an on-campus ...
 
EE Times
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:33:20 -0700

PORTLAND, Ore. — Cadence Design Systems Inc., based in San Jose, Calif., intends to acquire Jasper Design Automation Inc. of Mountain View. for $170 million in cash, thus adding Jasper's highly regarded formal analysis toolkit -- verification apps ...
 
al.com (blog)
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:26:15 -0700

Westbound traffic will be detoured along Industrial Parkway north to Alabama 5 (Old U.S. 78), then west on Alabama 5 through Jasper, reentering the interstate at Exit 57. The detours must be used by drivers wanting to go west on I-22 at the Alabama 269 ...
 
Radio Iowa
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:48:45 -0700

The Jasper County Sheriff's Department suspects a father and son fight led to a mobile home fire Sunday in Newburg. Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Barnes and his 57-year-old father Walter Barnes reportedly had an altercation at the home Saturday evening.
 
MyFoxAL
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:33:41 -0700

Thirteen-year-old Gracie Abbott is already sorely missed at Maddox Middle School in Jasper. Abbott died Easter Sunday after she was injured in an ATV accident. She was riding the ATV with her cousins when it flipped and threw her off. The principal and ...
 
Bluffton Today
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:14:04 -0700

Beaufort County administrator Gary Kubic and Jasper County administrator Andy Fulghum will be speaking about the future of their respective counties at Friday's Forum Club meeting. “I think this will stir up a lot of interest for the people in Sun City ...

Dubois County Free Press

Dubois County Free Press
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 05:56:15 -0700

Jasper — The Jasper Economic Development Commission approved a tax abatement for the renovation of a portion of a 300,000 square foot building on 13th and Vine Street. Cash Waggner Enterprises applied for the $295,000 tax abatement through the ...

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Wall Street Journal (blog)
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:05:20 -0700

Jasper has raised $50 million in funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion for software that enables objects of all types—autos, baby pajamas, airplane engines and so on—to communicate in what has lately become known as the Internet of Things ...
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