Jasper gemstone

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Physical properties of jasper

Hardness: 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glassy, waxy
Transparency: opaque
Color: all colors, multicolor

Characteristics of jasper

Jasper (aspis, agate jasper, meat agate, heliotrope, landscape jasper, blood jasper, basanite, tiger stone, German lapis, Swiss lapis, prase) is one of the most common gemstones. Moreover, jasper has been known to mankind since ancient times, and is considered almost the very first stone that people began to use as an ornament.

Jasper. Gemstone. Varieties of jasper

In ancient times, transparent chalcedony, usually green in color, was called jasper. Now jasper is a whole class of gems, and each has its own unique name. There is agate jasper (or jasper agate), although in fact this stone is not very similar to agate. Black jasper, which is mined in the United States, is named basanite. A separate name was given to green jasper - prazem. And if there are reddish inclusions in the stone, it is meat agate (or bloody jasper or heliotrope). There is also German or Swiss lapis - this is jasper with admixtures of Prussian blue. There are also so-called landscape jaspers, so named because of the specific pattern. There are brocade and variegated jasper, whose names clearly indicate the specific color of the stones.

Yes, and jasper itself is rich in various names. Its name is a precious stone for the variety of colors, as translated from Greek yashama means "motley". In Russia, jasper was nicknamed "tiger stone" due to the characteristic stripes and stains on the stone.

But that's not all. Sometimes jaspers are named by color (red jasper or purple), by a specific color (speckled jasper, ribbon, striped), or even figurative comparisons are used (brick jasper, or porcelain), not to mention those stones that are worn in named geographical details - the places of extraction of these same stones.

Known varieties of jasper gemstone:

  • agate jasper (jasper agate)
  • Egyptian jasper
  • ribbon jasper
  • basanite - jasper-like volcanic rock
  • blood jasper - jasper with inclusions of red color
  • meat agate - dark red jasper
  • landscape jasper - jasper with a landscape pattern
  • nunkirchen jasper - grayish brown jasper
  • plasma - dark green jasper
  • silex - jasper with red and brown spots
  • irnimit - jasper with blue and blue veins
  • German (Swiss) lapis - jasper dyed with Prussian blue, often used as an imitation of lapis lazuli

Such an abundance of species is evidence of the very rich and varied coloring of jasper gemstones. It is clear that this led to the most varied use of jasper. All kinds of jewelry, talismans, amulets, vases, church utensils, countertops, fireplaces, up to columns for temples were made from this precious stone.

Stone carvers also used jasper very actively in ancient times, creating amazing multi-colored gems. Now jasper is more used for jewelry - beads, pendants, bracelets, rings and pendants.

Garnet gemstone
See also: Amber gemstone
Morganite gemstone

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