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Home: Gemstone Beads Index: Jasper Beads

About Jasper

jasper beads
Jasper beads are usually opaque and colored red, brown or green.

The Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means "spotted stone." This form of semiprecious chalcedony, or microcrystalline quartz, is usually red, brown or green. Its patterns are much less regular and defined than those of the other chalcedony variety, agate. Another difference between the two is that jaspers are generally opaque, while agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands). This distinction stems from the stones' composition. Jasper contains microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz and agate has microscopic "fibers" of crystalline quartz. Although the term jasper is often applied to unidentified stones, true jaspers are metamorphic rocks.Jasper derives its colorful patterns from other minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern. It has a dull luster but takes a fine polish, and its hardness and other physical properties are those of quartz. Jasper is often sealed with petroleum products. Its polish might wash away in water, so clean with a soft, dry cloth.

The gem was a favorite in the ancient world, and the name jasper can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. In the fourth century, it was called the great "rain-bringer," and it has been thought to strengthen the stomach and cure gynecological troubles. Some also use it to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. It supposedly gives you the courage to speak out and the bravery to achieve personal independence. Landscape jaspers are amongst the most popular varieties. Jasper is mined in North Africa, Sicily, France, India, Venezuela, Germany, the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

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Types of Jasper Beads

  African map jasper bead (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

African Map Jasper

aka Spotted Jasper
A variety of jasper that has markings much like giraffes, cheetahs and hyenas in Africa. This stone can have spots in tan, black and a variety of browns ranging from a reddish-brown to cappuccino.
  Black silver leaf jasper beads (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Black Silver Leaf Jasper

Black silver leaf jasper shares silver leaf jasper's patterns of lines and bands of earthy colors, but is generally darker and rarely includes shades of red.
  Brown zebra jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Brown Zebra Jasper

This stone is cream-colored with reddish-brown striped markings.
  Picture not available

Bruneau Jasper

A generally red and green gemstone, deposits of this jasper are found about 50 miles south of Bruneau in Owyhee County, Idaho, U.S.A. It also comes in color combinations of browns to tans and ivory, in both spherical and oval patterns. It is said to be an excellent gemstone for meditation.
  Dragon blood jasper beads from Rings & Things

Dragon Blood Jasper

This jasper is deep green with spatters of white and blood red. As is only appropriate for a stone of this name, dragon blood jasper is purported to enhance courage and vitality.
  Elephant jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Elephant Jasper

Although not a true jasper, this reddish-brown stone with yellow and brown spots is established in the marketplace as jasper, so we've kept its recognized name. It is a natural conglomerate of ancient bivalve shells, sand and limonite (an iron ore similar to hematite).
  Fancy jasper beads from Rings & Things

Fancy Jasper

aka India Agate
This gemstone is an opaque creamy beige or gray stone with lavender, green, pink, orange or red swirls and specks. It is said to facilitate tranquility and help eliminate worry and depression. It also might bring mental clarity.
  Fire jasper beads from Rings & Things

Fire Jasper

aka African Green Poppy Jasper
Fire jasper stands out with earthy shades of red, terra cotta, gray and brown.
  Flower jasper beads from Rings & Things

Flower Jasper

aka Fancy Jasper
Flower jasper is a whimsical gemstone; swirls of gray, mauve, raspberry and mustard float amidst a base of cream to dark gray. This stone is not always easy to find. It is said to lift spirits, soothe a broken heart (by activating the heart chakra) and help one break out of depression.
  Gray jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Gray Jasper

This ash-colored gemstone is decorated with reddish-brown and white patches.
  Green jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Green Jasper

This verdant stone is considered the great balancer, connecting the physical and spiritual sides of a person. Mystics note that it doesn't follow the usual properties of green, such as fertility.
  Green leaf jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Green Leaf Jasper

aka Chinese Writing Stone, Firework Jasper
The geometric pale green patterns against its deep green background bring to mind a tree in the afternoon shade.
  Green zebra jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Green Zebra Jasper

This gemstone has jagged banding of hunter-to-mint green and snow white. Mystics say the light stripes inspire faith, joy and optimism, while the dark sections inspire endurance, confidence and strength. It is said to ease depression and steady mood swings.
  Harmony jasper beads (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Harmony Jasper

aka Dumar Stone, Lotus Jasper, Peace Jasper, Peace Stone
The soothing greens and mottled whites of this gemstone remind us of the surf crumbling on the beach. Some beads also include patches of gray, pink or lavender.
  Imperial purple jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Imperial Purple Jasper

This regal jasper is rich with purples, browns and beiges. It exhibits a combination of spots, swirls and spindly matrix. Imperial purple jasper is found in South Africa.
  Itasy jasper beads

Itasy Jasper

There are several stones on the market with the name itasy jasper. Some, like ours, are composed of pastel shades and varying patterns of tan, gray, cream, white and peach; others include deeper shades of red and yellow and look similar to what we call fancy jasper. The name itasy comes from a volcano in Madagascar and the surrounding region. However, we have been unable to verify this jasper is actually mined in the vicinity of Itasy.
  Kambaba jasper beads from Rings & Things

Kambaba Jasper

aka Brecciated Army Jasper, Camo Stone
This exotic jasper hails from Africa. It contains a jumbled jungle of forest green, mint green, black and brown. Its pattern includes speckles and concentric rings. Mystics believe it will soothe the nerves and state of mind. It is purported to be beneficial for plant growth and health, particularly in arid environments or where the soil is poor. Healers say kambaba jasper helps dietary stabilization, assimilation of vitamins and minerals and cleansing the body of toxins.
  Leopardskin jasper beads from Rings & Things

Leopardskin Jasper

Often referred to as a jasper, this stone includes feldspar minerals, which means it is actually a rhyolite. It is mottled with red, yellow, brown and pinkish spots like the fur of a leopard. It is considered a wonderful gemstone for bringing wanted things into your life. It also may enhance your total vibration, stabilizing the heart and solar plexus areas.
  Mexican zebra jasper beads from Rings & Things

Mexican Zebra Jasper

aka Black and White Zebra Jasper
This black-and-white, jaggedly-striped gemstone from Mexico is actually a calcite. It has become known as jasper on the market (likely because its irregular pattern resembles that of jasper), so we've kept its recognized name.
  Muddy jasper beads (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Muddy Jasper

Our muddy jasper is characterized by its rich caramel coloring and mottled patterns of gray, cream and dark brown.
  Norena jasper from Rings & Things

Noreena Jasper

aka Norena Jasper, Pilbara Jasper, Red Australian Picture Jasper
Noreena jasper is mined in the Pilbara region of Australia. It is known for its abstract designs in rusty red, mustard yellow and white. This stone is a silicified pelite (mudstone) and tends to break in angular pieces.
  Ocean jasper beads from Rings & Things

Ocean Jasper

aka Fisheye Jasper, Orbicular Jasper
This gemstone comes from a silicified (transformed into silica) rhyolite flow from the northwest coast of Madagascar. It is reminiscent of foam as it recedes back into the ocean, with its wavy patterns of green-gray, white, cream, beige, brown, pink and maroon. It even sometimes flaunts the iridescent white circles so intrinsic to sea spray. Ocean jasper is believed to teach responsibility and patience, as well as help regulate breathing for meditation.
  Paintbrush jasper beads from Rings & Things

Paintbrush Jasper

aka Artistic Jasper, Crazy Horse Stone, Landscape Stone, Nature's Paintbrush Jasper, Red Paintbrush Jasper
The delicate play of dark lines across a light background, which remarkably look as though they were painted by a human hand, earned this stone its descriptive name. Color from the well-defined strokes fans out the same way watercolors and India ink spread across paper. The stone even exhibits paint "splotches" and dotted "splatters." The lines are usually black, brown or red and the stone itself white, tan, gray or pink. Although it is often called jasper, these beads are made out of a calcite or calcium carbonate (commonly referred to as limestone) and stabilized with resin.
  Picture jasper beads from Rings & Things

Picture Jasper

This petrified mud has streaks of color (usually shades of brown) that look like landscapes — anything from desert sand dunes to rocky mountains to a dry riverbed. It is formed by mud rich with quartz that oozed and dripped into pockets of gas formed by molten lava. The heat from the exposure turns the mud solid almost instantly. Picture jasper is found in Idaho and Oregon (U.S.A). It has been used as a psychological tool: the researcher will ask a client who is "looking for an answer" to gaze into the stone and describe all the symbols he sees. The researcher then works with the client to form the symbols into some sort of answer. Picture jasper is said to help with the re-evaluation of life's issues. It is also believed to facilitate development and continuance of business pursuits and activities.
  Polychrome jasper from Rings & Things

Polychrome Jasper

aka Desert Jasper, Peninsula Jasper, Royal Savannah Jasper, Sunset Jasper
As the name suggests, polychrome jasper includes multiple colors (usually creams, tans, browns, reds and yellows). Discovered in 2006 near the ocean jasper mines in Madagascar, this stone is also found in a few select locations in Australia.
  Poppy jasper beads from Rings & Things

Poppy Jasper

aka Brecciated Jasper, Poppy Seed Jasper
A red, pink and black gemstone, poppy jasper is so named because it looks like a bunch of pink and red poppies. It is said to bring attunement to animals and heal animal allergies.
  Rainbow jasper beads from Rings & Things

Rainbow Jasper

aka African Rainbow Jasper
This red, brown and tan jasper is found in northern California (U.S.A) and South Africa. A "sustaining stone," it is said to be helpful in times of low energy and to stabilize the aura. It also is believed to produce a calming effect, especially in decision making.
  Red creek jasper beads from Rings & Things

Red Creek Jasper

aka Chinese Picasso, Reed Picasso
This descriptively named stone exhibits a variety of interesting patterns in shades of rusty red, ochre, taupe and gray. Its unique mix of warm and cool tones pairs well with both copper and silver. "Red Creek" is said to be the name of a stream that runs through the area of China where this stone was discovered. Mineralogical testing has not yet determined the gem's chemical makeup, but it is softer than true jaspers and should be treated with care.
  Red jasper beads from Rings & Things

Red Jasper

With its acorn-red coloring and dark-gray stripes, this gemstone has a decidedly earthy quality. The stripes often seen in red jasper are quartz veins. The stone is used to regulate metabolic energy and promote physical stamina. It also is believed to have the ability to send negative energy back to the sender, the way a mirror reflects light.
  Red ocean jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Red Ocean Jasper

aka Red Sea Jasper
Red ocean jasper is the same mineral, from the same deposit, as regular ocean jasper. It has the same circular and wavy patterns, but with more red and very little green.
  Rose jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Rose Jasper

This gemstone of mottled red, green and pink symbolizes emotional security and is therefore believed to give emotional stability to the wearer.
  Silver leaf jasper beads from Rings & Things

Silver Leaf Jasper

Reminiscent of silvery leaves in a forest, this finely colored and patterned jasper contains shades of cream and black, bits of brown and, occasionally, hints of red. Its patterns tend to be in lines and bands, and it is said to provide protection and good luck.
  Silver mist jasper beads from Rings & Things

Silver Mist Jasper

This type of jasper is found in neutral colors with bands of gray, tan and cream. Some silver mist jasper is more green, with gray and tan-colored bands.
  Silver smoke jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Silver Smoke Jasper

Wispy lines of light gray "smoke" against a black background characterize this descriptively named gemstone.
  Snakeskin jasper beads from Rings & Things

Snakeskin Jasper

Snakeskin jasper is said be a gemstone of protection and invincibility. There are two distinct varieties of snakeskin jasper. The red gemstone, with sleek bands and patches of pale-to-deep red, is reminiscent of an exotic serpent. The green variety incorporates earthy grays, browns and greens into interesting patterns.
  Sunset jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Sunset Jasper

Named for the similarity its colors have to sunsets, this variety of jasper displays an assortment of brown tones with yellow.
  Tiger jasper beads from Rings & Things

Tiger Jasper

This gemstone sometimes features swirls and spots, but more often displays stripes in dashing shades of burgundy, golden-yellow, rusty red, cream, and/or brown. We can only guess that its stripes are what gives tiger jasper its name. Although this semiprecious stone is called "jasper" in the jewelry trade, we have been unable to verify its mineral composition.
  Tigerskin jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Tigerskin Jasper

With its golden brown base and dark stripes, this jasper's patterns resemble those of great jungle cats. Some beads sport sleek veins of tigereye.
  Turtle shell jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Turtle Shell Jasper

aka Chalcedite
This is a mottled jasper that looks like turtle's shell, with shades of brown, mahogany, gold, peach and orange-red.
  white jasper

White Jasper

aka Rabbit Jade
This snowy gemstone gives a fresh, clean look to any piece.
  Wild horse jasper beads from Rings & Things

Wild Horse Jasper

This variety of jasper is an alluring combination of white with brown and small tan spots.
  Wood jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Wood Jasper

Though useless for starting fires, the woodlike colors and patterns of this jasper make it perfect to wear on camping trips!
  Yellow jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Yellow Jasper

aka Ambronite
The soft beeswax color of this gemstone is very soothing. It is often used for problems with the stomach, intestines, liver and spleen, and to balance the third chakra. It is said to offer protection while on a journey and to alleviate stress.
  Zebra jasper (image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Zebra Jasper

Jaspers with dark, jagged stripes of black or brown on a background of white, gray or tan are know as zebra jaspers. This gemstone is said to be very helpful with balancing energy, work and play, and allowing the wearer to see both sides of a situation.

For More Types of Jasper

, see dalmatiner, mookaite, nunderite, prase, onyx, and African turquoise.

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