Gemstone Index: Jasper

Published on
December 29, 2021 4:29:44 PM PST December 29, 2021 4:29:44 PM PSTth, December 29, 2021 4:29:44 PM PST

Jasper is a semiprecious chalcedony (or microcrystalline quartz), and is usually red, brown or green. Its patterns are much less regular and defined than agate, the other chalcedony variety. 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.


Rhyolite gemstone beads can look very similar to jasper, but rhyolites are igneous rock that is chemically identical to granite.

Two popular "jasper" gemstones, rainforest jasper and leopardskin jasper, are actually rhyolite.


Jasper derives its colorful patterns from other minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern. The Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means "spotted stone." Jasper 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. Some also say that it 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.

Due to its earthy colors and microcrystalline quartz structure, Jasper is considered to be a nurturing stone. If using jasper beads for chakras, choose a jasper that contains colors relevant to the chakras that are the target of your focus: Reds for the root (or base) chakra, oranges for the sacral chakra, shades of yellow for the navel chakra, green for the heart chakra, etc.. (You'll probably want to shift to other stones for the blues and purples, as those are not the normal colors for jaspers -- however, Sonora jasper, porcelain jasper and purple creek jasper do have hints of purple.)


Bumblebee Jasper is a warm mixture of yellows and grays, with some white and orange. Many of the beads on each strand are striped, and some are spotted, giving the effect of a fuzzy bumblebee with patches of pollen, weaving through the air from flower to flower. Jasper is a semiprecious chalcedony (or microcrystalline quartz). It derives its colorful patterns from other minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern. The Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means "spotted stone." Jasper has a dull luster but takes a fine polish, and its hardness and other physical properties are those of quartz. Due to its earthy colors and microcrystalline quartz structure, Jasper is considered to be a nurturing stone. Gray jaspers are believed to bring serenity and unity, as well as filter distractions and increase motivation. If using jasper beads for chakras, choose a jasper that contains colors relevant to the chakras that are the target of your focus -- in this case, shades of yellow for the navel (solar plexus) chakra, for issues with self-esteem and personal power.
With each purchase of bumblebee jasper, you're also helping power up the Pollinator Partnership!


Dalmatiner: Sometimes called dalmatian jasper beads or spotted jasper beads, these semiprecious dalmatiner beads offer striking brown and black speckles on an off-white to creamy eggshell colored surface. Named after the dalmatian dog breed, this type of jasper is said to increase patience, lessen or remove disillusionment, and protect against nightmares, depression, and negative thinking. Typical of all jasper gemstones, this semiprecious "breed" is an opaque chalcedony containing grains of microcrystalline quartz. To clean dalmatiner beads, wipe them with a soft, dry cloth.


Dragon Blood Jasper beads, donuts, and pendants (aka dragon's blood jasper or dragonblood jasper) display deep green tones with spatters of white and blood red. As is appropriate for a semiprecious gemstone of this name, dragon blood jasper is said to enhance courage and vitality! Buy beautiful dragon blood jasper semiprecious beads, donuts, and pendants at great prices and quantity discounts here in our secure online store.


Eagle Eye (Jasper?): It's difficult to find reliable information on Eagle Eye. We were told it's jasper, but it has hints of translucence that don't normally occur in jaspers. Is it feldspar (like moonstone and labradorite)? Is it a gray form of tigereye? Is it magical Toads Eye (aka toadstone)? Is it Hawk's Eye (the name for a geologically earlier form of tigereye)? Whatever it is, our current batch of Eagle Eye beads are striped like tigereye or tiger iron, and these stripes of light and dark gray have a chatoyant shimmer, but don't have the full cat's-eye effect. Many of the stripes are parallel, and some are swirled. It almost certainly is a variety of quartz. If it is simply gray tigereye, then the stripes are oriented fibers of crocidolite (a mineral of the amphibole group) that have been replaced by silica. But it's lacking the iron that commonly gives tigereye its rich warm hues.


Fancy Jasper beads are also known as India agate beads. These pretty semiprecious beads and gemstone donuts add color to any jewelry application with their swirls and speckles of lavender, green, pink, orange, and/or red on an opaque creamy beige or gray background. This type of jasper is said to facilitate tranquility, help eliminate worry, ease depression, and bring mental clarity.


Kambaba Jasper beads (aka brecciated army jasper and camo stone - short for camouflage) are cut from an exotic jasper found in Africa that is said to help detoxify the body.


Leopardskin Jasper beads are descriptively named, and are actually cut from a type of rhyolite, composed in part of feldspar minerals. These semiprecious beads are 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. In general, rhyolite gemstones are said to represent change, variety, and progress. They are said to light the fire of creativity, help with self-realization, balance emotions, increase self-respect, and enhance the capacity to love.


Matte Jasper beads may include noreena jasper, purple creek jasper, chili jasper and more. The matte (frosted) surface gives you a different look and feel than standard shiny gemstone beads.
Many of these matte jasper beads are hard to find, and are not always available, so when you find a style you like, don't wait to buy... it may be gone!


Strikingly patterned Noreena Jasper is also known as red Australian picture jasper, and is sometimes spelled norena jasper. These semiprecious beads and cabochons come in matte and polished styles, and display wonderful abstract designs in rusty red, mustard yellow, and white. Noreena jasper is mined in the Pilbara region of Australia. This semiprecious gemstone is a silicified pelite (mudstone) and tends to break in angular pieces. Keep in mind that gemstones are created by Mother Nature! The components you buy will have their own unique markings; no two strands will be identical.


The beautiful swirls on Ocean Jasper beads, pendants and cabochons often look like dramatic sea spray and sea foam.
Also known as fisheye jasper and orbicular jasper, this semiprecious gemstone comes from a silicified rhyolite flow (a flow transformed into silica) on the northwest coast of Madagascar. The wavy patterns of green-gray, white, cream, beige, brown, pink, and maroon are timeless favorites on semiprecious beads, cabochons and jewelry components. Long-standing popularity means that good quality rough is now rare.
Ocean jasper is believed to teach responsibility and patience, as well as help regulate breathing for meditation.


Paintbrush Jasper beads display beautiful, delicate dark lines and markings that Mother Nature has "painted" onto a light background. Also known as artistic jasper beads, landscape stone beads, and crazy horse stone beads, these semiprecious gemstone beads often look as though they were painted by a human hand with well-defined strokes, watercolor-like washes, and painterly splotches and splatters.
Focal patterns are usually black, brown or red, and are juxtaposed with a white, tan, gray, or pink "background". Although this gemstone is often called "jasper", these semiprecious beads are actually calcite or calcium carbonate (commonly referred to as limestone) that is stabilized with resin. Paintbrush jasper beads look great in a variety of jewelry applications.


Sand-colored Picture Jasper beads display streaks and marking that often seem to depict landscapes - from desert sand dunes to rocky mountains to dry riverbeds. This semiprecious gemstone is actually petrified mud. The mud was rich in quartz that oozed and dripped into pockets of gas formed by molten lava. Heat from the exposure turned the mud solid almost instantly. Picture jasper is found in Idaho and Oregon (USA). Our selection of picture jasper beads, donuts, and pendants often includes both polished and matte picture jasper. These semiprecious jewelry components are said to help re-evaluate life issues, facilitate development, and aid business pursuits.


Poppy Jasper beads, donuts, and pendants display typical brecciated jasper patterns in shades of red, pink and black. Also known as poppy seed jasper beads, these gemstone jewelry components can provide the impression that tiny fields of poppies are blooming on their surfaces. The metaphysical effects of these semiprecious beads is said to include attunement to animals. This brecciated jasper is also believed to help heal animal allergies in the wearer.

Pomegranate Jasper beads are very similar to poppy jasper, but tend more towards brick red shades, with contrasting layers of cream, and larger brecciated patterns, more the size of pomegranate seeds rather than poppy seeds. Our pomegranate jasper beads may also include druzy-like pockets of sparkling crystalline agate.


The matte finish on our Purple Creek Jasper beads (aka purple cherry creek jasper beads) is a natural match with the gemstone's mellow hues of dark lavender, mauve, and cream. The gem looks good with purples, browns, and earthtones, and the dramatic brecciated patterns on these semiprecious beads make great focal elements. As with red creek jasper beads, these may be descriptively named and not a true jasper. Keep in mind that gemstones are created by Mother Nature, and the beads you buy will not display the exact same patterns pictured in our secure online store.


Rainforest Rhyolite or Rainforest Jasper: These beautiful gemstone beads and pendants are cut from the well-known variety of rhyolite also known as rainforest jasper. The alternate name is no surprise considering the semiprecious gemstone's swirls of greens, browns, orange (rust), tans, and grays. Various forms of rhyolite look similar to jaspers, but are in fact igneous rock that is chemically identical to granite. The stone originated when very thick rhyolitic magma and lava cooled from a molten state too quickly for crystals to form (in other words, they were thrown from volcanoes in eruptions). This "rainforest" variety of rhyolite often displays interesting banding. Rhyolite beads represents change, variety, and progress.


Red Creek Jasper beads are also known as Chinese picasso beads, reed picasso beads, and red cherry creek jasper beads. While these stunning semiprecious beads offer wonderful patterns in shades of rusty red, ochre, taupe and gray, the name is descriptive. Red creek jasper isn't an actual jasper, but a softer gemstone which should be treated with care. Mineralogical testing has not yet determined the chemical makeup of these gemstone beads. Nevertheless, their unique mix of warm and cool tones pairs well with both copper and silver, making these beads very versatile. Red creek jasper is said to be named after a stream that runs through the area of China where the gemstone was discovered.


Red Jasper beads and pendants display an earthy acorn-red color with dark-gray stripes. The stripes in these semiprecious beads are veins of quartz. Red jaspers are favored by by gemstone healers, for regulating metabolic energy and promoting physical stamina. They are also believed to have the ability to send negative energy back to the sender, the way a mirror reflects light. Red jasper beads are a popular choice for the sacral (base) chakra, in chakra jewelry.


Silver Leaf Jasper beads and donut pendants provide subtle, sophisticated colors and patterns with dominant shades of cream, tan, gray, and black that, when combined, can give a silvery appearance. Bits of brown and occasionally red can also be present. The patterns on these semiprecious beads tend to be in lines and bands, which makes this gemstone somewhat unique in the jasper family. Sometimes these markings look like the delicate veins found on leaves, thus the name. Silver leaf jasper gemstones are believed to provide protection and good luck. Many of our silver leaf jasper components are limited to stock on hand - don't wait to buy and be sorry later!


Silver Mist Jasper beads provide an air of subtle mystery that's fitting for their name. This semiprecious jasper gemstone is found in neutral colors with bands of gray, tan, and cream. Some silver mist jasper displays a greener hue, with gray and tan-colored bands.


Sky Eye Jasper beads come primarily in shades of gray, tan, red, and golden yellow. We were told that this form of jasper gets its name from the pretty sky blue color found in its mix of shades - well, our stock must be more representative of Seattle skies (not much blue!). But no matter the shade, these semiprecious beads have gorgeous markings, including roundish "eye" splotches that are especially lovely on the larger focal beads. Sky eye jasper is mined in Mexico.


White Lace Red Jasper is a variant of red jasper. They have a similar dark red to burnt orange base color, as red jasper, but tend to have wider stripes of dark gray to black, and/or stripes and bands of clear quartz or lacy white, off-white and light yellow. Red jaspers are favored by by gemstone healers for regulating metabolic energy and promoting physical stamina. They are also believed to have the ability to send negative energy back to the sender, the way a mirror reflects light. Red jasper beads are a popular choice for the sacral (base) chakra, in chakra jewelry.


Earthy Matte Wild Horse Jasper beads offer swirls, spots, and bands predominantly in shades of brown, tan, and greenish-gray. These semiprecious beads are cut from rough found in Wild Horse Canyon in Oregon, USA. The gemstone is also known as wildhorse picture jasper, American picture jasper, and owyhee jasper. As with other true jaspers, wild horse jasper is an opaque, metamorphic rock containing microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz. Jaspers have been popular since the ancient world. They are said to give the wearer courage to speak out and bravery to achieve personal independence.


Zebra Jasper: Jaspers with dark, jagged stripes of black or brown on a background of white, gray or tan are known 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.