Jasper is an opaque form of Chalcedony(silicon dioxide), which is a microcrystalline variety of the mineral Quartz. It often contains an abundance of impurities, and therefore some regard it as a rock instead of a mineral. Distinguishing certain specimens as Chert versus Jasper is subjective and based on the experiences of the person naming them. Jasper is usually associated with brown, orange, yellow, green or reddish colors, but may be used to describe other opaque colors of Chalcedony such as dark or mottled green and orange. Jasper is often associated with iron ores. Color leads to some of the problems that arise when one is naming some materials jasper rather than chert: a "rule of thumb" (albeit based on one's subjective sense of and feelings about color) to which I subscribe, is "if the given rock exhibits attractive colors call it jasper, otherwise call it chert. As one might suspect for a gemrock of such widespread occurrence, jasper has been given many names. Adjectives and monomial terms applied have been based on such things as color and arrangement of colors, localities of occurrence, names of persons who were connected with the material, names thought to appeal to potential purchasers of items made from jasper, etc. Nomenclature for diverse jasper's is not well established. -- The chief differences relate to the fact that some definitions are primarily descriptive whereas others are genetically or economically based.
Jasper occurs in all mineral environments such as, quartz, hematite, chalcedony, agate, petrified wood and pyrite. It does not occur in visible crystals. It most often is in massive form, but may also be boyroidal, mammilary and stalactitic formations, as smooth rounded pebbles, and as nodules.
Some forms of Jasper are banded, and these banded Jasper's may appear similar to Agate, but unlike Agate they are opaque. Some can be found with plume, moss, or flame-shaped patterns.
H. ~ 7 S.G. 2.5-2.9
Light transmission - typically opaque
Luster - dull to pearly
Breakage – sub-conchoidal fracture.
Band (or banded) jasper: an alternative name for Ribbon jasper.
Biggs jasper: one of the more recently discovered picture rock materials. The first piece was found about 1960 in a creek bottom south of Biggs Junction, Oregon. It is one of the more distinctive jasper's even though it lacks brilliant colors; its design is unique among siliceous rocks. It takes an excellent polish.
A misnomer for Bloodstone. It is a cryptocrystalline mixture of quartz that occurs mostly as jasper or sometimes as chalcedony. The "classic" bloodstone is opaque green jasper with red inclusions of hematite.
Blue Mountain Jasper: It is considered to be one of the premium jaspers that has been a long time favorite with the lapidary community, from Oregon and known for its blue-green/gray orbs.
Brecciated-Jasper: Is a Jasper stone that contains Hematite. It's also known because it has orbicular patterns of 'poppies' in speckled shades of white, yellow, black, or brown.
Bruneau jasper: A beautifully patterned brown or reddish brown and cream colored jasper from Bruneau River Canyon, Owyhee County, Idaho.
Bumble-Bee jasper (Eclipse “jasper): The term jasperis a misnomer, as this vibrantly colored orange, yellow, and black material actually formed from a mixture of Indonesian volcano lava and sediment. A carbonate-rich rock first discovered on the island of Java during the 1990s, the material is soft, with Mohs hardness of 5 or below. The porous rock is easily cut and polished, and most specimens are filled with Opticon.
Burro Creek Jasper: It is found at Burro Creek, AZ in volcanic fields of inter-bedded rhyolite and basalt. The jaspers from here come in many colors with deep purple being the most desirable.
Carasite Jasper: From South eastern Oregon, close to where Morrisonite is mined. This material is in the family of Porcelain Jasper's like Willow Creek Jasper, Imperial Jasper, and Morrisonite Jasper.
Cave Creek jasper: A rather bright red jasper from Maricopa County, Arizona.
Chrysocolla: A soft hydrated copper phyllosilicate mineral. The structure of the mineral has been questioned, as spectrographic studies suggest material identified as chrysocolla may be a mixture of the copper hydroxide spertiniite and chalcedony. Also considered; An amorphous cryptocrystalline.
Chrysojasper: Jasper colored with chrysocolla.
Cinnabar matrix: "term applicable to various varieties of minerals containing numerous inclusions of cinnabar but especially to a Mexican variety of jasper." (Shipley, 1951) Cinnabaror cinnabarite, likely derived from Ancient Greek and is the bright scarlet to brick-red form of mercury sulfide.Extremely toxic.
Cripple Creek Jasper: From the Owyhee mountains in Eastern Oregon. The scenes in the rock is reminiscent of the area.
Crocodile Jasper (aka Kambamba Jasper)Kambamba is one of the more exotic Jaspers, a rare orbicular variety from Madagascar and South Africa. A sedimentary stone, it is comprised of microcrystalline Quartz interlaced with Stromatolites, ancient fossilized colonies created by cyanobacteria and other primeval microorganisms. Is sometimes referred to as Crocodile Rock or Crocodile Jasper. Because of color similarities, it is sometimes confused with Nebula Stone; though they are very different in composition and places of origin.
Dallasite: a variety of Jasper composed of a breccia of colourless Quartzite, green Epidote, Pumpellyite and altered basalt minerals from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Dalmatian jasper: also known as “dalmatian stone,” is a popular decorative gemstone with a unique appearance resembling the spotted coloration of the Dalmatian dog breed. It consists predominantly of feldspars (mesoperthite), quartz, alkali amphiboles, and lesser amounts of hematite and epidote. Black spots found in the examined rock’s mass were recognized as arfvedsonite. The authors recommend the use of the term “dalmatian stone” rather than “dalmatian jasper,” since the material does not meet the gemological definition of jasper.
Dendritic Jasper: In 2009, a man stumbled over some rock that he thought looked unusually pretty and picked some up. In 2011 some of this rock was offered for sale at the Tucson and Quartzsite Show in Arizona. It was well received with beautiful, feather-like dendritic patterns on different colored backgrounds. The rock is simply called Sonora Dendritic because of the strong dendritic patterns and is found in the state of Sonora, Mexico.
Deschutes Jasper: Deschutes is a specific deposit location with its own unique characteristics, while Biggs encompasses a huge area with multiple deposits of varying jasper types (rather than a single deposit locale). Known for its brown and tan colors, and orbs or scenic patterns in each slab. Deschutes picture jasper was mined east of Biggs Junction, Oregon, near Deschutes River.
Egyptian jasper: brown and banded jasper that occurs as sporadic pebbles, cobbles and small boulders on the desert between the Red Sea and Cairo, Egypt.
Elephant Skin jasper also known as Calligraphy stone or miriam stone:brown jasper containing small black dendrites or exhibiting a spider-web-like pattern. This stone is found in the Himalayan mountains in India, and consists of a hematite and iron shell fossil.
Frogskin jasper: A grayish tan jasper with sporadic irregular green patterns from Chihuahua, Mexico.
Green Jasper: The presence of iron silicate compounds such as chlorite gives it the green color.
Heliotrope (Bloodstone): Heliotrope is the name of the mineral. As the name bloodstone describes, there are spots on this green colored stone that makes it look like it has blood droplets spattered over its surface. These “blood” spots are formed by iron oxide impurities while the main color of this gem is solid green. Some stones may look like they are darker green in places and this is caused by the density of the Chlorite inclusions.
Imperial jasper: A name given to Mexican jasper that is variegated in green and yellow hues and is in part translucent so it exhibits diverse interesting patterns in transmitted as well as reflected light.
Jasp agate (agate jasper, jasp fleuri, and jasponyx): names sometimes given material that 1.consists of bands of transparent chalcedony and sub-translucent jasper, or 2.is deemed intermediate between jasper and agate.
Jasper breccia: a term applied to two different materials: 1.breccias the larger fragments of which are jasper and 2.breccias that have been jasperized. Brecciated jasper:
Jasperine: A name sometimes applied to color banded jasper.
Kaleidoscope Jasper: Kaleidoscope is identified by various sub names as so many of this Oregon deposits in this small parcel are unique, like: Blazing Flame, Floating Orb, The Purple Picture Jasper Kaleidoscope, Rhodestone Kaleidoscope Jasper, Candy Stripe, Mexican Cherry, Endeavor, Red flame, Christmas Tree, Gypsy Jasper Kaleidoscope, Angelic Picture Wood Jasper Kaleidoscope, and Red Velvet.
Kinradite: A trade name for orbicular jasper that contains white or nearly colorless spherulites of quartz, from Point Bonita near the Golden Gate Bridge, California. See also Oregonite.
Leopardskin jasper (also leopard jasper): A buff to orangish tan jasper with sporadic dark brown to nearly black spots or rings (typically about 1/4 inch in diameter), the overall pattern of which resembles that of leopards' coats.
Mookaite (Mookerite, Mook or Mook Jasper): Is an Australian Jasper of bold, earthy beauty with a fiery fusion of red and yellow. It is found only in the Kennedy Ranges of Western Australia in outcroppings near Mooka Creek, the area for which it is named. It is described as chert, opalite or chalcedony, or a combination of the three, varying only with the degree of silica, and occurs as nodules in the softer clay beneath the creek bed or as multicolored sheets of chalcedony. There are rare occurrences of black dendrite inclusions in Mookaite that, when cut en cabochon, produces a dendrite “tree” formation and greatly increases the value.
Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper: A famous, but increasingly rare orbicular jasper with red and yellow dots of "poppy flowers" found in California. It is a brecciated jasper, meaning it probably came from sun-dried and oxidized iron-rich clay. The cracks were filled in by other substances.
Morrisonite: A marketplace name for a varicolored jasper, which apparently had a volcanic ash precursor, from near the southern end of Lake Owyhee, Malheur County, Oregon.
Moss jasper: A jasper with features similar to those of moss agate from the Mojave Desert of California.
Mtorolite: The name given to a chromium enriched variety of chalcedony with uniform dark green jasper whose sub-microscopic particles are arranged in fibrous layers. From Africa, it may be a locality designation, perhaps associated with a settlement in the Mtwara administrative district of southeastern Tanzania. (Frederick Pough, personal communication, 1998); The rich green colouration can be a deep emerald green to deep green/blue.