Jasper


Jasper is a category unto itself. Basically, jasper is a crypto-crystaline quartz, a relative of quartzes like amethyst and citrine, except that in the case of jasper, there are many teeny tiny quartz crystals that are joined together and layered. There are many different varieties and colors and patterns of jasper gemstones. They are collected by jasper connisseurs or just enjoyed for their uniqueness in jewelry pieces. The prices and values of jasper gemstones are very subjective, influenced by trends, mine finds, etc. Generally speaking, rough jasper is not rare, and most of the value of a piece of jasper jewelry is in the artistic use of it by the cutter (lapidary) and the jewelry artist.

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying Jasper

 

    1. Origin: There are many types of Jasper – some are rarer than other
    2. Color and Pattern
    3. Carving and Polishing: The beauty of a piece of jasper depends greatly on its “composition.” This is all in the hads of the cutter. .
    4. Size: As with all gem materials, size matters. However, most jasper cabochans are going to be fairly substantial size, and size is certainly not one of the more important factors.
    5. Treatments: Jasper is sometimes treated and this can affect its value. Read here to learn about Jasper treatments and how to tell the difference.
    6. Meaning and Symbology: Jasper is rich in history and metaphysical properties. Learn more about Jasper meaning and symbology to see if it’s something you relate to.

 

Here are some of the most popular Jaspers, that are defined by a specific origin:

Many of the most popular, connisseur’s jaspers are specific to one exact deposit, and are found no where else. The value of these jaspers varies according to their attractiveness and popularity and the amount of the accessible deposit (if no more can be found, the price is higher)

biggs jasper

noreena jasper

brecciated bruneau jasper

Russian jasper

Biggs Jasper: Formed from Volcanic ash and mined in Biggs, Oregon – these jaspers are becoming scarce. Noreena Jasper: A new discovery, mined in Australia. Bruneau Jasper: This jasper comes from the Bruneau River in Idaho Russian Jasper: Very fine, colorful jaspers are found in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

morrisonite jasper

mookaite jasper

deschutes jasper

Owyhee jasper

Morrisonite Jasper: This is one of the finest jaspers – a favorite among collectors for its rich collors and patterns, found in Oregon on Morrison Ranch. Mookaite Jasper: This is a sedimentary jasper found in Australia, which commonly contains fossils of prehistoric tiny plantlife. Deschutes Jasper: Deschutes jasper is a neighbor of Biggs jasper, both mined near the same spot in Oregon, with a similar “layered” appearance. Rumor has it, Deschutes jasper is now impossible to mine because it’s deposit is under a highway. Owyhee Jasper: Owyhee Jasper is found on the border of Idaho and Oregon. It comes in many colors. It is a sedimentary jasper (petrified mud) and those with interesting “pictures” command prices in the hundreds.

These Jaspers are primarily characterized by their appearance, but are also generally only found in specific locations. They are valued according to their attractiveness, craftsmanship and size.

kambaba jasper

imperial jasper

rhyolite rainforest jasper

bloodstone

Kambaba Jasper: Kambaba jasper is a dark grey to green sedimentary stone found in South Africa and Madagascar. It contains fossilized algae and often has circular patterns. This stone has also been called crocodile jasper. Imperial Jasper: Imperial jasper is characterized by its soft shades of color and chalky white exterior. Many pieces appear to be “brushed” with a paintbrush. It is mined in Mexico. Rainforest Jasper (Rhyolite) : Rainforest Jasper is an igneous rock, often with orbed (circle) patterns. It takes a fairly high polish. Bloodstone: Green jasper with red flecks, also called “Heliotrope” is increasingly popular and hard to find. Most comes from India.

Snake Skin Jasper

ocean jasper

leapard skin jasper

poppy jasper

Snakeskin Jasper: Snakeskin jasper comes in shades of red and its patterns are usually parallel lines or bands which inspire its name. Ocean Jasper: Ocean jasper is an “orbicular” jasper found in Madagascar. It is also a rhyolite and is unique among jaspers for being translucent instead of opaque. It is a fairly recent discovery and is quite popular and among the more expensive jaspers. Leopardskin Jasper: This jasper comes in hues of orangish brown to ochre with dark spots and rings, which reminds people of leopard skin. This is a fairly common and lower priced jasper. Poppy Jasper: Poppy jasper is found in deposits all over the world and is characterized by “orbs” or spots, usually in red and yellow.

Here is an illustration of characteristics or “additional features” that a jasper cabochon can have that add to its interest and value.

Dendrite Mookaite Sagebrush jasper

picture jasper

ocean jasper druzy

spiderweb imperial jasper

Dendritic Jasper: Occasionally jaspers may contain “dendrites”, small black feathery patterns that are actually fossils of tiny prehistoric sea creatures. Their presence significantly increases the value of a jasper piece. Picture Jasper: A jasper gemstone that contains a combination of petrified mud in pockets of ancient volcanic rock in such a way that it forms a scene or a “picture” is called picture jasper. Most picture jaspers are found in the Northwest USA. Drusy Jasper: A Drusy jasper (or druzy jasper) is a piece of jasper that contains a drusy, or a little cave of tiny crystals. This adds to its beauty and value. Spiderweb Jasper: Spiderweb jasper describes a piece of jasper that, due to pressure, or shock, cracked, and then over time, the crack filled in with more jasper. This creates interesting lines and patterns and can add value.

 

opal jasper

brecciated jasper

wedgewood jasper cameo

Opal Jasper: These are essentially brecciated jaspers, but the layers are bound together by opal instead. These are rare and hard to find. Brecciated Jasper: Jasper in which the colorful layers are cemented together with a grey material. Jasper Cameo: Jaspers have been carved into cameos. The stone is sometimes dyed to better suit the bas relief sculpting. An English company called Wedgwood made Jasper cameos famous in the 19th c.

 

peacock jasper

royal Sahara Picture jasper

Vistaite jasper

Chinese Painting jasper

Peacock Jasper Royal Sahara Picture Jasper Vistaite Jasper Chinese Painting Jasper

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