10 Gorgeous Types of Jasper You Should Know
When it comes to gemstones, more people are familiar with jasper. It has an intriguing history and has long been favoured by people all across the globe. But many people don't realize just how many types of jasper there are and what they have to offer.
Whether you're looking for a unique gemstone of exceptional colour or want a pattern that draws the eye and captures the imagination, the jasper gemstone could be your answer. Here's a look at ten gorgeous types of jasper you should know, along with what makes it special.
10 Gorgeous Types of Jasper You Should Know
1. Brecciated Jasper
Brecciated jasper stands out because of how it's formed. Technically, this stone is simply comprised of jasper that's internally broken up and fused back together with chalcedony. In some cases, it creates a dramatic look, not unlike terrazzo. In others, it's more subtle, leading to slight shifts in colour across the stone and just hints of lines and filled cracks.
The most common colours of brecciated jasper are red and yellow jasper, with the chalcedony ranging from colourless to gray. However, different types of jasper could be involved, and other combinations certainly exist.
Often, how dramatic the piece looks depends highly on the colours involved. Deep red jasper with near-black chalcedony creates a slight texture, while red coupled with light grey or near-white chalcedony creates striking striations.
2. Dalmatian Jasper
Mainly mined in Mexico, dalmatian jasper is, as the name suggests, a spotted stone. Usually, the base hue is a white or light cream, and the spots are deep brown or black. However, the primary shade can be deeper, leaning into mid-toned beige. Sometimes, it may even take on a slightly green or yellow tint, depending on the piece.
As for the spots, they're reasonably well-defined, with clean edges in most cases. Not unlike a dalmatian's spots, the shapes aren't entirely round, and the spots aren't always evenly spaced, making every piece of dalmatian jasper unique.
It's important to note that you may see dalmatian jasper in a range of vibrant hues. However, that's mainly because the stone is easy to dye, allowing people to turn it bright blue, purple, or other Crayola-inspired shades. The colouring isn't natural in these cases, as dalmatian jasper doesn't typically form in such dramatic hues.
3. Kambaba Jasper
Also known as crocodile jasper, kambaba jasper has a distinct appearance thanks to its strong colouring and unique patterning. Generally, kambaba jasper features sage greens and deep blacks, often with hints of yellow. The stone has noticeable near-circles, often black outlines surrounding a green spot.
Some people equate the patterning to raindrops hitting a puddle, as the circle placement isn't entirely even. Others liken it to amphibian or reptilian eyes, hence why it's commonly called crocodile jasper.
Even in its raw form, the circles are usually quite noticeable. However, the look is incredibly dramatic when cut and polished, making this stone a genuine one-of-a-kind.
4. Mookaite Jasper
Named after Mooka Creek in Australia – where it was initially found – mookaite jasper is best described as a silicified radiolarite. Its colouring is one of the reasons this gem is usually a standout. Along with clean whites, soft creams, and deep browns, you can find vibrant yellows, striking orange-reds, and intriguing mauves.
Many pieces of mookaite jasper feature sections in different hues, creating a substantial amount of contrast in most cases. Plus, it ranges from transparent to opaque, depending on the sample and the thickness, adding even more variety.
Along with varying colours, it isn't uncommon for mookaite to exhibit striations, often in deeper hues than the surrounding stone. This can give the gem even more visual interest while boosting the uniqueness of every piece.
5. Bumblebee Jasper
With a name like bumblebee jasper, most people would assume that yellow is a standard colour for the stone, and they'd be right. In most cases, bumblebee jasper features a range of yellow hues, including anything from a vibrant lemon to a slight earthy golden rod.
Bumblebee jasper also typically features stripes or bands. Some stripes may be other shades of yellow, while other bands may be black, gray, white, or greige. That gives it the look of the pattern you see on its namesake bumblebees, though the stripes are typically more even on the insect than on the stone.
Due to the bands, some people try to describe bumblebee jasper as an agate, though bumblebee jasper is typically more opaque. However, that doesn't mean the stone is a true jasper either, as it's actually a calcium carbonate stone with a range of inclusions.
6. Rainforest Jasper
With rainforest jasper, you get a strong green base, ranging from a sage to a deep forest. That hue is commonly coupled with others, with a single piece often featuring a range of browns, beiges, grays, and yellows.
Typically, the colours come together in a mottled stone that definitely draws the eye. In some cases, the look is clearly spotted, not unlike kambaba jasper. In others, it is a bit more organic, featuring random shapes with clear delineations.
The overall palette is earthy, with even the greens leaning into olive territory and the grays taking on a greige edge in most cases. It undoubtedly brings up images of dense rainforests, as the colours feel more dramatic than vibrant.
As with other stones on this list, rainforest jasper isn't jasper in a true sense. Instead, it's a type of rhyolitic lava and a rare one at that.
7. Red (and Purple) Creek Jasper
Red creek jasper is a colour-rich jasper featuring shades of red, orange, and brown. Often, the main segment is a brick-ish or ruddy hue, typically coupled with mustard yellows, olive greens, and similar semi-muted earthy tones.
Red creek jasper can exhibit a range of patterns, with mottling, bands, and striations all possible. Additionally, the percentage of any given piece that's red versus other tones can vary, with some being mostly red while others are heavily tan, green, or yellow.
Purple creek jasper is similar; it simply features slightly purplish tones. In most cases, sections of the stone will have a plummy hue, though some may have stronger colouring, potentially leaning into lavender territory.
8. Porcelain Jasper
Porcelain jasper got its name because the stone typically features sections resembling porcelain fragments. While many feature segments of off-white and cream, porcelain jasper can also come in shades of gray, yellow, mauve, lavender, pink, peach, or blue, usually in the pastel ranges. It's also commonly striated with deep blacks, grays, or navies, which can resemble cracks.
Overall, the colour palette is generally described as soothing, even if the striations offer dramatic contrast. The stone also tends to be opaque, and the sheen can even look a bit chalky. This makes its name seem even more apt in some cases, as it isn't overly glossy.
As with many stones on the list, the amount of any particular hue present in a sample can vary. Some are mainly lighter shades, while others may be dominated by the striations or some mottling, primarily causing them to be deep grays or black.
9. Zebra Jasper
As the name would suggest, zebra jasper is one of the varieties of jasper with very distinct colouring and patterning. You'll find clear black and white stripes with most pieces, each with the organic edges you'd expect to see on its namesake animal. However, some samples feature warmer hues, such as beige and brick red. You may also see deep green stripes on white or gray.
Depending on the piece, zebra jasper may also look more mottled than striped. Typically, this depends on how much of the stone is the lighter shade versus the darker. When a darker colour dominates smaller specimens, the overall look is commonly more mottled in appearance.
It's important to note that zebra jasper, like many others, readily accepts dye. While zebra jasper can naturally come in various hues, you may see purple, blue, or other colours that didn't occur naturally.
Additionally, there's a created variant known as aura zebra jasper. With these, a coating is applied to develop the rainbow-like finish, as such a phenomenon doesn't occur naturally.
10. Imperial Jasper
When it comes to the most expensive jasper stone, imperial jasper can potentially qualify. It's far rarer than many other types. Plus, its striking colouring and patterning make it desirable, which can boost prices.
Found in Mexico, imperial jasper usually features gentle, muted hues. You may see soft pistachios, delicate peaches, and similar shades, potentially separated by lines of sage and toffee. At times, pieces have deeper colouring, bringing in brick or clay reds.
It's important to note that imperial jasper may have some blue tints, though they tend to be highly subtle. However, you may see options on the market with dramatic shades of blue. The issue is that, as with many jasper varieties, imperial jasper is easy to dye. As a result, versions with strong blue colouring – such as vibrant turquoise – may be natural stone, but the colour isn't naturally occurring.