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50+ Types of Jasper Stone: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Characteristics

50+ Types of Jasper Stone: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Characteristics

Jasper is a versatile and commonly encountered gemstone known for its abundant colours and intricate patterns. Recognized as a variety of opaque chalcedony, jasper often contains iron oxide, which contributes to its wide spectrum of vibrant hues. The stone is not only sought after for its aesthetic appeal but also for its grounding and nurturing properties, which make it a staple in crystal healing practices.

The stone comes in an impressive array of types, each with its unique characteristics. Red Jasper, distinguished from other stones by its deep red tones, is among the most prevalent types, while other varieties like Ocean Jasper, Picture Jasper, and Leopard Skin Jasper display a range of patterns and colour combinations. Each type of Jasper holds its own specific energies and attributions, contributing to the stone's reputation as an incredibly multifaceted mineral.

Collectors and enthusiasts often seek Jasper for its distinct qualities and the profound connection it holds to the natural world. The stones' appeal lies not only in their physical beauty but also in the sense of balance and tranquillity they are believed to impart. With each type of Jasper offering different hues and healing attributes, the stone caters to a broad spectrum of tastes and therapeutic needs.

Historical Significance

Jasper has been esteemed throughout history, serving as a gemstone of choice across various ancient cultures due to its beauty and presumed metaphysical properties. Its enduring appeal is evident in the myriad of artifacts and historical references that underscore its significance across different eras and civilizations.

Jasper in Ancient Civilizations

In Latin and Greek times, the term "iaspis" was used to describe Jasper, indicating its prominence in these ancient societies. The Ancient Egyptians revered Jasper, often carving it into talismans and amulets. These were believed to provide protection in the afterlife, a crucial aspect of Egyptian culture. Notably, Jasper seals and amulets have been unearthed in archaeological digs, offering a tangible connection to its historical use.

In Ancient India, Jasper was not only appreciated for its intricate patterns but also held a sacred place in art and architecture. It was used in the creation of artistic ornaments and as an architectural accent in palaces and temples, showcasing its perceived sacredness. The Red Fort of Delhi, an iconic historical monument, features Jasper in its intricate inlay work, exemplifying its historical significance in Indian architecture.

Among Native American cultures, Jasper was considered a powerful protection stone and was often used in ceremonial rituals and as a healing stone. In European medieval lore, Jasper was believed to bring courage and relief from pain, making it a favoured stone among knights and warriors.

These historical uses highlight the multifaceted significance of Jasper, transcending mere aesthetic value. Its presence in various forms, from personal adornments to grand architectural designs, illustrates the deep-rooted and diverse appreciation of this gemstone across cultures and ages.

Classifications of Jasper

Jasper is a versatile gemstone available in an array of colours, patterns, and localities, which contributes to its popularity. Understanding its classifications is crucial for identification and appreciation.

By Colour

Jasper stones showcase a spectrum of colours due to various mineral impurities.

  • Red Jasper: This variety is often a rich red, attributed to iron oxides.

  • Yellow Jasper: Exhibits warm, sunny tones ranging from pale yellow to mustard.

  • Ocean Jasper: Known for its multi-coloured patterns with dominant greens, pinks, and whites.

  • Imperial Jasper: Features exquisite patterns, often in pastel shades.

  • Mookaite Jasper: An Australian jasper showing vibrant yellows, reds, and purples.

Mookaite Jasper

By Pattern

The patterns in Jasper are as diverse as its colours, with some varieties named for their distinctive appearances.

  • Banded Jasper: Displays stripes or bands of different colours or shades.

  • Orbicular Jasper (Ocean Jasper): Characterized by circular patterns or "orbs".

  • Poppy Jasper: Contains orb-like patterns reminiscent of poppy flowers.

  • Brecciated Jasper: Composed of broken fragments of Jasper that have naturally reformed, creating an abstract pattern.

  • Picture Jasper: Its patterns resemble landscapes, making each stone a natural piece of art.

By Origin

Jasper is found in various locations worldwide, with some varieties named after their geological source.

  • Biggs Jasper: Originates from Biggs Junction in Oregon, known for its detailed landscape-like patterns.

  • Mookaite Jasper: Sourced from Mooka Creek in Western Australia, valued for its rich colours.

  • Imperial Jasper: Found in Mexico, acclaimed for its fine and intricate patterns.

  • Ocean Jasper: Mined from the coastal areas of Madagascar, prized for its unique orbicular patterns and wide colour range.

By breaking down Jasper into these classifications, enthusiasts and collectors can better understand the stone's diversity and identify specific different types of jasper more suited to their aesthetic or metaphysical preferences.

Physical and Chemical Properties

Jasper is a distinctive gemstone renowned for its rich variety of colours and patterns. This section delves into the mineral composition and the attributes contributing to its hardness and durability.

Mineral Composition

Jasper is a stone fundamentally composed of microgranular quartz and may also include cryptocrystalline chalcedony, making it a member of the quartz family. These minerals give Jasper its opaque quality and contribute to the vast range of colours seen in this stone. The presence of other mineral impurities within Jasper is what chiefly influences its colouration and patterning, leading to the numerous types of Jasper found globally.

Hardness and Durability

Jasper is known for its impressive hardness and durability. It ranks around 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, which measures the resistance of a mineral to being scratched. This hardness is derived from its quartz content, making it suitable for various jewellery and ornamental applications. Its opaque nature and resistance to weathering also make it an ideal material for architectural features. Jasper's durability is further enhanced by its chemical stability, which helps in maintaining its integrity over time against natural elements.

Colour Variations of Jasper

Jasper's wide palette of colours and intricate patterns makes it a distinct and versatile gemstone. Each variation holds a unique aesthetic appeal attributed to its specific composition and locality.

Red and Yellow Jasper

Red Jasper typically exhibits hues ranging from deep rust red to bright scarlet, owed largely to its iron oxide content. The stone's red tone may vary from opaque to translucent, making each specimen distinctive. Yellow Jasper, on the other hand, presents colours from mustard to golden, often containing subtle bands or mottled patterns, adding to its visual interest.

Green and Blue Jasper

Green varieties of Jasper display a spectrum of shades from a light olive to a dark forest green. The presence of minerals like iron silicate or chlorite bestow the stone with its verdant hues. Blue Jasper is less common, occurring in tones from sky blue to navy, incorporating flecks of black or patterns of cream, enhancing its rarity and desirability.

Multicoloured and Patterned Jasper

Jasper stone is renowned for its multicoloured specimens that boast an array of hues and patterns. These stones can combine any combination of the aforementioned colours, intermingled with black, white, or brown. Their unique colour patterns and habits, including banding and spotted stone designs, are the result of various mineral impurities and geological processes. Jasper bearing landscape-like patterns is especially sought after for its artistic and natural aesthetic.

Symbolism and Healing Properties of Jasper Colours

Each colour of Jasper carries its own symbolism and is believed to possess specific healing properties, making this gemstone not just visually appealing but also spiritually significant.

common red jasper
  • Red Jasper: Often associated with strength, vitality, and courage, Red Jasper is believed to promote grounding and stability. It's thought to enhance endurance and stamina, making it a popular choice for athletes and those facing physical challenges.

tumbled honey yellow jasper
  • Yellow Jasper: Symbolizing optimism and joy, Yellow Jasper is said to help channel positive energy. It's believed to stimulate the solar plexus chakra, enhancing self-confidence and personal power.

green jasper stone
  • Green Jasper: Known for its nurturing properties, Green Jasper is associated with balance and harmony. It's believed to help in healing and soothing emotional distress and is often used in practices aimed at fostering emotional recovery.

    Blue Jasper
  • Blue Jasper: Blue Jasper is linked with calmness and tranquillity. It's thought to aid in communication, promoting clarity of thought and articulate expression. This makes it a favoured stone for public speakers and those seeking to improve their communication skills.

    Black Jasper
  • Black Jasper: As a protective stone, Black Jasper is believed to provide a strong shield against negative energies. It's often used in grounding rituals and is thought to promote deep insight and inner stability.

  • Multicoloured Jasper: These stones, with their blend of colours, are said to combine the properties of the included hues. They are often used for overall healing and balance, bringing together the diverse energies of their constituent colours.

These symbolic associations and healing properties contribute to Jasper's popularity in various therapeutic and spiritual practices. Whether used for meditation, crystal healing, or simply as a comforting presence, the different colours of Jasper offer a wide range of possibilities for enhancing emotional and spiritual well-being.

Jasper in Geology

The geology of Jasper encompasses its complex formation process and geographical distribution, where distinct conditions lead to a variety of types specific to certain regions.

Formation Process

Jasper forms through the sedimentary process or volcanic activity, where silica-rich sediment or volcanic ash consolidates into rock. Key factors include the presence of iron impurities in volcanic rock, which give Jasper its distinctive red colour. Over time, this silica sediment or ash is cemented with other mineral deposits, creating a dense, opaque form of chalcedony.

Locales and Sources

Geologically, Jasper is sourced from various regions:

  • Oregon: Known for its unique Ocean Jasper, sourced from the state's coastal regions.

  • Madagascar: Supplies elaborate patterns of Ocean Jasper.

  • Indonesia: Hosts volcanic regions that contribute to Jasper formation.

  • Russia: Offers varieties such as Picture Jasper, which often depicts scenic patterns reminiscent of landscapes.

  • Australia: Renowned for Mookaite Jasper, sourced from Western Australia, characterized by its bold colours.

  • Kazakhstan: Provides unique landscape-patterned varieties.

  • United States: Apart from Oregon, also finds Jasper deposits across other states, each with its unique blend of Jasper types.

These regions illustrate the diverse environments in which Jasper can form, from sedimentary contexts like riverbeds and shorelines to the remnants of volcanic eruptions. Each locale imparts a signature touch to the Jasper found there, influenced by the specific geological makeup and historical geologic events of the area.

Common Types of Jasper

The Jasper family showcases a diverse array of patterns and colours, each type bringing its own unique aesthetic and often associated with specific metaphysical properties. This section provides insights into commonly encountered Jasper varieties.

Common Jasper Varieties

Red Jasper: Characterized by its vibrant, deep red to brownish-red hue, often with streaks of iron oxide.

Brecciated Jasper
Brecciated Jasper: Offering a mosaic of red tones interlaced with dark or light angular fragments, this Jasper promotes emotional stability and mental clarity.
Zebra Jasper

Zebra Jasper: With its signature alternating bands of black and white, Zebra Jasper is a grounding stone believed to foster physical energy and optimism over negative energy.

Fancy Jasper: A multicoloured stone blending green, lilac, pink, or red, Fancy Jasper is celebrated for its comforting and repairing qualities.

Picture Jasper

Picture Jasper: It reveals nature-like, scenic patterns with rich brown, tan, and creamy hues, often used for nurturing and protection.

Picasso Jasper: This variety displays striking abstract lines and patterns reminiscent of Picasso's paintings and is considered inspiring for creative minds.

Rare Types of Jasper

Jasper is a versatile gemstone with a variety of patterns and colours, each with its distinct geography and rarity. Some jasper types are exceedingly rare due to their unique appearance and the specific conditions required for their formation.

Unique Varieties and Their Origins

  1. Kaleidoscope Jasper:

    Kaleidoscope jasper photo By Spiritwind51 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49964668

    Found only in Oregon, USA, this jasper is named for its vibrant, multi-coloured patterns that resemble a kaleidoscope.

  2. Poppy Jasper: Typically hailing from California, USA, this stone is characterized by orbicular patterns reminiscent of poppy flowers.

  3. Spiderweb Jasper: A rare type distinguished by its web-like patterns, originating from several locations, including Madagascar.

  4. Cherry Creek Jasper:

    Cherry creek Jasper from China Photo by James St. John

    Discovered in Mainland China, it's prized for its red, green, and yellow colours interlaced like creek waters.

  5. Dragon Blood Jasper: An uncommon variety from Western Australia featuring a combination of green epidote and red piemontite.

  6. Ocean Wave Jasper: A scarce type that was mined off the northwest coast of Madagascar and is celebrated for its oceanic patterns.

  7. Silver Leaf Jasper: This jasper occurs mainly in Africa and is known for silvery, leaf-like patterning.

  8. Sunset Jasper: Found in Madagascar, it offers vibrant reds and oranges, mimicking the colours of a sunset.

  9. Wild Horse Jasper: It has a striking brown and white pattern, akin to the coat of a wild horse, predominantly found in southeastern Oregon.

  10. African Jasper: This term refers to jasper found across the African continent, admired for its earthen colours and varied patterns.

  11. Biggs Jasper:

    By Deidre Woollard - biggs jasper, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70365946

    Sourced from Biggs Junction in Oregon, it is famous for its beautiful blue-grey to brown landscape-like patterns.

  12. Cappuccino Jasper: Comes primarily from Madagascar, sporting patterns that resemble the frothy mix of a cappuccino.

  13. Deschutes Jasper: Known for its fine grain and originates from the Deschutes River in Oregon, it features colours similar to the river's canyon.

  14. Elephant Skin Jasper: This type of jasper is unique for its grey and brown, wrinkled, elephant-skin-like patterns, primarily from Africa.

  15. Holly Blue Jasper: A rare blue jasper found in Oregon, USA, named for its holly-like blue hue.

  16. Indian Blanket Jasper: Sourced from India, this jasper is treasured for its blanket-like patterns of red, white, and black.

  17. Landscape Jasper: Aptly named for its scenic, landscape-like patterns, it's typically found in multiple locations, including Madagascar.

  18. Morgan Hill Jasper: Extracted near Morgan Hill, California, recognized by its red and green patterned appearance.

  19. Orbicular Jasper:

    Orbicular Jasper

    Also known as Ocean Jasper, this variety has orb-like patterns and is mainly sourced from Madagascar.

  20. Polychrome Jasper:

    polychrome jasper

    Discovered in Madagascar, it displays multiple colours and is sought after for its vibrant and earthy tones.

  21. Leopard Skin Jasper:

    leopard skin jasper

    This jasper, found in Mexico, is named for its leopard skin-like spots and is also referred to as Jaguar Stone.

  22. Snake Skin Jasper: Originates from Australia and features a unique pattern that resembles the skin of a snake.

  23. Starry Night Jasper: Sourced in Oregon, this rare type is notable for its dark base with spots that sparkle like stars.

  24. Texas Plume Jasper: Hails from Texas in the US and is known for its plume-like formations within the stone.

  25. Willow Creek Jasper: Exclusive to Idaho, USA, it's renowned for its fine grain and is considered the finest porcelain jasper due to its pastel colours.

  26. Bruneau Jasper:

    Bruneau Jasper Photo by:Chris857

    Known for its captivating circular patterns and deep brown and red hues, Bruneau Jasper is a sought-after variety from the Bruneau River in Idaho. It's prized for its unique, orb-like formations that create stunning, eye-catching designs.

  27. Morrisonite Jasper:

    By James St. John - https://www.flickr.com/photos/47445767@N05/51428269571/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109795122

    Often referred to as the “King of Jaspers” for its exceptional quality and vibrant, multi-coloured patterns. Found in the Morrison area of Oregon, it's celebrated for its intricate landscape-like scenes and smooth, polished finish.

  28. Brown Jasper: A grounding and stabilizing stone, Brown Jasper exhibits earthy tones ranging from deep chocolate to light tan. Its soothing colour palette makes it a popular choice for jewelry that exudes natural, understated elegance.

  29. Rainbow Jasper: True to its name, Rainbow Jasper displays a spectrum of colours, often in banded patterns. Each piece is a natural kaleidoscope, reflecting a harmonious blend of red, green, yellow, and sometimes blue hues.

  30. Honey Jasper: Exhibiting warm, golden tones reminiscent of honey, this variety is known for its nurturing energy. Honey Jasper often features subtle banding or swirling patterns, adding to its visual appeal.

  31. Turquoise Jasper: A unique blend of Jasper and turquoise hues, this variety stands out for its striking blue-green coloration. It's a rare find, often sought after for its refreshing and vibrant appearance.

  32. Genesis Jasper: This type is characterized by its abstract and often geometric patterns. Genesis Jasper's palette typically includes a mix of earthy tones, making each piece distinct and visually captivating.

  33. Confetti Jasper: As festive as its name suggests, Confetti Jasper is dotted with multi-coloured spots against a lighter background, resembling a burst of confetti. It's a playful and vibrant variety that adds a pop of colour to any collection.

  34. Noreena Jasper: Hailing from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Noreena Jasper is known for its striking red and yellow patterns. Its fiery, angular designs resemble a desert landscape, making it a dramatic and eye-catching variety.

  35. Red Creek Jasper: Named after the creek where it was first found, this Jasper variety is admired for its scenic patterns in shades of red, green, and tan. It often resembles a painted landscape, making each piece a natural work of art.

  36. Porcelain Jasper (aka Exotica, Santefe, SciFi Jasper): This type is renowned for its smooth, porcelain-like finish and striking patterns. Available in a range of colours, from soft pastels to bold hues, it's a versatile stone often used in high-end jewelry.

  37. Imperial Jasper:

    Imperial jasper slice

    Renowned for its intricate patterns and vibrant hues, this is a highly valued variety found in Mexico, often used in high-end jewelry for its elegance and translucency. Believed to promote tranquillity and healing, it's sought after for both its aesthetic appeal and metaphysical properties, making it a prized gemstone among collectors and enthusiasts.

  38. Basanite Jasper (aka Black Jasper): A protective and grounding stone, Basanite Jasper is deep black with occasional streaks of other colours. It's known for its solid, dense texture and is often used as a touchstone or in protective amulets.

  39. Fossil Jasper: This variety incorporates ancient fossils within its structure, making each piece a fragment of history. The patterns created by these fossils are unique, offering a tangible connection to the past.

  40. Green Hair Jasper: Characterized by its green colour with hair-like inclusions, this Jasper variety is both rare and intriguing. The delicate, thread-like patterns offer a unique aesthetic reminiscent of a green, mossy landscape.

  41. Chrysanthemum Jasper: Named for its flower-like patterns that resemble chrysanthemums, this Jasper is a blend of floral beauty and mineral wonder. Its patterns are often in contrasting colours, making it a visually striking choice.

  42. Plum Jasper (aka Plum Blossom Jasper): This variety features patterns that resemble plum blossoms, with soft pinks and purples set against a darker background. It's a symbol of beauty and renewal, much like the plum blossoms it's named after.

  43. Royal Plume Jasper or Purple Jasper: Known for its majestic purple hues and feather-like patterns, Royal Plume Jasper exudes elegance and sophistication. It's a rare variety that adds a regal touch to any collection.

  44. Maligano Jasper: Originating from Indonesia, Maligano Jasper is celebrated for its abstract and scenic patterns, often resembling landscapes or underwater scenes. Its diverse colour palette includes grays, yellows, oranges, and reds.

  45. Kona Jasper: A Hawaiian variety, Kona Jasper is as warm and inviting as the island it's named after. It typically features a blend of earthy reds and browns, interspersed with occasional greens and yellows reminiscent of volcanic landscapes.

Commonly Mistaken for Jasper

While jasper is a well-known gemstone, several other minerals and stones are often misidentified as jasper gemstones. It's important to distinguish authentic jasper varieties from those that merely resemble them.

  • Dalmatian Jasper:

    Despite its name, Dalmatian Jasper is not true jasper. It is, more accurately, a variety of igneous rock that contains black or brown spots of tourmaline or arfvedsonite, which create a pattern reminiscent of the Dalmatian dog breed.

  • Rainforest Jasper:

    rainforest "jasper"

    Also known as Green Rhyolite, Rainforest Jasper is often mistaken for jasper due to its green and brown earthy colours and orbicular patterns. However, this stone is rhyolite and gets its distinctive appearance from the volcanic activity where it forms.

  • Bumblebee Jasper:

    Bumblebee Jasper bears striking yellow, orange, and black banding, which makes it easily misinterpreted as jasper. In reality, it is a fibrous calcite with bands of volcanic lava. Bumblebee Jasper contains sulphur and arsenic, substances not found in genuine jasper stones.

  • Crocodile Jasper:

    Kambaba Jasper is not actually a true jasper

    Similarly mislabelled, Crocodile Jasper, also known as Kambaba Jasper, is not true jasper but is actually a sedimentary rock consisting of fossilized algae. Its patterns do resemble those of crocodile skin, inspiring its name.

  • Unakite:

    Unakite

    often mistaken for Jasper due to its similar appearance and the presence of green and pink colours that are also common in certain Jasper varieties. Unakite is actually a type of granite, an igneous rock composed primarily of green epidote, pink orthoclase feldspar, and clear quartz. This combination gives Unakite its unique mottled appearance, blending green, pink, and sometimes white or grey hues. The presence of feldspar, which is not found in Jasper, is a key differentiator.

These stones each have their own distinct properties and origins, setting them apart from jasper stone, which is typically a form of chalcedony and characterized by its opaque appearance and high silica content. Identifying these stones correctly is critical for gem collectors and enthusiasts in appreciating and valuating their collections accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address key queries about Jasper, shedding light on its types, value, identification, historical references, and defining characteristics.

How many kinds of Jasper are there?

There are numerous varieties of Jasper, each with unique colour patterns and formations. It is reported that there are over a dozen recognized types of Jasper, not including regional variants and lesser-known forms.

What are the most valuable varieties of Jasper?

Value in Jasper stones is often subjective and based on aesthetic appeal. However, varieties like Imperial Jasper and Ocean Jasper are considered highly valuable due to their rarity and distinctive patterns.

How does one identify genuine Jasper stones?

Genuine Jasper is identifiable through its opacity and grainy, impure texture. It has a hardness of about 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Experts can also perform specific tests to confirm its authenticity.

How is Jasper referenced within biblical texts?

Jasper is mentioned in biblical literature, notably in the Book of Revelation, as one of the stones found in the walls of the New Jerusalem, symbolizing clarity spiritual wisdom, and truth.

Is Jasper a stone or crystal?

Jasper is a stone, specifically a type of opaque, impure chalcedony, which is a form of microcrystalline quartz.

What colour is pure Jasper?

Pure Jasper is typically red due to iron inclusions, but it can present in a variety of colours ranging from bright yellow, green, and blue to brown depending on the minerals and impurities it contains.

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