Jasper is a member of the chalcedony family. Chalcedony (kal SED' nee) is any form of microcrystalline quartz, where the crystals are too small to be seen without high magnification. However, in the rock world, only the translucent or transparent, single color types are sold as "chalcedony". The rest of the stones in the chalcedony family are sold under individual variety names, or as jasper or agate. While the definitions overlap, Jasper usually refers to an opaque stone, with an irregular display of colors caused by various mineral impurities. Agate is defined by its translucency (ability to see light through it), and by its clearly defined pattern or banding of multiple colors.
Jasper come in all colors but are rarely one solid color. About 20% of Jasper is foreign materials or impurities that determine the color, pattern and appearance. Usually it is multi-colored, spotted or striped. The name Jasper is derived from the Greek word that means “spotted stone”. Jaspers are found all over the world, with certain colors or patterns unique to particular localities. They have a hardness of 7, making them great stones to wear. Most jaspers are named after their colors or their appearance, or from where they are found.
Some jaspers named after their location are: Biggs (Oregon), Bruneau (Idaho), Owyhee (Oregon/Idaho), Morrisonite (Oregon), Willow Creek (Idaho), Succor Creek (Oregon/Idaho), Deschutes (Oregon), and Mookaite (Australia).
Some jaspers named after their colors or appearance are: Bloodstone is a dark green with red spots, Orbicular Jasper has circle patterns or “eyes”, Poppy Jasper is red with yellow or white spots, Leopardskin Jasper is yellow and black, Zebra Jasper is black and white, and Dalmation Jasper looks like a dalmation dog!
The belief in the magical properties of the rocks and minerals is not new. Belief in the supernatural properties of rocks and minerals bringing peace, wellness and protection goes back beyond recorded history. There are ancient legends that trace rocks, minerals and crystals back to the creation of the Earth and the Universe. Most of my metaphysical information is taken from The Book of Stones-Who They Are and What They Teach, with permission from its co-author, Mr. Robert Simmons. Metaphysically Jasper is said to have a stabilizing effect, and help one take all one's energy and use it in a balanced manner. It is also said to be a stone that helps in all areas of survival, and is a very protective stone.
Jasper was a favorite in the ancient world, and its lore can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. It is mentioned in the Bible several times. People of the 4th century called it a "rain-bringer". Legend states it was used to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. Many amulets made from jasper were found in Egypt with scripture inscribed on the amulet to protect the wearer from death. The Ancient Greeks valued jasper, believing it would ease the pain of childbirth if tied to the woman’s thigh. Jasper was used as a talisman to prevent drowning and scorpion bites. It was often worn by Shamen to provide protection. Some Native Americans lore claims that jasper would bring rain, and that it would protect against unseen dangers in the night.
OakRocks has been in the rock and mineral business for 30 years. We are a great source for a variety of Jaspers and carry a large selection of jasper rough, cabochons, and polished pieces.