Jasper

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Jasper is a coarse-grained variety of chalcedony. The name comes from the Greek iaspis or "spotted stone." Jasper has been used as a gemstone since Biblical times and may be one of the stones mentioned in the Breastplate of Aaron. There are numerous varieties of Jasper. These are sold under various trade names which have not been completely standardised. Red jasper is one the more common types although many gemologists believe that iaspis originally referred to green jasper, which is extremely rare. Jasper has a waxy or dull luster, but unlike chalcedony is always opaque, even in thin slabs. Jasper is easily dyed and is often used to imitate other gemstones such as lapis lazuli and jade. Some varieties of jasper are listed below:

  • red jasper—brick red with spots or streaks of pale yellow and slate blue
  • fancy jasper—mottled blend of mauve, lilac, cream, and green; similiar in appearance to bloodstone
  • zebra japser—bands of greenish black and white
  • green-lined jasper—leafy green streaked with cream and black (also called moss jasper)
  • golden jasper—blend of creamy yellow, yellow orange, and golden brown