Jasper is an impure variety of silica. A long time ago, jasper was known as jaspis. Jasper is mostly found
in red and green, rarely in blue and even in orange and purple-gray.Jasper was very appreciated in Japan. They would always attach some jasper to the azusa branch carried
by the messenger as a sign of welcome. Thus, jasper symbolized a human life.
Jasper, apart from its blood-purifying and styptic properties, is believed to be able to give children a
spiritual upbringing, improve and ennoble souls.
It’s recommended that people wear their jasper beads or pendants near the heart. Jasper accessories
can improve your eyesight and clairvoyant abilities. Jasper helps treat fever and epilepsy and improves
“Jasper” comes from a Greek word that means “multicolored”. Other names of this mineral include
jasper agate, meat agate, bloody jasper, Swiss silver nitrate, German solver nitrate, tiger’s stoner, prase,
Jasper consists mostly of silica. It comes in dark red, red, dark blue, green, purple, and white. You can
find black jasper minerals, too. There are also multicolored, striped, speckled, banded, and other
varieties of jasper.
Genetic Classification: Siliceous Rock
Composition: Jasper is a multicolored mineral containing a lot of quartz. Apart from its amazing color,
jasper exhibits unique patterns. Jasper varieties are named based on their patterns: one-color, striped,
wavy, speckled, banded, spotted, etc.
60-95% of siliceous, sedimentary or sedimentary-metamorphic jasper is fine-grain or micrograin quartz
with some chalcedony as well as a number of other minerals determining its color: ferric and
manganese oxides and hydroxides, green and blue minerals (such as epidote, actinolite, chlorite,
alkaline amphibole, prehnite), clay minerals (up to 20%), magnetite, pyrite, etc.
Poorly metamorphized jasper minerals may contain silicic skeletons of unicellular algae – radiolarians.
Varieties containing more chalcedony than quartz (or with no quartz at all) are called jasperoids.
a) Jasper comes in an array of colors and patterns. It can be one-color, striped, banded, spotted and
speckled (the most beautiful variety). Jaspers may exhibit combinations of patterns. It is mostly found in
gray, green, yellow, red, brown, and rarely in blue, dark blue and purple.
b) Jasper is a solid mineral with a high viscosity, hardness (7), and density (2.65); index of refraction is
1.54-1.55 (chalcedonic jasperoids – 1.53). Jaspers are never translucent.
The origin of jaspers containing radiolarian skeletons is biogenic-sedimentary; with no radiolarians –
chemogenic-sedimentary. Jasper is deposited in long, and sometimes massive, layers.
Jasper is closely associated with greenstone rocks – transformed lava and tufa with high silica levels
resulting from underwater volcanic eruptions. Silica either was extracted from the sea water by
radiolarians that needed it to build their skeletons, or fell out as siliceous ooze or chemically, and then
decrystallized. Most jaspers were metamorphized along with the rocks containing them.
Jasper deposits are found worldwide but the most well-known deposits are located in the Ural and Altai
Mountains. In the Urals, jasper deposits are found all the way from the north to the south. The most
well-known jaspers include:Speckled Orsk jasper;
One-color, green-gray, Kalininsk jasper;
Unique banded Koshkuldinsk jasper with beautiful combinations of thin green, bright red and rich
raspberry pink bands.
Striated Yamsk jasper that comes in pale yellow and dark cherry colors;
Banded Malomuynak jasper with beautiful striated patterns of wide pale yellow and dark green bands;
Landscape-Aumkulsk jasper that comes in pale yellow with black or brown treelike patterns;
Speckled Urazovsk jasper;
Crimson Berkutinsk jasper.
The best jaspers are mined in Russia’s Urals (mostly the Southern Urals, between Miass and Orsk), in the
Altai Mountains and North Caucasus. The most exotic speckled jaspers are found in Mount Polkovnik in
Orsk. Jasper is also mined in Ukraine, Eastern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, USA (patterned jasper from
Maine and Arizona), Germany (Saxony), and Venezuela. For centuries, jasper has been mined in Egypt
Application: Jasper is a solid mineral that comes in massive monoliths, in a wide array of colors, and
exhibiting beautiful patterns.
They started using jasper to make highly artistic items, such as vases, floor lamps and other décor
accessories for royal interiors, in the XVIII-XIX centuries.
Polished plates of landscape jasper are used as pictures that are highly appreciated by the connoisseurs
of stones. Currently, they use jasper to make jewelry (such as brooches, pendants, cuff links), as well as
writing materials and other souvenirs.
The discovery of jasper in the Urals refers to 1742 and is connected with Catherine’s prospector Fyodor
Babin, his son Peter and apprentice Kirill Obvischev. They found four deposits of red and green jasper in
the Tura River in 1742 (in the Middle Urals).
In 1743, in the Tura River, cutter Nesentsov with the Yekaterinburg cutting factory discovered dark red
jasper with yellow spots.
For almost ten years, the jasper quarries in the Middle Urals were the only quarries which jasper was
used to master jasper mining and cutting techniques. According to the old documents, “polished” and
“humid” jaspers were considered the best (by “humid” they meant well-polished minerals which looked
shiny and moist)
Finding jasper turned out pretty easy. Rich in colors, it was easily spotted. It developed the power of
observation and ability to see a beautiful stone in a natural environment. People often relied on pure
luck – they would notice jasper patterns on rocks after a heavy rain or under the roots of a wind-fallen
However, jasper proved not easy to mine. To separate a layer, they used wooden wedges. They
hammered them in and poured water over them so they would swell and tear the rock out. If it didn’t
help, they made fires along the crack, poured some water over the red-hot rock and started striking it
with hammers. Fire. Water. Hammers… The rock yielded. However, often all they got were just some
small fragment that had broken off.
In 1751, Semen Cheremisinov of Orenburg found “speckled iaspis-like stone” in the mines near Lake
Irtyash (the Sothern Urals). In November, Bashkir foreman Agildy Satangulov announced finding green
jasper on the midday side of the Chebarkul castle near the Sanarka River.
The following year, in early spring, Bashkirs Umer Yumyshev and Yangildy Biekldishev found light green
jaspers on the Beshelyal and Kandabulak Rivers and a red agate-like stone with white streaks on a hill
surrounded by swamps near the village of Urazovo. It was Urazovo jasper, also known as meat agate.
This chain of discoveries lead to the discovery of South Ural jasper, one of the most beautiful varieties of
jasper, which overshadowed all jaspers found in the Middle Urals and it’s understandable. The jasper in
the Middle Urals is mostly one-color, while here, in the Southern Urals, it’s a feast of rich colors, deep
contrasts of “hot” – red and “cold” – snow white colors. The cavities and cracks were filled with
chalcedony, while the rest was coarse-grain white non-translucent quartz, wriggling like the skeleton of
some mysterious body.
The beauty of Urazovo jasper is a restless beauty. It was hard to believe it would submit to an artist.
Yet, half a century later, it did. That artist was a talented Russian decorator A. Voronikhin, a fan of
classic, ascetic and simple forms, and elegant proportions.
Voronikhin couldn’t be bolder in his search for multi-color solutions. His task was to subdue nature’s
wild imagination to a clear, completed and well-balanced form, and it was perfectly fulfilled each time.
Here’s one of the vases. It’s baluster-shaped. It has bronze figures of Egyptians on its wide shoulders
resting against the column of its crown. They’re serious and thoughtful. Their arms are folded. You can’t
help feeling serenity coming from this Urazovo jasper, the one that was described by us as a mineral
with a restless beauty.
The artist has managed to adjust the stone’s “state” to the mood of the bronze grace with amazing
ease. The tall vase is split horizontally with small, simple architectural profiles. The stone is literally ruled
with it, conforming to their rhythm. This allowed the artist to “calm down” the color craziness of
Urazovo jasper and combine it with the statics of bronze.
Urazovo jasper is seen in all its wild beauty in two pairs of vases which were provided to the Hermitage
by the Kolyvan polishing factory. Here the bronze authoritatively ties, in elegantly stretched volutes,
from the leg to the shoulder, the strong, round, almost spherical body of the vase.
The struggle between the stone and bronze is accumulated in the strong bodies of the roaring bronze
panthers. Only half a century separates these two vases, the gems of the Russian stone cutting, from thefirst jasper quarries in the Southern Urals, from the time when Russia had neither stone nor stone
cutting traditions of its own.
What’s jasper? Stonecutters and jewelers call jasper any dense siliceous rock that looks glossy and shiny
when polished. Mineralogists call jasper only dense rocks consisting of tiny quartz grains soldered
together either by clay or siliceous concrete or chalcedony. Geologists first tried to unravel the mystery
of this stone’s origin back in the XVIII – XIX centuries but they are still arguing about it.
Academician A. Fersman depicted the origin of jasper in a curious way. He wrote, “A few hundred
million years ago, in the so called Devonian period, there was no such thing as the modern Ural
mountain ridge. Those places that are now the mountain ranges of the Southern Urals would either be
shallow waters or a deeper sea with separate islands. Although there were no traces of orogenic activity
yet, there were lava flows and underwater volcanic eruptions disturbing the peaceful life of the
Devonian sea. On the bottom of the sea, flooded by lava, there was fauna in the form of various animals
with siliceous skeletons – sponges and radiolarians.” Their remains were accumulating on the deep
ocean floor forming layers of siliceous ooze that would soon become jasper.
Millions of years later, orogenic processes gave rise to the Ural Mountain Range and, eventually, jasper.
The jasper belt is 1,200 km long and runs along the eastern slope of the mountain range. It can be
compared with a necklace because the belt is not solid but consists of separate jasper locations.
Currently, geologists claim there are 207 jasper deposits in 12 such locations.
What are the advantages of jasper? Jasper is a very hard stone. You can’t scratch it even with steel. It’s
not easy to work with, however a polished stone keeps its shine for a very long time. Jasper never fades
like some gemstones do. The greatest advantage of jasper is its colors – color combinations forming
unique patterns. Sometimes the colors are so delicate and complex that a polished stone looks out of
We use one-color, speckled, striped and print jaspers. No mineral has more color variations than jasper:
reddish-brown, green, yellow and pale yellow, cherry, coffee-colored, black and blue from over 20
Some jaspers have no quartz or chalcedony at all. They consist mostly of feldspar (such as greenish gray
Kalkan jasper from the Southern Urals – transformed volcanic pyroxene-plagioclase tufa). Among
jasperoids, there are the famous Altai Revnevsk and Goltsovsk jaspers (jasperoid hornstones – contact�metamorphized fine-grained clay slates), Korgon jasper (felsite porphyry) and others.
These jaspers are famous due to the stone cutting masterpieces created by the Kolyvan factory in the 19
century, including the dark blue and blue-gray jasper fireplaces of the Moscow Kremlin and 20-ton
Kolyvan Vase with a 6-meter long oval mouth made of striated green Revnevsk jasper. This beautiful 1.3-
meter tall vase made of Kalkan jasper is displayed in the Hermitage. Industrial jasper (as a rule, one�color gray or dark green jasper) is used to make mortars, rollers, pins and knife-edges of measuring
Healers and alchemists have been using jasper for centuries to treat various diseases. For example, red
minerals were believed to be able to treat “women’s” diseases. Red jasper was also considered to have
styptic properties. In some countries, jasper was used to treat stomach, kidney, urinary bladder and
eyesight diseases. A well-known alchemist and healer Avitsenn recommended wearing jasper near thestomach to prevent gastrointestinal diseases (he used jasper for it, too). Lithotherapists believe that
jasper can treat mental diseases, improve sleep, and help patients get rid of insomnia and nightmares.
The effect of jasper on chakras is unknown.
Jasper has been used in magiс rituals since earliest times. It was believed to have magic properties, such
as, for instance, protecting homes from curious people and the evil eye. They would lay jasper flooring
in homes and temples to ensure that unwanted people wouldn’t get in their secret compartments and
rooms. In many countries, they used jasper tableware, bowls and vases in magic rituals and kept magic
accessories in jasper boxes. According to witch doctors, jasper can protect people from aggressive
Practitioners of magic use jasper to influence people’s fates remotely. To that end, they set a picture of
the person to influence into a jasper frame and perform their rituals.
It’s recommended that people wear jasper accessories as jasper radiates positive energy. To bring peace
and harmony in your home, decorate it with jasper vases and boxes. They will protect your home
against envy, anger and other negative energies surrounding us like talismans. In many countries, jasper
is believed to attract good luck, happiness and wealth.
Experts in stones’ magic properties claim that if you put a jasper stone into the pocket of a person, the
stone will protect this person from the evil eye and black witchcraft.
Jasper is the stone of the people born in the astrological sign of Virgo. It opens their eyes, gives them
wisdom and protects against misfortune.
Talismans and Amulets
Jasper is a talisman of travelers, alchemists and scientists. A jasper ball is a great talisman that will
prevent you from being reckless. Oval jasper stones are a talisman that can charge you with cosmic
energy. An uncut jasper stone is a good luck talisman that can protect you from envy.
Ancient Greeks linked jasper to an ability to be resistant to poison and recover from illness. Thus,
Byzantine emperor Manuel gave a jasper bowl to the monastery on Mount Athos which, according to a
legend, could resist poison and cure from all illnesses.
The talisman gives wisdom, the power of clairvoyance and strength. It improves the relationships at
work, with the management. Its symbolic meaning is courage.
Astrology: it’s recommended for the people born in the signs of Virgo, Sagittarius, and Taurus. It’s not
recommended for such astrological signs as Gemini and Aries. The stone is connected to the energies of
such plants as Jupiter and Mercury.
Medicinal Properties (Lithotherapy): orange jasper – day stones with high energy levels, broad-spectrum
healing stones. Blood red jasper has great blood-purifying and styptic properties and heals wounds.
Jasper improves eyesight, heart and stomach function.
Advice: For red jasper, use frames made of German silver, gold, aluminum, titan, and their alloys
Discuss the value of magical items: amulets, talismans, charms, wand, stones, pendant, oils, candles, herbs and other items
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