Saturday, 4 June 2011

Jasper ~

Jasper as a family of gemstones includes a very wide range.  In my article 'Agate or jasper - what is the difference?' I quote the book "Gems and Crystals" which distinguishes between the two saying that agate is a form of chalcedony, and jasper is not.  This contradicts the opening sentence of the Wikipedia article linked to here.  As the book is put out by two high-ranking authorities at the American Museum of Natural History, my money is on them!  Jasper is opaque and usually red, yellow, brown or green, although it can occur in a multitude of colours.

Below is one of the most comprehensive illustration of this wide colour range that I have seen anywhere!  It's from New Guinea.


And here it is seen from the back, which is to say, the unpolished face:


This carved piece is easily identifiable as jasper:


Below is a string of leopard-skin jasper beads, an unusual variety.  I can tell you little about it and so simply link here to other images.


I have no idea at all what form of jasper the one below is, or even if it really is jasper.  A gem retailer identified it as such but...


The specimen shown below is a softer pinkish-purple than the image indicates.  I think it's probably jasper but am not sure:


And here is the back, the unpolished side:


A series of good articles about jasper can be found through this link to the Wire-sculpture.com site.  Nice one, wire-sculpture people!

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