Jasper is a the birthstone for the month of January.
Jasper is associated with the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Leo.
Jasper is a variety of microcrystalline quartz and a member of the Chalcedony family. It often contains organic material and iron oxides. These materials account for its interesting patterns, bands, and colors.
History & Lore:
Biggs Jasper is named according to the location in which it was found. It was discovered in 1965 in Biggs, Oregon, United States, after a flood had partially destroyed the Union pacific Railroad and U.S. Highway 97. A mine was constructed after the natural catastrophe and was both owned and operated by Fred Dormaier. Although the mine is still owned by the Dormaier family it is currently inactive due to a major highway development plan.
Jasper was a favorite gemstone of ancient times and can be traced back to Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Latin, and Assyrian literature.
Jasper is a protective stone and is said to align the chakras and balance yin and yang energies. In legend Jasper was believed to protect against evil spirits and forces, and was also believed to bring courage and relief from pain. It is also said to protect against venomous snake and spider bites. Jaspers are also believed to help pregnant women whilst giving birth, with additional benefits including increasing milk supply during nursing, and slowing down of heavy menstrual flow.
Biggs Jasper is no longer being mined due to a major highway being developed over the location.
The sole source of Biggs Jasper can be found in Biggs, Oregon.
Jasper is rated at 6.5 to 7 on Moh's Scale of Hardness. Biggs Jasper is an opaque stone that is tan in color with dark bands and patterns of chocolate brown. It's value is determined by the saturation of its color, the beauty of the bands and patterns, and the design in which it is formed.
Biggs Jasper is most commonly found cut into a cabochons and beads.
Biggs Jasper is not known to be enhanced.
Care & Cleaning:
Jaspers are often sealed with petroleum products and should therefore not be cleaned with water because this can remove the polish. It is best to clean your Jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth. As with most gemstones, Jaspers should be kept away from exposure to extremes of heat and household chemicals that can damage the stone. Always keep your Jasper jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other harder jewelry items so as to avoid scratching.