Jasper the gemstone associated with the birthstone month of January.
Jasper is associated with the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Leo.
Jasper is a microcrystalline variety of the mineral Quartz, and a member of the Chalcedony family. It often contains organic material and iron oxides that account for its interesting patterns, bands, and colors.
History & Lore:
The name Jasper means “spotted stone”, and is ultimately thought to be derived from the Persian word 'yashp'.
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.
Please refer to a specific variety of Jasper for information regarding availability.
Jasper deposits occur worldwide.
Jasper is rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and it should be protected from scratches and sharp blows. Jasper is an opaque, impure variety of Chalcedony traditionally thought of as red, but can be found in almost all colors of the spectrum including: brown, yellow, green, pink, white, grey, and shades of purple and blue. In addition to this, Jaspers can exhibit beautiful patterns and bands when associated with organic material and mineral oxides.
Jaspers are often named according to the pattern they exhibit, or the location in which it is mined. Depending upon the variety of Jasper, important value factors include: Saturation and richness of color, the beauty of the exhibited bands/patterns, and the design in which it is formed.
Jasper has been used for sculptures, bowls, vases, seals, and other such ornamentation purposes dating back thousands of years. As a gemstone, Jasper is most commonly found cut into cabochons and beads.
Please refer to a specific variety of Jasper for information regarding routine enhancements.
Care & Cleaning:
Jaspers are often sealed with petroleum products and therefore they should not be cleaned with water because it can remove the polish / seal. It is best to clean your Jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth. As with most gemstones, Jaspers should be kept away from prolonged 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 jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.