Jasper is an opaque variety of Chalcedony, and is usually associated with brown, yellow, or reddish colors, but may be used to describe other opaque colors of Chalcedony such as dark or mottled green, orange, and black. Jasper is almost always multicolored, with unique color patterns and habits.
The appeal of Jasper is its interesting color patterns and formations. Though it can be a solid color, it is most often mottled, spotted, ringed, or striped. Each Jasper has a unique color or pattern, lending this gemstone much variety. Jasper is an ancient gemstone, and is mentioned in the bible and other classical sources. Though fairly common and affordable today, Jasper in antiquity was regarded as a valuable stone.
Jasper is generally an inexpensive gemstone when used in jewelry. It is cut and polished into caboshons, and used as beads for necklaces and bracelets. It is also carved into cameos which can be worn as pendants.
Jasper has an over-abundance of variety names. Some variety names are generally used by collectors and dealers, but there are many made up by dealers to describe a locality or other habit. The varieties below are the well-known names or varieties that are commonly encountered. Seldom-used and localized trade names are not described here.
Opaque multicolored jasper, or Jasper with banding; may also refer to a single stone with a combination of both agate and Jasper.
Jasper in rounded fragments naturally cemented together in a gray material; appears similar to breccia.
Jasper from Biggs Junction, Oregon, with varying light and dark color brown bands and pretty formations.
Jasper from Bruneau Canyon, in Owyhee County, Idaho, with distinctive brown, cream, (and sometimes even red or green) banding and patterns.
CAVE CREEK JASPER
Reddish jasper found near Cave Creek in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Jasper from a deposit slightly east of Biggs Junction, Oregon, near the Deschutes River, with good banding and interesting color formations.
Form of Orbicular Jasper with white and gray circles on a red background. It is found as rounded pebbles on the beaches of Egypt. A similar Jasper is found on the beaches of Washington state and sometimes also labelled as Egyptian Jasper.
Jasper with a light to dark green color. Green Jasper differs from praise and plasma since it is fully opaque.
Orbicular jasper with concentric rings of colorless or white quartz. Occasionally used as a synonym of Jasper.
Banded rock that is a mixture of Hematite and jasper.
Form of Orbicular jasper with tan color rings, appearing similar to the spots of a leopard.
MORGAN HILL JASPER
Jasper from Morgan Hill, California, with small reddish and yellow "poppy" formations. Also synonymous with "Poppy jasper"
Multicolored jasper from the Owyhee River gorge in Malheur Co., Oregon.
Form of jasper or chalcedony containing dense inclusions of green Hornblende that cause the pattern to resemble moss. Often used as a synonym for Moss agate, though Moss Agate is translucent whereas Moss Jasper is opaque.
Form of Orbicular jasper found on the coast of Madagascar with small, tight, concentric ring formations.
Form of Brecciated jasper in which the cementing material is opal.
Jasper with rounded concentric rings throughout.
Form of jasper with scenic picture formations found near the Owyhee River in Oregon.
Form of jasper with scenic picture-like formations.
Form of yellow Orbicular jasper with red concentric rings.
form of banded jasper with thick banded lines.
Jasper from Russia usually with reddish spots.
STONE CANYON JASPER
Yellowish Brecciated Jasper from Stone Canyon (near San Miguel), California.
Jasper from Wasco Co., Oregon, with irregular yellow, pink, and red concentric bands
Dark brown Jasper with lighter brown to white colored banding streaks.