Who wears a jasper, be life short or long,
Will meet all dangers brave and wise and strong.
(Tiffany & Co., 1909)


Jasper is technically a form of microcrystalline quartz, like carnelian, but unlike carnelian and other forms of microcrystalline quartz, jasper may be found in many colors and patterns.

Color and Pattern

In fact, jasper’s defining characteristic is that it is formed in an amazing array of colors and fantastic patterns. There are a couple of reasons why jasper has so many colors and patterns. One reason is that jasper may contain up to 20% foreign materials. It is the foreign materials that determine jasper’s many colors. Another reason is that jasper is formed in many geologic steps. It is the different steps used in the formation of jasper that cause its many patterns.

All jaspers are formed in at least two steps. Fine particles first settle in layers, then the layers are “glued” together, usually with a liquid silica solution, like agate. Jasper may go through many more steps in its formation. For example, a jasper formation may crack or break into pieces, and then the spaces may be filled in again with another solution.

Varieties of Jasper

Much jasper is formed in massive slabs of solid colors. Examples of solid color jasper are red jasper and yellow jasper.


Mookaite (aka Australian Jasper) is generally creamy to pink or reddish, sometimes mustard yellow or brown. Mookaite comes from the Mooka Station area in Western Australia.


Bloodstone, which in ancient times was referred to as heliotrope, is a variety of jasper that has bright red spots on a deep green background. See the bloodstone page for more information.

Orbicular Jasper

Orbicular jasper is a term that refers to jaspers that form with spotty, circular formations. A few common varieties of orbicular jasper are leopardskin jasper, ocean jasper and poppy jasper.

Landscape Jasper

Landscape jasper, scenic jasper and picture jasper are terms for jaspers that appear to be small scenes or landscape paintings, with amazing details that look like plants, rocks, mountains, lakes and even skies and clouds.

Brecciated Jasper

Brecciated jasper is a term that refers to fragmented jasper naturally cemented together in a grayish material.

Regional Jaspers

Many jaspers are named for the region where they are found. Some examples are listed here.

Deschutes Jasper

Deschutes Jasper is a landscape jasper from the Deschutes are in Oregon.

Misty Mountain Jasper

Misty Mountain jasper is a landscape jasper found in the Misty Mountain region near Boise Idaho.

Morgan Hill Jasper

Morgan Hill Jasper is a poppy jasper from the Morgan Hill area in California.

Owyhee Jasper

Owyhee Jasper is a landscape jasper with many complex forms from the Owyhee River gorge area in Malheur County, Oregon.

Stone Canyon Jasper

Stone Canyon Jasper is a brecciated jasper from the Stone Canyon area, near San Miguel, California


Naming Jasper

Jasper derives is name from the ancient Persian word yashp, meaning “spotted stone”. In the past bloodstone was called heliotrope.

Decorative Jasper

Jasper has often been used to create bowls and other decorative objects.

As a gift for the Russian Empress Alexandra Carl Fabergé made an charming red jasper dancing bear with diamond eyes. 

Jasper has also been used to adorn buildings, such as the Saint Wenceslas Chapel in Prague.


Egyptian Jasper: Stone of Isis

In ancient Egypt red jasper was a symbol of Isis, the goddess of marriage and fertility. An amulet made of red jasper promised protection.

Dreaming of Jasper

In Victorian times, dreaming of jasper foretold of long life and love returned.


Season: Autumn

Birthstone, modern alternate: March
Birthstone, pre-1900: March
Birthstone, pre-1900, Italian: March
Birthstone, pre-1900, Jewish: March
Birthstone, pre-1900, Russian: March

Angel: Guardian Angel Barchiel

Apostle: Saint Peter

Star: Spica of Libra

Planet: Venus

See also

bloodstone and quartz

red jasper dancing bear with diamond eyes by Karl Fabergé

Mookaite (aka Mookite) jasper slab from Australia

Morgan Hill poppy jasper
(an orbicular jasper)

ocean jasper
(an orbicular jasper)

Misty Mountain jasper
(a landscape jasper)

Owyhee sunset jasper
(a landscape jasper)

Owyhee flower jasper
(a landscape jasper)

Deschutes jasper
(a landscape jasper)

Owyhee Cherry Creek jasper
(a landscape jasper)

Stone Canyon jasper
(a brecciated jasper)

Belvade jasper
(a brecciated jasper)

Make a Free Website with Yola.