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other names: Jasper
mineral class: Oxides
chemical formula: SiO2
Chemical elements: Silicon, oxygen
Similar minerals: Chalcedony
colour: red, yellow, green, blue, black, white
shine: Matt to glossy
crystal structure: trigonal
mass density: 2,8
magnetism: not magnetic
Mohs hardness: 7
stroke color: different depending on the color of the jasper
General to Jasper:
jasper describes a variety of chalcedony counted to the quartz and therefore does not count as an independent mineral. Like chalcedony, it is composed of the elements silicon and oxygen and may appear in different colors and color combinations depending on chemical impurities and admixtures of iron oxide, clay, manganese hydroxide and other substances. In addition to white specimens, bright red, orange, yellow and brown stones are common, often spotted or streaked. All types of jasper have their shell-like to splintered fracture and their Mohs hardness of a maximum of 7 in common. The jasper is completely opaque and usually forms granular aggregates. Due to the varied appearance of the jasper many other, similar in their form stones are often traded under this name.
The name of this multi-color chalcedony variety comes from the Latin and ancient Greek word "iaspis", which means "speckled" and refers to the eye-catching, often individual and often colorful pattern of the stones. Depending on the color combination, several names are used in the jewelry trade, which often also refer to the place of origin. Especially sought after is the Egyptian Jasper or Nile Pebble, which appears striped in many reds, yellows and pinks. Just as popular are the like Tiger fur brown and black grained picture jasper, from northern Hesse derived red, with white veins traversed Kellerwaldachat and the black Basanit.
Occurrence and localities:
Jasper occurs worldwide and is mined in India, South Africa, Egypt and the United States as well as in much of Siberia and on some Mediterranean islands such as Corsica or Sicily. In Europe, especially Germany with several funding agencies is significant.
History and usage:
The jasper was already worshiped in ancient times in many cultures as a magical stone with special healing powers. In particular, bright red varieties were closely associated with sexuality, fertility and pregnancy in the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks. Blood red jasper was revered as a fertile love-bearing stone and worn by pregnant women to protect the unborn child. Also in the Middle Ages, the jasper was considered an important protective stone for the prevention of many diseases. However, jasper has gained much more importance since antiquity as a gemstone and material for elaborate vessels and statuettes. The world's largest work is the so-called "Czarina of the bowls", a huge, over five-meter-high bowl, which is exhibited in the Hermitage and in the early 19th century made entirely of Revnev jasper. Today, however, no such imposing works of art are made from this stone anymore, as jasper lost its importance over the centuries. Today, the stone serves as raw material for mosaic work, building elements, tabletops, small cans and seal stones.