The Physical and Metaphysical Properties of Jasper

Published: 14th May 2009
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Jasper is one of the many semi-precious gemstones of the quartz family. In its most basic form, jasper is a considered to be a micro-crystalline variety of quartz and chalcedony. Most specimens also include minor amounts of other minerals and metals including iron, manganese, etc. These trace elements often impart color and character to the stone, and it is these characteristics that make this semi-precious stone popular for sterling silver jewelry such as pendants, earrings, bracelets and other fashion jewelry. The term micro-crystalline refers to the form and texture of the stone, and means that the individual quartz crystals in the stone are so small that they cannot be observed under moderate magnification. In contrast, macrocrystalline minerals have large crystals that can be easily seen by the naked eye. Amethysts are a good example of macrocrystalline quartz. Jasper is found in great abundance around the world, and is found in a wide range of colors including red, brown, pink, yellow, green, gray/white and shades of blue and purple. Finding a specimen of jasper that has a single uniform color is rare. Most stones have more than one color and a pattern of some sort on the surface. The particular characteristics of each stone is often a reflection of the geologic and environmental conditions under which it was formed. Sometimes, the stone appears to contain organic matter. This pattern is created by the permeation of dendritic minerals. In other cases, the stone may have been fractured during its geological past, and then the fractures healed into a discontinuous pattern that may also contain an infilling of other extraneous material. Prevailing environmental conditions such as heat, flowing water, or blowing winds sometimes erode interesting patterns and varnishes onto the face of the stone.

Then there are those who believe in the metaphysical properties of various stones and crystals. Many believe that jasper is a positive stone with many benefits including warding off depression, calming emotions, controlling anger, and helping with anxiety. Some even claim that red jasper helps improve the sense of smell. In addition, the various types of jasper found in nature are each believed to have specific spiritual and health benefits. As you would expect, stones with bright colors and bold patterns - rainbow jasper and fancy jasper, for example - are believed to lift one's mood and therefore help those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Dalmatian jasper enhances provides relief from nightmares, impatience, and anxiety. The wavy patterns of ocean jasper have a soothing effect on the wearer, and help prepare oneself for prayer and meditation. Jasper is sometimes combined with other gems and crystals. Such combinations are suggested only when both gems compliment or support the properties of each other. In this respect, including jasper beads in a freshwater pearl necklace is often suggested. Pearls are said to have calming and centering capabilities. Pearls also symbolize purity and promote faith, charity, and integrity, truth and loyalty. Clearly the two gems compliment and enhance their individual properties and benefits.

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