Jasper is a variety of chalcedony, but due to its various different types it is often seen as a family in its own right. It is an opaque gemstone with a vitreous to waxy lustre. Jasper comes in many different colours and tends to be named by the patterns that appear on its surface. There are many of these, including Blood Jasper (Bloodstone), Print Jasper, Ribbon Jasper, Ocean (or Orbicular) Jasper, Landscape (or Picture) Jasper – so called because it is said to resemble scenery from the area where it was mined.
Jasper can be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Paraguay, Russia, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
Traditional legends, gemstone folklore and healing properties
The name means “spotted” or “speckled stone”, and is derived from old French, Latin, Greek and Persian variants. It was a favourite gemstone for many ancient civilisations, and is mentioned in the Bible several times. Throughout Ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations it has been used in mosaic art, ornamental designs and for jewellery. The Egyptians wore Jasper amulets because they believed it increased sexual energy. In the Middle Ages it was known as the “warrior’s stone” and both Indians in Asia and America regard it as a magical rain stone, as well as a powerful healing stone. Throughout history Jasper has been known as the “Supreme Nurturer” as many believed it to have magical and healing powers.
Jasper is said to be a stone of protection, joy, awareness, and of balancing of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies. It has also been associated with relaxation, contentment, compassion, nurturing and consolation. Jasper is said to relieve mental stress and help you achieve balance in your life. Poppy Jasper is believed to awaken and energise the body, encourage a deep connection with the earth and inspire a positive, joyful attitude. And Red Jasper is thought to protect against negativity, promote beauty, grace, and healing. It also helps in remembering dreams.
Bloodstone (Blood Jasper) is the Zodiac birthstone for Aries. Jasper is also considered lucky for those born in October.