Brecciated Jasper Meaning and Properties

Brecciated Jasper History

The word "jasper" is derived from the Greek word iaspi meaning "spotted stone," related to the Hebrew jashpeh and the ancient Assyrian word ashpu. Jaspers were worn by Egyptian priests in amulets covered with inscriptions from their Book of the Dead and wrapped up with mummies for protection in the afterlife. The Minoans of Crete carved seals for the palace of Knossos of jasper.

Jasper was the 12th stone in the breastplate of the Hebrew High Priest, and is said to be the foundation stone of New Jerusalem. Some Native American tribes used jasper to dowse for water and to call rain.

"Brecciated" comes from "breccia"--a geology term used to identify rock composed of broken fragments cemented together into a fine-grained matrix. Brecciated jasper is made when the earth melds sharp-angled fragments of stone together, just like a hearty stew includes carrots, potatoes, onions and other chunks in a lentils base.

Brecciated Jasper Metaphysical Properties

Jasper was popular in the ancient world for its medicinal and spiritual values, and has been used for centuries by cultures around the world for its unique properties. Legend has it that jasper would drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. In the fourth century, jasper was called "the great rain bringer." Medicinal values attributed to jasper include an ability to strengthen the stomach and provide cures to gynecological issues.

Brecciated jasper is also thought to provide mental clarity and focus to its wearer. The uplifting stone may help to increase organization and decrease stress. Jaspers in general have been viewed as symbolizing the variety that is the Earth, and all the balance and grounding that implies.

Brecciated Jasper Geological Properties

Jasper is a variety of quartz that may contain up to 20 percent foreign materials or inclusions, including organic material and mineral oxides, which determine the color, pattern and appearance of the stone. Uniformly colored jasper is uncommon but not unheard of; usually jasper is multicolored, spotted or banded. This stone is opaque, even in thin slices, and takes a high polish. Different types of jasper display different lusters. Like agate, the wide selection of jaspers include a range of trade names and classifications that are used by jewelry makers and collectors.

Brecciated jasper contains hematite, an iron compound, which gives it both its red tones and the dark bands. It is primarily deep red--veined or patterned with brown, black and beige--and sometimes has clear crystal inclusions.

Jasper is found all over the world including deposits in the United States, Egypt, Brazil, Australia, India, Canada, Russia, Uruguay, Madagascar and Kazakhstan.

Mineral Information Quartz--often infused with iron and inclusions of organic material and mineral oxides, which determine the color, pattern and appearance of the stone.
Chemical Composition SiO2
Color Yellow to orange-red to brown. Spotted or banded with white, yellow, brown or red.
Hardness 6-1/2 to 7 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.5 - 2.9
Refractive Index Approximately 1.54

Proper Care of Brecciated Jasper

Jaspers are a member of the quartz family. These are durable stones and can be found in a range of jewelry designs, with an equal range of exposure to dirt and wear. Remove jasper jewelry before playing sports or any other activity leading to perspiration.

Clean jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth to preserve polish. Clean quickly if the jewelry becomes soiled, as jaspers can be porous and easily stained. Wash with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or soft brush. Dry thoroughly.

Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat, as prolonged heat is used to change color in quartzes. When storing jasper, wrap in a cloth or a fabric bag so it cannot scratch softer materials or be scratched by metals or harder gemstone.

To learn more about brecciated jasper and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.

Designing with Brecciated Jasper

The stunning patterns of brecciated jasper make it a standout focal piece. Donuts, ovals and teardrops are large enough to really show off the bold patterns that make this jasper so beautiful. Carved animals, such as horses or elephants, seem to take on a life of their own when carved out of this soothing stone.

Pair brecciated jasper with natural elements like wood, bone or nut beads for an elegant organic look. Multiple strands of the earthy gemstone will glow alongside warm copper accents and findings. For a different look, try the cooler tones of sterling silver, which contrast beautifully with the stone's rich colors.

View design inspirations featuring Brecciated Jasper in the Gallery of Designs

Shop for Brecciated Jasper Items

**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

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