Myths and legends

How to determine whether jasper is real or not?

There are many different types of jasper. The name “jasper” comes from the Greek. “jasper” (variegated), apparently derived from Arab. “yashb”, ancient Hebrew “jasfe” and Persian “jasper”. Since ancient times in Rus’ the word “jasper” meant “speckled stone”. It is, first of all, an alchemical stone associated with transmutation or transformation of substances. It protects a person from diseases, helps to align the owner’s relationships at work, with his superiors. Associated with social hierarchy, so it is best to wear it at work. It is associated with duty, with dignity. Jasper is associated with the energies of Jupiter, Mercury and Proserpina. Red or reddish-black jasper is suitable for Virgos. At work, it is better to wear silver earrings with yellow jasper. Green jasper is alchemical. Jasper is better suited for Virgo, Taurus and Sagittarius. It has a bad effect on Gemini, Pisces and Aries. The coloring of jasper is distinguished by its richness and variety of colors. Uniformly colored (single-color), banded, ribbon, spotted and the most beautiful variegated stones are known. Some jaspers have a complex pattern (landscape, figurative, etc.). The predominant colors are gray, from greenish to dark green, yellow of various shades, wax red, brown, less often from blue to blue or violet. Jaspers are always opaque. They are characterized by a rather dense composition, high viscosity, and fairly high rigidity. Jasper protects from the evil eye and the forces of evil, protects against infertility, gives courage and confidence in victory. As a talisman, it promises wealth and health, gives eloquence, and improves the memory of the owner. Helps with bleeding and low blood pressure. Treats disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, relieves pain from bruises. This is the only stone that removes all the negative energy reserves that have already been accumulated by the body. Jasper is one of the most ancient stone materials with which primitive man became acquainted. In ancient times, various tools were made from jasper, and in the era of antiquity and centuries from 5th to 15th, mainly jewelry (gems, signets, amulets and other small plastic items). In the 18th and 19th centuries, with the advent of special machines, a wonderful opportunity arose to turn large stone-cutting items and palace decor items from jasper, for which Russia was especially famous. Nowadays, jasper is one of the most popular (especially in Russia) and affordable ornamental and jewelry stones. It is widely used for adding to various jewelry and haberdashery items (cufflinks, tie pins, rings, bracelets, brooches), as well as for making ashtrays, caskets, various candlesticks, writing instruments, etc. Sometimes jasper is also used as a decorative facing stone (to decorate ceremonial interiors). Jasper is one of the main materials for stone mosaics. Technical stones (usually plain gray or dark green) are used to make various mortars, rolls, trunnions, and support prisms for measuring instruments. To correct the color of ornamental jaspers, they are sometimes specially tinted, for example, blue in order to imitate the more valuable and rare lapis lazuli. The best jasper in the world is mined in our country in the Urals (mainly in the Southern Urals – between Miass and Orsk), Altai and the Caucasus. The most exotic variegated jaspers come from a deposit on the Colonel peak in Orsk. Jaspers are known in Eastern Kazakhstan (Ridder lava breccia), as well as in Ukraine (in Crimea, in particular in the Karadag region), in Uzbekistan, America (patterned ornamental jaspers from Maine and Arizona), Saxony and Venezuela. From ancient times to the present day, jasper has also been mined in Egypt and India. In Eastern countries, jasper was considered an image of beauty, grace and wealth. In Ancient Greece, the stone was a talisman against the evil eye for young mothers and babies. Hippocrates used jasper to treat fever and epilepsy. With the spread of Christianity, people began to think that jasper consecrated in church had magical properties. The famous A.S. Pushkin wore a bracelet with green jasper, considering it an assistant in amorous affairs. In Ancient Egypt, seals and amulets were made from jasper. Various images were carved on the stone, and then such a product was called a gem. Color: red, yellow, green, brown colors, often forming wonderful patterns, abstract drawings or similar subject compositions. Gloss: characteristic glassy. Chemistry: the chemical composition of jasper is approximately the following: SiO2 80-95%; Al2O3 and Fe2O3 up to 15%; CaO 3-6% (etc.). The most famous Russian deposits of ornamental jasper are located in the Southern Urals, in the region of Miass and Orsk, in Altai near Zmeinogorsk (Ridder jasper), in the basins of the Charysh and Bukhtarma rivers. Deposits are also known in France, Germany, USA, and India. Application: material for artistic stone-cutting products, cabochons, stone mosaics. During grinding and polishing operations, caution is required: ribbon jaspers can disintegrate along the boundaries of the layers. Natural stone jasper, like opal, quartz, carnelian, jade, agate, is silicon oxide of volcanic origin from the Paleolithic era. In ancient Greece it was called the mother of all stones. Few people know that these minerals were formed over many millions of years due to the close fusion of rock crystallized siliceous rocks with the remains of fossil microorganisms of the ancient ocean floor. The fantastic coloring of gems based on this chemical compound is explained by the presence of pigment additives of oxides of various metals and minerals. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult for a non-specialist, far from gemology, to distinguish them from, for example, chalcedony, jade or aventurine.

Various-faced jasper

Like the names of many minerals, the word “jasper” has Greek roots. If you translate it literally, you get “motley stone.” It is difficult to come up with a more precise definition. Our ancestors called all jaspers as jasper or blood agate. These gems with a fibrous structure and inclusions of pyrite, garnet, and hematite lend themselves well to processing. Under Catherine the Great, entire factories were built in Russia to produce products from these minerals. Altai and Ural jasper is found in the famous agate rooms of the Tsarskoye Selo Catherine Palace. The Empress idolized her, spending a lot of money on geological expeditions looking for new deposits of gems. Some of them are still in effect. Jasper gets its color from additives to silicon oxide. Its rich palette of shades excludes pure blue. But you shouldn’t use color alone as an indicator of authenticity. The only way to recognize a natural stone is its natural spotting – stripes, stains, layers, stripes – no monotony or sparkles.

Gem palette

The range of color variations of this mineral, despite its diversity, has several basic tones. Bloodstone was named for its red color, similar to thick blood. The reason for this is the hematite included in its composition. This iron oxide is also called red iron ore. It belongs to the iron ores important for metallurgy. Brown jasper also contains hematite, but in a different concentration, so its shade is not so bloody. It produces very beautiful dishes and various totemic animal figurines. Its mottled with intricate patterns makes the material a favorite of many stone carvers. Black jasper is very similar to another mineral – basanite. But this is only a superficial resemblance. The natural pigment magnetite gives it its characteristic color. It is believed to be a stone of duty and honor. It can only belong to a person who knows how to keep his word. White jasper with fancy veins is a luxurious option for a gift. Such a stone is so rare that finding it in jewelry or crafts is real luck.

Favorite of gods and poets

Green jasper in the Bible at the dawn of Christianity symbolized courage and fortitude. It was she who patronized the Apostle Peter, who was on duty at the gates of heaven. Perhaps that is why Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, who wore a green jasper bracelet, chose this stone as his amulet. He believed that this little thing would help him in matters of the heart. The chest pectoral of the Old Testament high priest was decorated with 12 stones according to the number of the sons of Israel. And red jasper was adjacent to onyx and chrysolite. The heavenly city of Jerusalem – the personification of the Kingdom of God – is surrounded by a stone wall made of jasper. The art of glyptics, which flourished in Ancient Greece, received a new impetus for development in the Russian Empire during the time of Catherine II. Stone carving was carried out on an industrial scale. Products of amazing beauty and complexity are today the pride of private and public collections around the world. A vibrant collection can be seen in the Hermitage.

From all diseases and misfortunes

The healing properties of jasper have been revered throughout the centuries. Until now, the description of a mineral given by an astrologer, lithologist or psychic necessarily contains a mention of its healing power. Medieval alchemists noticed its therapeutic properties. They used the property of this mineral to resist various caustic liquids. They identified varieties of jasper as material for vessels in which magical potions were stored. It is a known fact that the Byzantine ruler Manuel presented a vessel in the form of a bowl as a gift to the Christians of the Athos monastery with the parting words that it resists poisons and has healing powers. The significant popularity of the mineral as a raw material for making tableware is explained by the fact that it does not absorb water. In ancient times, healers and sorcerers believed that bloody jasper could stop bleeding. But only a yellow pebble can get rid of stomach problems and restore a woman’s ability to conceive.

How to distinguish a fake?

Beauty and versatility make this natural stone a universal ornamental material for any product – from brooches and pendants to dishes and furniture. Jasper jewelry is beautiful and regal. The price of particularly interesting specimens may exceed the cost of gold items. Any semi-precious stones containing silicon oxide are sometimes confusingly similar. Traders often convince you that this is blue jasper. But in fact, they are trying to replace it with variscite – a beautiful mineral, but it has nothing to do with the desired stone. Its too bright green, pink and blue shades should alert you. After all, the same pink jasper is an opaque stone, with a dimly expressed color. When looking for a product with natural stones, you should trust stores that sell crafts and jewelry made from natural materials with accompanying documents. Otherwise, you risk buying not only a replacement stone, but also plastic or an artificial fake.

Magic and mystical meaning

Jasper amulets were used to combat drought. Particularly valued were types of mineral with inclusions resembling the outlines of plants or animals. The magic of stone is based on its diversity. Today, the sandy, almost monochromatic African queen and the bright oceanic rhyolite with greenish-yellow concentric patterns are popular among sorcerers of all stripes. Generals also believed in the magical properties of the mineral: the Tatar khan Makhmet Amin had a jasper mace sprinkled with emeralds and rubies as a talisman. Bogdan Khmelnitsky carried the same symbol of power with him. Jasper gifts, decorated with skillful carvings and precious stones, were more than once presented to the treasuries of the Russian tsars. Thus, Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, along with a broadsword on his belt, received an inlaid mace as a gift from the Kasim Khan. The powers that be believed that the mineral jasper reveals the gift of foresight and forestalls mortal danger. Modern sorcerers use it to remove damage and sharpen intuition.

Zodiac preferences

Anyone whose horoscope matches imperial jasper may not be afraid of difficulties. Accompanying its owner through life, even a small pebble can strengthen his spirit, help pacify his pride, and give him determination in his actions. Patronizing Jupiter and Mercury, jasper selects the zodiac sign to match these luminaries. The mineral is suitable for Sagittarius and Taurus as it brings good luck in business and personal life. The magical properties of jasper talismans will help Pisces in creative endeavors. Even a small figurine standing on a shelf can bring harmony to the house and cleanse the aura of negative energy. The properties of the stone will not bring good luck to either Aries or Gemini. But jasper and the Virgo zodiac sign are simply made for each other. Russian deposits are considered one of the best in terms of quality of raw materials for processing. Specimens obtained in the Urals and the North Caucasus are especially valued.

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