Today’s topic starts with the letter “J”.
It’s a very versatile stone and can be found in many shapes, especially if you are a jewelry designer. It’s an opaque form of chalcedony, quartz, and opal, usually red, brown, green or yellow in color. It is one of the traditional birthstones for March. It is derived from the Old French “jaspre” and Latin “iaspidem” meaning “spotted or speckled stone”. It is Jasper.
|Jasper outcropping Romania|
Because of the way it would fracture into a smooth round surface like a scallop shell, it was used as a tool by Stone Age man in the form of arrowheads. It can be highly polished and used for vases, seals, and snuff boxes. It has been around since the ancient world where it was carved to produce seals, amulets, and carvings. It was used as bow drills (an ancient way of starting fires) between the 4th and 5th millennium BC.
In ancient times, jasper was believed to be a transparent stone with a distinct green color where it was compared to emeralds and other green objects. Stones of that time would probably be considered chalcedony or chrysoprase today. It has been suggested that red jasper was the first stone of the High Priest’s breastplate and yellow jasper was the tenth stone.
|Chrysoprase found in Poland|