Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Beauty of Jaspers

by ShadowDogDesigns

Often I have been accused of having a weakness for shiny stones. Humans are attracted to gems on a very primal level, I believe. How many of us have never outgrown the need to pick up a pretty rock and admire it? It is mind boggling to think that the stones we hold so dear have been part of the Earth's crust for millions and millions of years. Humans have surely been assigning value and metaphysical powers to them since one our earliest relatives picked up a stone and decided to wear it as a piece of jewelry.

EntwinedVines created a beautiful bracelet using Rainbow Jasper

One of the gemstones I am most fascinated with is jasper. Jasper is a fine grained, opaque variety of chalcedony. It is found in all colors including: red, brown, pink, green, blue and purple. Jasper often contains organic material and mineral oxides which creates interesting patterns, bands and colors. My favorite patterns resemble landscapes, some with mountains, valleys, rivers and oceans. "Picture" is part of the name of many well know jaspers, such as Owyhee Picture Jasper or Nature's Picture Jasper.

Here is a ShadowDogDesigns necklace with a Nature's Picture Jasper cross

Magical powers have been attributed to jaspers in almost every culture. In ancient Europe, jasper was often used as a "rain bringer". Even more fascinating is that the word for jasper in some Native American Indian cultures also meant "rain bringer"! Traditionally when worn as a decorative necklace, jasper is thought to combat exhaustion. Jasper is also believed to be a protective stone since it is said to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. According to the Bible, jasper was a direct gift from God and would be the first foundation stone of the New Jerusalem.

TalisCreations has these beautiful Yellow Zebra Jasper earrings in her studio:

Jaspers are collected by many people (including me) and are enjoyed for their uniqueness. The prices for different types of jasper are very subjective and are influenced by rarity, patterning, trends, mine finds, etc. Some jasper are found world-wide, some have been found in only a single location. The value of a piece of jasper jewelry is in the cut of the stone by the lapidarist and the artistic use of the stone by the jewelry designer.

I thought it would be nice to share jewelry from fellow JCUiN members who used jaspers in their creations:

MyPersonalOasis created a stunning necklace using Green Jasper:

The highlight of this leather bracelet by PinkSunsetJewelryDesigns is a mauve Picture Jasper:

The color/pattern in these Red Leaf Jasper earrings by KristiBowmanDesign is wonderful:

Subtle colors are found in this Green Seaweed Jasper vintage style necklace by RuthNoreDesigns:

Noreen Jasper is a newly discovered jasper and is found in only one place in the world, in the Pilbara region of Australia. I created this ShadowDogDesigns necklace with Noreena Jasper and Red Flake Jasper:

A different semi-precious stone will be highlighted next time!


  1. What a wonderful and informative post. Thank you for sharing and for the time invested in writing such an interesting post.

  2. Interesting post, ShadowDog, and I love the featured pieces you chose. Looking forward to future posts! Megan@DalyCraftWorks

  3. Well written post about my favorite stone. Great job! ~Ginger from personaloasis

  4. Wonderful Post Catherine, somehow I missed it!!

  5. Stones are supposed to be said to have some powers of their own...this one is about driving spirits away is it?So that is also good for the children who are afraid of the same...or to keep safe in general...lovely creations.Silver Charm Bracelet