Monday, June 7, 2010

Owyhee Jasper

Owyhee Jasper

Birthstone Month:
Jasper is associated with the birthstone month of January.

Jasper is associated with the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Leo.

Chemical Symbol:

Chemical Make-up:
Jasper is a microcrystalline variety of Quartz, and a member of the Chalcedony family. It often contains organic material and iron oxides that account for its interesting patterns, bands, and colors.

History & Lore:
The name Jasper means “spotted stone”, and is ultimately derived from the Persian word 'yashp'.

The name Owyhee Jasper is derived from the location in which it is mined, along the Owyhee River. Owyhee Jasper has long been known as the King of Picture Jaspers.

Jasper was a favorite gemstone of ancient times and can be traced back to Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Latin, and Assyrian literature.

Jasper is a protective stone and is said to align the chakras and balance the yin and yang energies. In legend, Jasper was believed to protect against evil spirits and forces, and was also believed to bring courage and relief from pain. It is also said to protect against venomous snake and spider bites.

Owyhee Jasper is increasingly rare as modern mining operations have exhausted deposits.

Owyhee Jasper is / was mined near the Owyhee mountain area, situated along the Idaho-Oregon border.

Jasper is rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and should be protected from scratches and sharp blows. Owyhee Jasper is very rich in color and features combinations of dark green, beige, and browns, which create stunning scenic landscape patterns that can depict mountain ranges, desert scenes, and stunning meadows.

The value of Owyhee Jasper can be determined by the saturation and richness of the colors, the beauty of the exhibited landscape patterns, and the design in which it is formed.

Common Cuts:
Jasper has been used for sculptures, bowls, vases, seals, and other ornamentation purposes dating back thousands of years. As a gemstone, Owyhee Jasper is most commonly found cut into cabochons and beads.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known enhancements for Owyhee Jasper.

Care & Cleaning:
Jaspers are often sealed with petroleum products therefore they should not be cleaned with water because it can remove the polish / coating. It is best to clean your Jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth. As with most gemstones, Jaspers should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and household chemicals that can damage the stone. Always keep your Jasper jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid scratching / damage.

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