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Jasper is an opaque, impure variety of quartz, usually red, yellow or brown in color. The name "jasper" means "spotted stone". This mineral breaks with a smooth surface, and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is also used for vases, seals, etc. When the colors are in stripes or bands, it is called striped or banded jasper. Some of the well known varieties (not all!) are:
African Map Jasper (Spotted Jasper): a variety of jasper that has markings much like the giraffes, cheetahs, and hyenas of Africa. This stone can have spots in tan, black and a variety of browns ranging from a reddish-brown to a cappuccino brown.
Brown Zebra Jasper: this stone is cream-colored with reddish-brown "zebra-like" markings.
Bruneau Jasper: a generally red and green gemstone, deposits of this jasper are found about 50 miles south of Bruneau in Owyhee County, Idaho. It also comes in color combinations of browns to tans and ivory, in both spherical and oval patterns.
Elephant Jasper: this variety of jasper is reddish-brown with yellow and brown spots.
Dalmatian Jasper: off-white jasper with scattered black spots.
Fancy Jasper (India Agate): this gemstone is an opaque creamy beige or gray stone with lavender, green, pink, orange or red swirls and specks. Fancy jasper is the same gemstone as India Agate.
Flower Jasper (Fancy Jasper): flower jasper is a whimsical gemstone; its cream base is swirled with gray, mauve, raspberry and mustard.
Gray Jasper: tiny reddish-brown flecks adorn the surface of this ash-colored gemstone.
Green Leaf Jasper: with its green shapes against a black matrix, green leaf jasper brings to mind a tree in the afternoon shade.
Green Zebra Jasper: this gemstone has jagged banding of hunter-to-mint green and snow white.
Imperial Purple Jasper: this regal jasper is rich with purples, browns and beiges. It exhibits a combination of spots, swirls and spindly matrix.
Kambaba Jasper: this exotic jasper hails from Africa. It contains a jumbled jungle of forest green, mint green, black and brown. Its pattern includes speckles and concentric rings.
Leopardskin Jasper: this is one of those confusing jaspers, as some just refer to it as a rhyolite. It is mottled with red, yellow, brown and pinkish spots like the fur of a leopard.
Mexican Zebra Jasper (Black and White Zebra Jasper): this black-and-white, jaggedly striped gemstone from Mexico is actually a calcite. It has become known as "jasper" on the market because of its irregular pattern resembles that of jasper.
Ocean Jasper (Orbicular Jasper, Fisheye Jasper): this gemstone is silicified (transformed into silica) rhyolite flow from the northwest coast of Madagascar. It is reminiscent of foam as it recedes back into the ocean, with its wavy patterns of green-gray, white, cream, beige, brown, pink and marooon. It even sometimes flaunts the iridescent white circles so intrinsic to sea spray.
Paintbrush Jasper (Nature's Paintbrush Jasper): this stone is named for its delicate play of dark lines across a light background, which look remarkably as though they were painted by a human hand. Color from the well-defined strokes fans out the same way watercolors and India ink do as they spread across paper. The stone even exhibits "paint splotches" and dotted "splatters." The lines are usually black, brown or red and the stone itself white, tan, gray or pink.
Picture Jasper: this petrified mud has streaks of color (usually shades of brown) that look like landscapes, anything from desert sand dunes to rocky mountains to a dry riverbed. Picture Jasper is found in Idaho and Oregon.
Poppy Jasper (Poppy Seed Jasper): a red, pink and black gemstone, poppy jasper is so named because it looks like a bunch of pink and red poppies.
Rainbow Jasper: this red, brown and tan jasper is found in Northern California and South Africa.
Red Jasper: with its acorn-red coloring and bark-gray stripes, this gemstone has a decidedly earthy quality. The stripes often seen in red jasper are quartz veins.
Red Ocean Jasper (Red Sea Jasper): red ocean jasper is the same mineral, from the same deposit, as regular ocean jasper. It has the same circular and wavy patterns, but with more red and very little green.
Rose Jasper: this gemstone is of mottled red, green and pink.
Silver Leaf Jasper: this finely colored and patterned jasper is reminiscent of silvery leaves in a forest. It contains shades of cream and black, bits of brown and, occasionally, hints of red. Its patterns tend to be in lines and bands.
Silver Mist Jasper: this type of Jasper is found in neutral colors with bands of gray, tan and cream. Silver mist jasper is often green to sage green with gray and tan-colored bands.
Snakeskin Jasper: with sleek bands and patches, is pale-to-deep red gemstone is reminiscent of an exotic serpent.
Sunset Jasper: named for its similarity to sunsets, this variety of jasper is an assortment of brown tones with yellow.
Tigerskin Jasper: with its golden brown base and dark stripes, this jasper resembles a great jungle cat. Some beads may sport sleek veins of tigereye.
Turtle Shell Jasper (Chalcedite): this is a mottled jasper that looks like turtle's shell, with its shades of brown, mahogany, gold, peach and orange-red.
White Jasper: this snowy gemstone gives a fresh, clean look to any piece.
Wild Horse Jasper: this variety of jasper is an alluring combination of soft pink with brown and small white spots.
Wood Jasper: this stone has the woodlike colors and patterns.
Yellow Jasper: the soft beeswax color of this gemstone is very soothing.
Zebra Jasper: the name "zebra jasper" refers to jaspers with dark, jagged stripes that resemble those of the animal for which it is named. These jaspers can range from black and white to black and dark gray to dark-brown and beige.

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