< Ores and Minerals

Jasper is a volatile chemical composition with silica content variation between 80 -95%. The share of impurities (minerals and elements) can reach 20%, which gives to a wide variety of colours - red, green, black, purple, white and others. Single colour gems are rare, most are dappled with colourful stripes or spots. A large quantity of iron and manganese oxides contributes to the colour variety, red, yellow and brown staining due to iron oxide and black due to the manganese. The green colour indicates alloys of epidot, seladonit, hrorit. Jasper is not transparent and enlightens only in few strips. Some of them look like beautiful images of trees, seascapes, people or faces, flowers - true works of art, for which they are often called “landscapes”. By origin the jaspers are metamorphic and volcanic.
The name of the stone comes from the Greek "iaspis" - colourful. It is assumed that the word derives from the Arabic "yash" Persian "yashm" or Hebrew "yushphah".
Already in the Palaeolithic pieces of jasper were used for tools and weapons. Later, primitive people made of it jewellery and amulets. The term "hard as a rock" describes very well the jasper. In the past, Jasper was considered the stone of warriors, because it gives loyalty, inner strength and faith; it can charge with courage and security, attracting wealth, health and eloquence; protects from harm not only its owner but also his precious people.
Jasper is given a place among the twelve sacred stone worthy to garment the high priest robe, often used in church inventory. In the Middle Ages jasper was considered a sign of luxury. It served the kings as a wedding gift or war trophy. Alchemists used jasper vessels for their experiments or to store magical ingredients.
Deposits of jasper have been located in Russia, USA, Japan, India, Czech Republic, Germany and others. In Bulgaria, Jaspers can be found in Eastern Rhodopes and Srednogorie.

Petya Yordanova
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