Jasper is a cryptocrystalline silicon dioxide quartz variety encountered in almost all colors, from brown-red to yellow-orange. It often exhibits bands or spots. Its name is derived from the Greek word “Iaspis”, which is mentioned in works of Theophrastus and the Bible. What makes this mineral interesting are its streaks and layers, which sometimes form impressive psychedelic patterns. These patterns have been grouped and assigned various poetic names. It is encountered in sedimentary rocks in the Urals, North Africa and Sicily.
Quartz is one of the most common minerals, making up almost 12% of the Earth’s crust. It is also known as silicon dioxide and is encountered in sedimentary and volcanic rocks. When found at high temperature during the last phase of its precipitation, quartz crystallizes within only a few months. It is mined in Brazil, Japan, America and Switzerland.