Jasper – the mistress of the mountain
Jasper is one of the most amazing and varied colored minerals.
Fans of vintage jewelry often come across jasper. Jasper surprises each time with its shades and pattern of inclusions. Each piece of jewelry, each inlay, is unique. The shades, inclusions, their character allow even the same type of jewelry to be unique.
History of mining and use
Jasper has been known to mankind since the Paleolithic era. Jasper means “jasper”. Widely spread throughout the world the mineral was attractive not only for its coloring but also for its physical qualities. Jasper is quite dense and ductile. Its density according to the Mohs scale is 7 points.
Even in the ancient world, jasper was used not only for jewelry, but also for everyday objects and interior decoration.
Despite the fact that deposits of jasper are found all over the world in different continents, the Ural jasper is considered the best and highest quality. The most extensive deposits of jasper in Russia are in the Southern Urals, around Miass, Sibay and Orsk, as well as in the Altai, near Zmeinogorsk. Deposits of jasper in the Urals have a large extent. Currently, 207 spot deposits in 12 regions are known.
Industrial production of jasper in Russia began in the middle of the XVIII century. As a result of the development of mineral mines were discovered impressive deposits of jasper, and the mineral quickly found application. The only inconvenience was the difficulty of processing, but this problem was quickly enough solved. Jasper was used for making artistic objects: vases, goblets, writing sets, caskets, chests. Later it was used for whole tabletops and for decorating rooms.
Advantages and value of the mineral
Jasper is an amazingly colorful mineral. Its wide occurrence in nature does not allow us to call jasper a rare stone. It is found almost everywhere.
Often you can find the Soviet jewelry with inlays of jasper from the Urals. The most surprising are the items with multicolored jasper, which has a unique pattern of inclusions. The inclusions are mesh, craquelure, ribbons, dots, and even landscapes. A completely monochromatic jasper with a uniform coloring is also rare in nature.
As a ornamental and jewelry material, jasper is valued for its whimsical coloring and pattern of inclusions. Opaque and faded specimens with a darker shade and a muted pattern of inclusions are used more for technical purposes. Both the brightly colored and the monochrome jasper are highly valued for their decorative qualities.
The price of jasper inlay jewelry may vary greatly. The price can be affected by various factors. One of the main ones is the rarity and quality of the stone, as well as its variegation and coloring. The age, condition, other materials of the piece, complexity of the jewelry, and overall artistic merit also play a role.
Jasper jewelry is very practical. You are unlikely to ever damage, chip, or scratch them. Jasper cannot be damaged or scratched even by the toughest metals. A mirror-polished jasper cabochon or plate will last for decades or even centuries. The brightness of their color is also well preserved. Over the years the richness of jasper has not faded or changed color, even under the scorching sun as it is sometimes the case with other gems.
Because of the uniqueness of each specimen, jewelry and jewelry with jasper is a worthwhile and interesting collector’s item. An entire collection can be assembled and each piece will look completely different.
Care and originality
In spite of the impressive amount of imitations of anything and everything, jasper is almost never forged. Jasper is very plentiful in nature which allows you to meet all your needs for this material. The physical properties of jasper are quite unique and not easy to imitate. Of course, they may disguise the natural jasper as a jewelry plastic, but this deception is easy to catch. The only danger here is the price variability. But this problem should be considered individually in each case.
Because of its durability and resistant coloring, the jewelry and products made of jasper are very easy to care for and store.
Jasper can be cleaned in different ways, including with chemicals. The only thing worth considering here is the other materials included in the product. If it is, for example, jasper set in silver, the general rules for cleaning silver jewelry apply.
Jasper pieces are not demanding when it comes to storage. They can be kept out of the sunlight in dark boxes for fear of color fade. You don’t have to worry about minor damage from knocks or contact with household chemicals. And Soviet silverware with different specimens of Ural jasper will adorn any collection. Thanks to the age, history, skill of jewelers and unique beauty of the mineral, each such piece is an absolute masterpiece.