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Ocean Jasper Cabochons from Madagascar
Ocean Jasper Cabochons from Madagascar

Ocean Jasper Cabochons from Madagascar

Jasper is silicon dioxide, a gemstone variety of the tectosilicate mineral quartz in the trigonal crystal system. Jasper is a variety of chalcedony or chert, quartz with a microcrystalline texture so fine that its crystalline nature is too small to see clearly even under strong magnification.

"Ocean Jasper" is a trade name for a variety of orbicular jasper found on the Ambolobozo Peninsula in an intertidal zone along the northwest coast of Madagascar. Orbicular jaspers exhibit rhyolitic spheres or orbs that are typically formed in highly silicated rhyolite flows. In highly silicified rhyolite or tuff, quartz and feldspar can crystallize in radial aggregates which provide the seed for the orbicular structure exhibited in this variety of jasper. Ocean Jasper is characterized by spheres and orbs ranging through a striking range of colors and color combinations on backgrounds that are typically green, pink, red, white or yellow. The pockets and vugs of white and green quartz druzy common to Ocean Jasper can provide aesthetic opportunities for creative lapidaries.

Ocean Jasper is most commonly presented in jewelry as cabochons, beads and carvings. Jasper is a relatively tough and hard material (7 Mhos hardness) with good wear characteristics and resistance to abrasion. Jasper wears well in rings and bracelets and is commonly employed as a gemstone in all types of jewelry. Ocean Jasper does not have specific care requirements, but conservative gemstone precautions should be observed when cleaning and storing jasper for the sake of preserving the original condition of the stone. It is safest to clean jaspers using warm water, mild soap and a cloth or soft brush. Do not use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner and keep jaspers out of contact with excessive heat, acids, ammonia and other chemical or abrasive cleaners.

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