Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukanov. Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia



JASPER (Jaspis—Jaspe—яшма) From Pers. jeshm, Lat. jaspis – multicolored; Hebrew – jashfe and China anc. syn. yu-shi – nephrite, or a stone with a beautiful pattern, because in the ancient time jasper itself was not highly valued. Modern significance this term has received since the 18th cent. Here, rocks are also described, which are close to jasper in the conditions of their forming and ornamental properties; they serve as ornamental stones: jasperoid, jasper chalcedony, Lydian stone, siliceous schist, novaculite, hornstone, trass.

Composition & Properties. Rock of the content of SiO2 – 80-95% with admixtures. Hardness 6.5-7. Density 2.5-2.9. Dull luster. Jasper is a metamorphosed rock of essentially siliceous content. It is non-transparent, because it is composed with cryptocrystalline quartz, chalcedony, opal and different admixtures, which have an influence on its ornamental properties. The color of jasper depends mainly on oxides of iron and manganese. Depending on their oxidation level, jasper can be red, yellow, brown and green of various tones. Oxides of manganese perform themselves as black dendrites, which make the rock more ornamental. Mineral admixtures also have an influence on the color of jasper. In the presence of hematite, reddish tones are dominant, goethite – brownish and yellow, pumpellyite and celadonite – green, and alkali amphibole – blue. Among the other minerals, which have an influence on the color, we should mention actinolite, vesuvianite, garnet and epidote. Jasper, enriched with inclusions of chlorite, is called moss jasper, and with inclusions of native silver – silvery agate. Ornamental inclusions in jasper are also shells and spicules of sponges, usually completely replaced with silica. Classification of jasper according its ornamental properties is made on the basis of its color, content and mineral admixtures, ornamentally, structure and texture. All of these in different measure are reflected in the names of varieties, as well as the discovery locations (See syn.). Jasperoid is a siliceous rock formed under the metamorphism of sedimentary-volcanic origin layers, metasomatism and silicification of effusive rocks as a result of their hydrothermal remaking. Sometimes, these rocks possess coarse structure. Jasper schist, or siliceous schist differs- from jasper and jasperoid mainly with its schistose texture and less size of the blocks of the rock, which are available for processing. Jasper and jasperoids are bedded usually as layers, lenses and irregular-shaped bodies. Lydian stone (lydit) is a carbonic-siliceous black rock, which is indeed a variety of black jasper. It is composed on 96% with cryptocrystalline quartz with the carboniferous material up to 5%. The texture of this rock is massive, the color is even, ideally black. A variety of Lydian stone is siliceous schist, or aspidian schist with the content of silica up to 60% and amorphous carbon – 30%; it was used in stone-carving. Lydian stone is cut in cabochons, rosaries and beads. Since the antique times, it has been used in stone-carving, glyptic and mosaics. It is valued especially among jewelers as assay stone or testing stone under the trade name darlingite and others. Novaculite is a cryptocrystalline, solid, light colored sedimentary rock of the siliceous content with the predominance of quartz over chalcedony. Its brecciated varieties, sometimes, are brightly colored; they are used as ornamental stones. Jewelers use it alas well as a grinding stone. Hornstone is a rock of usual contact-metamorphic origin. In English-speaking gemology, it is a silicon-like quartz, in German-speaking one – a cryptocrystalline quartz-chalcedony rock, transferring into jasper. Its dark color is always spotty. A name of a variety of hornstone usually includes the predominant mineral in its content or peculiarities of its texture, for instance, cordierite-andalusite hornstone or striate hornstone. Trass is a metasomatic jasper-like green rock, formed as a result of the replacement of tuff with chalcedony and zeolite. It is well polished and possesses an ornamental stone. In the Ukraine, trass is known in Crimea, in the ancient volcano of Kara Dag. In the U.S.A., a similar rock is called Biggsian jasper.

Deposits. Jaspers are formed under the regional greenstone metamorphism, contact metamorphism and hydrothermal metasomatism of volcanic-sedimentary layers. In Russia, the Urals is especially rich with jaspers; their deposits are situated there from Pay-Khey Khrebet, in the north; to Mugojary, in the south. In the Pay-Kheu Ridge rocky abruptions of ornamental jaspers are found along the Kara River. On the western slope of the Polar Urals, they are known on the Lek Elets River, and of the Subpolar Urals Mts., on the eastern slope – at the Ulyatem’ya deposit, in the of Saranpaul’ Dist. In the Northern Urals, they discovered gray jaspers on the Konda River, bloody-red Orinsk jasper, light bluish-green Ust’-Shegultanskaya jasper (Mt. Shegultanskaya jasper) from the Svyataya Mt. and cherry-red jaspers near Ivdel’. In 1742-1743, at the Middle Urals, in the upper reaches of the Tura River, they made the first findings of blood-red jasper. Later, in the region of Yekaterinburg they found the Glinskoye deposit with greenish-gray stripped picture jasper and print jasper. In the same region, they extracted light bluish-gray Makarovskaya jasper and black Mostovskaya jasper. Near Nizhniy Tagil, there is the Kushva deposit of white jaspers with red spots and veins.

In the South Urals, famous Urasovskaya jasper, or meat agate was discovered at first in the region of Chebarkul’ Lake and along the Sanarka River in 1751, and a year after – near Urazovo, at the Sarbatash Mt. Nowadays, the largest deposits are situated from Miass to Orsk, in a zone about 500 km. long. In the Uchaly Dist. of Bashkortostan, the biggest quantity of jasper deposits was discovered. After the discovery locations, the names of jaspers were suggested. So, popular Malomuinakovskaya jasper of pale and greenish-rose hue with a wavy pattern was called after the village of Malomuinakovo. Earlier, it was also known as Mansurovskaya, Jumashevskaya, Yrendykskaya and Yamskaya jaspers – after the villages of Mansurovo, Yumashevo, the Yerendyk Mt. on the slopes of which it was found, and after the spring Yam Yelga. Found near Tungatarovo Tungatarovskaya jasper with dark red layers transferring into green ones was known as well as Uyskaya jasper – after the Uy River, in the valley of which this jasper was extracted. To the southwest from Staro-Muinakovo, in the Tash Kazgan Mt. they extracted ribbon, or stripped. Jaspers of coffee-red and green color; and at the Karagaz Tau deposit – print and sundress jaspers. There, also ferrous jasper of spotty dark red and scarlet hue with quartz veins is found. Not far from Uchaly Dist., near Aush Kul’Lake, in the Aush Tash Mt. they extracted pale Aushkul’skaya, or dendritic jasper. Near Muldakaevo, at the Muldakaevskoye, or Novo-Nikolaevskoye deposit, they extracted gray-blue, blood-red and black Muldakaevskaya jasper and light gray Nikolaevskaya jasper. In that region, at Berkutova Mt., they discovered also Berkutian jasper with green, yellow and pale layers. It is known as Poljakovskaya jasper after the village of Polyakovo now. To the south from the Aushkul’skoye deposit, on the bank of Kalkanskoye Lake, by the foot of the Sabinda Mt., they exploit the Kalkanskoye deposit of greenish-gray Kalkanskaya jasper. According its origin, it is transformed tuff, that’s why it is classified as jasperoid. Earlier, they made wonderful carved vases from it; nowadays, it is used as technical jasper. To the northwest from Verkhne-Ural’sk, by the former village of Koshkuldy, now called Nauruzovo, on a slope of the Bugasty Ridge, the deposit of Koshkuldinskaya, or Naurozovskaya jasper has been known since 1756. It is also called Siberian jasper. In these – the best at the Urals – ribbon jaspers light bluish-green stripes, 1 cm. thick, are alternated with those of red-brown hue. These jaspers were also called heavy agate, or agate stone. They were used for cameos, that’s why they were called, at first, allianse stones, from Fr. “pierres d’allianes”, later they were called in Russ. soyuznye stones, or soyuznaya jaspers. Further to the south, in the region of Magnitogorsk, along the Ural River, they discovered more than 20 deposits of jasper. Among them, there is Beloagatinskaya jasper from a slope of the Yupay Mt., with red, green and dark violet layers up to 1.5 cm. thick. To the north-east from Magnitogorsk, at the Trabinskoye deposit, near Kucharovo, they found sealing jasper and ribbon jaspers; and to the northwest from Magnitogorsk – the Kusimovskoye deposit with meat agate. To the southwest from Magnitogorsk, along the Yangel’ka River, they found a rare variety of jasper with white and red spots – Yangel’ka jasper. At the Sibaiskaya group of deposits near Staryi Sibay the Karyukmasskoye deposit of pale rose to dark red Karyukmasskaya jasper is known. Another deposit from this group is situated in the Bugulygyr Mt., to the northwest from Sibay.

The most southern Orskaya group of the Ural deposits is situated in the Orsk and Khalilovskiy Dist., Orenburg Region. Among them, there is a unique Polkovnik Mt. deposit, which was discovered on the bank of the Or River in 1755. There, in weathering crusts, they find blocks of red Orskaya jasper, which is represented with monochromatic, stripped, landscape and polychromatic varieties, various in patterns and tones. To the north from Orsk, in the Jil Tau Ridge, they discovered the Kalinovskoye and Severo-Kalinovskoye deposits of very ornamental polychromatic and brecciate Kalinovskaya jasper. Earlier, it was known on the Kolpachka River as Kolpachka jasper. To the northwest from Orsk, at the spur of the Gyuberlinskie Mts., there is the Kazakh Chikkan deposit with monochromatic, ribbon jasper and greenish-gray technical jasper.

In the Altai Mts., in the Zmeinogorsk region, there are the deposits Gol’tsovoye, Korgonskoye, Beloretskoye, Revnëvskoye and others, after which local jaspers were called. According their genesis, these rocks can be classified as jasperoids or hornstones. A typical example of hornstone is the famous green-wavy Revnevskaya jasper, opened in 1789, and black with white spots Goltsovskaya jasper. In the Krasnoyarsk Region meat-red and green jasper was found in the Shushenskiy Dist., along the Bol’shaya Shush River. Jasperoids are found also on the Lower Tunguska River. In the Angara Region, along the Biryusa River, there are ornamental hornstones. In the Chita Region, at Nerchinskiy Zavod, in the Jasper Mt., in 1717 they extracted the first in East Siberia Argun’ River jasper. Nowadays, more than 30 findings of jaspers and jasperoids are known there. Among them, in the Argun’ Region, ornamental brecciated greenish liparites, so called Ducharovskaya jasper, has been known since the 18th cent. In the Amur Region there are numerous findings of jaspers and jasperoids, which are concentrated in the south of the Zeya storage pool; there, at the Uganskoye deposit, together with jasper, they find trunks of petrified woods in tuff. Another zone of concentration of jasper findings is situated in the upper reaches of the Selemja River, on the territory of the iron-ore Imatinskoye deposit. In the Khabarovsk Region there are widespread jasper-like siliceous schists. They are represented at the Koladinskoye and Makarovskoye deposits. At the Irnimiyskoye deposit, to the southwest from the Udskaya Bay of the Okhotskoye Sea, between the rivers Ir and Nimi, among the layers of sealing-wax jasper with rhodonit-rhodochrosite rocks, they discovered bodies of blue jaspers – irnimit, up to 90 m. long and up to 12 m. thick. According the content, it is microquartzite colored blue with inclusions of light blue richterite; colored gray-rose, red and cherry-red with inclusions of piemontite and oxides of manganese. On the Kamchatka Penin., jasper deposits were discovered on the Koryakskoye Plateau and in the Penjinskiy Ridge – the Palanskoye deposit to the north-east from the mouth of the Palana River.

Jaspers are known also on the Kola Penin. – to the south from Pechenga, near Ilepinyarvi Lake. In the Northern Caucasus, in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, olive jasper is found in the basin of the Agur River. In the region of Krasnaya Polyana, along the Mzymta River, they found greenish-brownish Mzymta jasper. On the adjacent territory of Georgia, in Abkhazia, deposits of sealing wax jasper are known in the ravine of the Show River. In Kazakhstan, there are many jasper deposits, including polychromatic Sarbai jasper at the Sokolovsko-Sarbaiskiy mine; near Aktubinsk, at the Anastasievskoye deposit – red jasper; in the Semipalatinsk Region, at the Karatasskoye deposit – figured jasper; in the region of Leninogorsk, at the Ridderskoye deposit – porphyry-like and Ridder breccia jasper, or Ridder breccia. There is also the Prokhodnoy Belok deposit with ornamental hornstones. One more deposit of such hornstones is in the Karaganda Region, near Kent. In Pribalkhashia, at the Itmurundy deposit of jadeite, they discovered quartz-feldspar jasperoids of green hue and blue Kenter-Laus jasper, which looked like Kalkanskaya jasper from the Urals. In Kyrgyzstan, on the northern slope of the Talasskiy Ridge, near Talass, there is the Kumyshtag deposit with greenish-gray stripped hornstones. In Uzbekistan, in the Chatkalskiy Ridge there are deposits of jaspers and jasperoids in the Sorkh Än Daryä and Toshkent (Tashkent) Regions – Kumsareksay deposit. In Tadzhikistan, in the Darvazskiy Ridge, they discovered jasper deposits. Oby-Ravnou and Darai-Patkinou; and at the Pamirs Mts. – the Qal”aikhum (Kalai-Khumb) deposit, and others. In the Ukraine, at the Krivorozhskoye deposit, aspidian schists are used as an ornamental and coating stone. In Armenia, in the region of the Kalininskoye deposit of agate, they found Sisyatskaya jasper of light bluish-cherry-red color, as well as brownish-yellow and ribbon red-yellow ones.

Among the other countries, we should mention only those deposits, which gave their names to the most well-known varieties of jaspers. In Germany, in Saxony, they extracted red-brown jasper with dendrites and inclusions of native silver, which was called silvery hornstone. In the Dresden Region, near Auggen, there is a deposit of red spherical jasper; and near Chemnitz – of red jasper with inclusions of pyritesinopel. In the Rhineland Palatinate, near Idar-Oberstein, they extract grayish-brown Nunkirchen jasper, or German lapis; and in the Hessen, near Lelbach, – dark red jasper, which is known as meat agate, or Lelbach agate. In Switzerland, bright red jasper with inclusions of quartz is described under the trade name Swiss jasper. In South England they exploit a deposit of black ornamental Kimerijeus schist, enriched with exuviae. In Bulgaria, in East Rodopy, there is a deposit of jasper with various colors and patterns and with transfers to jasp agate. In Egypt, in the Nile Valley, there are deposits of reddish-brown and honey-yellow with red spots Nilian jasper, Nilkiesel or orbicular jasper. It is also called Nilum pebble, Nilum quartz, nilion and silex. Another deposit of such jasper is situated in the Mokkatam Mts. In South Africa, in the Western Cape Prov. they discovered an unusual flower jasper, or icy jasper, called after the pattern like flowers, snowflakes and icy patterns; and at the Griquatown, Northern Cape Prov., deposit they extracted breccia-like jasper, or vogesite. In Namibia, the erongo jasper with fine light brown and red speckles was extracted.

In India, deposits of jasper are widespread on the Deccan Plateau. They extracted the best heliotrope and dark brown with light-colored stripes zebra jasper, or zebra stone there. On the Korea Penin., at the Tsinshang Mt., there is a deposit of especially precious white jasper. In Australia, polychromatic jasper is known under the trade name morlop, as well as green hornstone – bowesite. In Canada breccia-like jasper was found in the British Columbia Prov., on the Vancouver Is. Near Superior Lake, they discovered a new ornamental variety – pudding stone jasper, which consists of quartz pebbles cemented with chalcedony. In the U.S.A., in California, in the Shasta region, San Bernardino Co., red-white striped jasper – creolite is well-known; and at the Vaban deposit – red-brown with white spots jasper - vabanite. In Oregon, greenish jasper from pebbles of the Rogue River has the local name rogueite or Oregon jade, and spheroidal, or orbicular jasper with white frames around quartz sphaerolites is called oregonite, kinradite or quartz bird’s-eye. There, at the Croced River deposit, they find red striped jasper – iolanthite. In Arizona there is a deposit of chrysojasper with inclusions of chrysocolla, and jasper with inclusions of malachite and limonite, which is called parrot wing jasper. There, in the Maricopa Co., they found red spherical jasper, which was called Cave brook jasper. In Texas, near Victoria, by the road leading to Dallas, there is a deposit of dallasite – greenish-white breccia-like jasper with cement consisting of quartz, chalcedony, epidote, prehnite, zeolites and others. In Louisiana, near Morgan Hill, beautiful multicoloured jasper of red tone is known – paradise jasper. In Mexico, they find jasper – cinnabar matrix with numerous inclusions of small crystals of cinnabar. There, on the beaches of the St Catalina Is., in the Californian Gulf, the U.S.A., they collect ornamental jasper – catalinaite.

Lydian stone. Classical Lydian stone comes from Turkey, where it was called after the discovery location in the ancient Roman Prov. of Lydia. In Russia deposits of Lydian stone or lydit were discovered in Karelia in 1879, this stone was called shungite after the discovery location by the village of Shunga, to the north from Kondopoga. Lenses of lydites are deposited there in layers of shungite slate. Another deposit of lydit is situated in Transbaikalia, in the region of Ust’ Barguzin; another one is in the south of the Kamchatka Penin. In Georgia, lydit was found in the mouth of the Black Aragvi River. In India, near Mumbai (form. Bombey), there is solid, dark gray rock resembling lydit – bombite. In the U.S.A., in North Carolina, they extract velvet-black, pauper grained jasper-like rock – basanite, which is used alas well as a testing stone.

Synonyms. Jaspers – Jasp-agate, with veins of chalcedony | Boakite, red-green, brecciated | Carchedonius, green jasper, at Agricola | Diaspro, Ital. | Heliotrope, from Gk. “Helios” – the Sun and “tropos” – a turn, because they supposed this stone turned after the Sun | Hemachate | Herbeckite, obs. | Indica, at Agricola | ~ jasper: antique ~, Chimney ~, greenish-yellow, from the Ulyk Tash Mt., the Urals; common ~, jade ~, noble ~, oriental ~, syn. heliotrope; Russian ~, red, spotty. | Jasperoid | Jasper pebbles | Pramicon, obs. | Silex, Lat. – chert, after the similarity of color | Stephanik, or St Stephan’s stone | Zonite, Amer., polychromatic, stripped jasper.

Named after the color – malachite agate, green | Red agate | Bloodstone | Chrysojasper |~ jasper: bastionic ~, bloody ~, syn. heliotrope; cappuccino ~, coffee ~, coral ~, deserted ~, elephant ~, figured ~, fire ~, four-colored ~, kolomenkian ~, after the pale color of the tissue “kolomyanka”, Old Rus.; milky ~, poppy ~, with black dots; protective ~, rainbow ~, orange-red, finestripped; brownish with black spots; rick-red ~, spotty ~, tiger ~, syn. – tigrite, brown-yellow, stripped; honey-yellow ~, pale-yellow ~| Molochites, green | Popjasper | Brocade stone | Poppy stone, with black dots | Hsiu yen, Chinese, green and white.

Named after the content – Agate jasper, stripped, or with agate | Basalt jasper, on the contact with basalt, syn. sistile | Opal jasper | Jaspopal, with opal cement | Iron opal.

Named after the texture and structure – Creoline, brecciated | ~ jasper: banded ~, conglomerate ~, eye ~, wavy green ~, landscape ~, leopard ~, syn. rhyolite; oculate ~, Picasso ~, picture ~, soyuznaya ~, local Ural., syn. ribbon jasper; shell ~, snowflake ~, riband-spherical ~, spheroidal ~, pudding stone ~, wood ~| Jasperine, fine-lamellar | Jasperonyx, fine-stripped | Jasponyx – stripped | Spherolitic quartz | Ribbon stone | Tiger stone.

Jaspers of the Urals, Russia. ~ jasper: Baymak ~, Bayramgul ~, Borkovskaya ~, Chebarkul’ ~, and there also Chebachok jasper, after Chebachye Lake; Davletovo ~, after the village of Davletovo near the Karamaly Tash Mt.; Ettukan ~, after the Ettukan Mt. deposit; Glinskaya River ~, after the deposit, In-Tau ~, after the In Tau Mt. near the village of Sapharovo; Iremel’ River ~, after the Iremel River near the village of Muldashevo; Karagaz-Tau ~, after the Karagaz Tau Mt., syn. print jasper; Karamaly-Tash ~, after the Karamaly Tash Mt., syn. lacy jasper; Kedrovskaya ~, Kusimovskaya ~, after the settlement of Kusimovsky mine, near Bannoye Lake; Kuvandykskaya ~, Makarovskaya ~, after the village of Makarova; Mostovskaya ~, after the village of Mostovskoye; Muldakaevskaya ~, near the village of Muldakaevo (Novo-Nikolaevskoye), syn. Nikolaevskoe, or Shalimov, after the miner G.V. Shalimov; Muinakovskaya ~, Old-Muinakovskaya ~, after the village of Staromuinakovo at the Karagaz Tau Mt.; Sapharovo ~, after the deposit; Sharipovskaya ~, near the village of Sharipovo, syn. protective jasper; Siberian ~, syn. Koshkul’dinskaya ~; South Sibay ~, Tash Aul ~, Tash Bulat ~, after the village of Tashbulatovskaya; Tash Kazgan ~, after the Tash Kazgan Mt.; Taukskaya ~, after the deposit in the Tauak Mt.; Tubinskaya ~, yellow, Tungatarovskaya ~, after the village of Tungatarovo, syn. Russian prasem; Uljandy -, after Ulyandy Lake, Bashkortostan; Ulyk Tash -, after the deposit in the Ulyk Tash Mt., syn. chimney ~; Urta-Tash ~, after the deposit in the Urta Tash Mt.; Yamskaya ~, Zarekayskaya ~, after the Zarekay Mt., dark cherry-red, near the village of Sapharovo, syn. Sapharovskaya jasper.

Jaspers of Altai, Russia. ~ jasper: Altai ~, brocade ~, after the color; kulichckovaya ~, after the structure; Khayr-Kumirskaya ~, white; Golzovskaya ~, after the Great Golzovka River; Korgon ~, syn. – Korgonskaya porphyry, after the Korgon River; Loktevskiy ~, syn. Loktevskaya porphyry, after the Loktevka River; Polevskaya ~, after the deposit; Revnevskaya ~, after the Revnevaya Mt.; sealing wax ~, after the color; treelike ~, Ust’yanskaya ~, after the deposit; Zmeinogorskaya ~, after Zmeinogorsk.

Names of jaspers after the discovery in Cuba location Bayate, Guantánamo – Bayate, syn. Ferrous jasper | Cidienne, Fr. black, name after deposit | Nile chert, syn. Nilkiesel, Germ. or Nile stone, from the Nile Valley, Egypt | Creolite, red-white, stripped jasper from California, the U.S.A. | ~ jasper: Australian ~, gray-red, spotty; Biggsian ~, after the deposit by Biggs in Oregon, the U.S.A.; Bolivian ~, from Bolivia, red; Egyptian ~, syn. jasper spherical or nilion; Ridder ~, after Ridder town (now Leninogorsk in Kazakhstan, called after the mining engineer Ridder, a director of the mine in Altai); Sicilian ~; Swiss ~| Kinradite, after D.D. Kinrad, who studied a deposit of spheroidal jasper in California, the U.S.A. | Mookaite, syn. rose jasper, spotty, from Australia | Oregonite, after the discovery location in Oregon, the U.S.A.; syn. kinradite | Egyptian pebbles | Arkansas stone.

Lydian stone – Aspid, after the color | Black jasper | Phthanite | Siliceous schist | Kimerijeus schist.

Novaculite, after the discovery location at the Novaculite Mts., Hot Springs Co., Arizona, the U.S.A., syn. Arkansas stone.

Hornstone, from Gk. “keratos” – a horn – Bowesite, after the first researcher | Keratite | Kornit | Petrosilex, from Gk. “petros” – a stone and Lat. “silex” – chert.

Treatment. Bright colored varieties of jasper are used as ornamental stones. In jewelry they make cameos, cabochons, beads and necklaces from it; in stone-carving it is used for souvenirs and also for coating in interior works. Jaspers have been being known since Paleolithic times, when they carved tools from it along with chert and nephrite. Masters of the antique world carved stamps from jasper in the shape of cylinders, later, they produced gems and amulets, Theophrastus (372-288 B.C.) mentioned a statue of the god of fertility Serapis in Egypt, which was 2.7 m. high. Another Egyptian colossus – “smaragdian” obelisk in the temple of Jupiter in 40 cubits (about 21 m.) was made from green Egyptian jasper. Since the times of Herodot (6th cent. B.C.), they have used Lydian stone from Asia Minor as a testing stone for sampling of gold. In the 18th cent., toilet-box European masters made bowls and from jaspers usually framed with silver and decorated with gemstones. Numerous things of the kind are kept in the Diamond stockroom of the State Hermitage, SPb.

In Russia, jasper can be counted as a national stone according the scale of its usage in jewelry and stone-carving. Its first deposits were discovered in the Urals and in Altai in the 18-19ss cent. In the Armory Museum Kreml., Moscow, there is a chalice of the archbishop Moses, made from jasper by Russian stone-carvers in the early of the 14th cent. They cut symbols of authority from jasper – clubs decorated with gemstones. Such clubs were in the possession of the Kazan’ Khan Makhmet Amin, the Ukrainian Hetman Bogdan Khmel’nitskiy and the Russian Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich. In 1637, the Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich has received a belt and a broadsword, decorated with jasper plates, as gifts. Ural stone-carvers used jasper in glyptic. In the collection of gems of the State Hermitage, SPb., there are 248 cameos by Ural masters of the 18-19ss cent.; in general, they made 370 gems. The most part of them was cut from Ural ripple jasper and ribbon jasper. After the construction of the Peterhof, Yekaterinburg and Kolyvan’ lapidary plants, manufacturing of large stone-carving works, of art from jasper was opened. In the State Hermitage, SPb., there are numerous vases of jaspers made by Russian masters after projects by leading architectures, including a vase from Bolsherechenskiy porphyry after the project by A.I. Voronikhin, vases from Korgonskiy porphyry and two vases from Kalinovskaya jasper. The main stair-case of the Hermitage is decorated with twin vases from Orskaya jasper, which color resembles autumn leaves. Koshkul’dinskaya jasper was used for the decoration of the Throne hall and the Agate chambers in Tsarskoye Selo. There is a wonderful temple-bowl from it and two fire-places coated with this stone in the Hermitage SPb. There are also standard lamps from Korgonskiy porphyry, decorated in relief from Kalkanskaya jasper, a vase in the shape of a basket from Golzovskaya jasper, vases of Aushkul’skaya jasper. In the palaces of Pavlovsk and Pushkin by St Petersburg, there are vases of Altai jasper, Egyptian, or antique porphyry. Two vases from labradorite porphyry are in the Catherine Palace, and a vase from rose porphyry is by the entrance to the Summer garden. It was gifted to the Emperor Nicolas I by a Swedish King. A real wonder is the biggest in the world “Tsarina of Vases” from Revnevskaya jasper, which was manufactured in Altai, at the Kolyvan’ lapidary factory. A block, 20 tons in mass, extracted especially for it in 1829, was being processed till 1842. A year later, this enormous vase of general height 148 cm., consisted of a cup 506 cm. wide and a supporting part, was delivered to St Petersburg. Eight columns and 18 vases from similar greenish-gray Revnevskaya jasper were made for the Winter palace; and one more vase, 243 cm. high, the Emperor Alexander II gifted to Paris in 1879. Two vases from Revnevskaya jasper are kept in the Russian Museum, St Petersburg. At the burial place of the Emperor Alexander II in the Peter and Paul Cathedral there is a tomb-stone from Revnevskaya jasper, 5 ton. For coating of the Jasper and Agate chambers in the Catherine Palace they used different Ural jaspers: Koshkuºdinskaya, Kalkanskaya, Tungatarovskaya, Urasovskaya and Yamskaya. In the interior decoration of the Kazan’Cathedral in St Petersburg pale colored Egyptian jasper was used, but because the volume of this stone was not enough they used also bluish-gray flint pebbles from the Chusovaya River, the Urals. In the burnt with the fire original decoration of the George hall of the State Hermitage SPb. they used Koshkludinskaya jasper. All the colors of Ural and Altai jaspers are widely represented in numerous composed tables of the Hermitage, St Petersburg.

In the early, 20th cent., jaspers were often used in work of art by masters of the K. Fabergé firm and in the works by A.K. Denisov-Ural’skiy. Urals stone-carvers cut three-dimensioned flowers and berries from jaspers. At the Yekaterinburg lapidary factory they made mosaic “The Map of France” from jaspers of the Urals. In 1937, this experience was repeated in the larger mosaic “Map of the U.S.S.R.” where also multicolored jaspers from the Urals were used. For the All-Union agricultural exhibition of 1939 they made “The State Emblem of the U.S.S.R.”, 300 kg. in mass, from Orsk jasper, and a bit later – emblems of 11 republics, mainly from jaspers. These emblems are kept in the CSRGP Museum, SPb. In the Soviet times, the artist V.V. Konovalenko was a successor of the traditions of usage of jaspers in stone-carving. His works of art are exhibited in the State Museum of the culture of gemstones “Samotsvety”, Moscow, and in the Nat. Hist. Museum Denver. Stone-carving is restored at the oldest Kolyvan’ factory in Siberia. A vase from Revnevskaya jasper, more than 2 m. high and 1.5 ton in mass, was made there, it has received a gold medal at the exhibition in Novosibirsk in 2003. Wonderful mosaic panels with landscapes of the Ussuri taiga from local jaspers are made by the artist from Khabarovsk G.D. Pavlishin.

Many peoples of the East have a cult of jasper. In Japan, jasper symbolizes fertility, and the first month of the year is called “friendly”, or “a year of new jasper”. The coronation of the Emperor is accompanied with the ceremony of the presentation of the holy regalia to him, which has been received, according the legend, by the Japanese rulers from the Sun goddess Amaterasu. They are made from jasper. There are: Mirror – a symbol of divinity, Sword – a symbol of power and Pendant— a symbol of the loyalty of his citizens. These regalia are depicted also on the Japanese order of the “Blessed Treasure”. In Thailand, in the “Great Palace” of Bangkok, there is an imposing sculpture of the “Emerald Buddha” from green jasper. It is 66 cm. high; its pedestal is 48.3 m. wide.

Legends. Jasper was mentioned many times in the Holy Script, in the Bible. It is the 12-th stone in the breast-plate of the high-priest. In the Middle Ages, it was officially valued by the Church as a symbol of the strength of mind, that’s why it was dedicated to the apostle Peter. It was used in decoration of cathedrals and in accessories of priests. In Europe, they thought that jasper of cold tones gave wisdom, ability of prevision and the strength of mind in troubles; red jasper stopped bleeding; green one strengthened a heart, sight and a stomach. In ancient times, judges wore gems from blood-red jasper. Jasper is a lucky stone for those, who were born under the signs of Virgo, Taurus and Sagittarius.