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Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular Quartz and/or Chalcedony and other mineral phases, is an opaque, impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in color; and rarely blue. The common red color is due to iron inclusions. The mineral aggregate breaks with a smooth surface and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is used for vases, seals, and snuff boxes.

Etymology and history

The name means "spotted or speckled stone", and is derived via Old French jaspre (variant of Anglo-Norman jaspe) and Latin iaspidem (nom.iaspis)) from Greek ἴασπις iaspis, (feminine noun) from an oriental language (cf. Hebrew יושפה yushphah, Akkadian yashupu).

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