The name jasper is derived from the Greek and means "spotted stone." Jasper is a very impure form of chalcedony, the impurities often creating spectacular color combinations and shapes when the material is cut and polished.

The wide variety of color and form to be found in jasper has led to over two dozen trade names being used, and that number is added to continually as new ones are thought up. But all jasper is chalcedony. There is no synthetic jasper and manmade glass is the only common simulant.

Source localities of jasper are worldwide, some of the most spectacular in Madagascar and California.

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