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Barlows Gems

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Royal Imperial Jasper

Royal Imperial Jasper comes from north of the border between Jalisco and Zacatecas, Mexico about 50 miles north of the city of Guadalajara.

Royal Imperial Jasper is found in small nodules with a soft white chalky "skin", as opposed to Imperial Jasper which is similar in colors but found in large veins and bigger pieces. The material is considered a fine porcelain jasper and it makes wonderful patterned, unique cabochons with a great polish.

The Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means "spotted stone." This form of semiprecious chalcedony, or microcrystalline quartz, is usually red, brown or green. Its patterns are much less regular and defined than those of the other chalcedony variety, agate. Another difference between the two is that jaspers are generally opaque, while agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands). All chalcedonies make excellent cabochons.