This semiprecious gemstone cabochon material known as Ocean Jasper is a variety of chalcedony found in a silicified rhyolite flow. The mining area stretches for about 120 miles on the remote and rugged western coastline, on the northernmost part of this island nation.
Orbicular Ocean Jasper is from the Mahajanga Province, in northwestern Madagascar. It is found in the Analalava district of the Sofia region in the former province of Mahajanga. There are actually two different deposits, about ten miles apart. One is on the coast the other is a little more inland.
Some Ocean Jasper can only be seen and collected at low tide by boat. The workers go on shore to collect it, but the area has no road, so the material must be transported out by boat once the tide rises. The workers break the huge boulders up with hammers into smaller manageable pieces.
Ocean Jasper was first written about in 1922 and then the location was actually lost for almost 80 years! It hit the Tucson Gem Show in 2000 and quickly became famous.
Ocean Jasper was named for its location as well as its resemblance to the foam of the ocean as it recedes back into the ocean, with its wavy patterns of green-gray, white, cream, beige, brown, pink and maroon.
Occasionally this gemstone cabochon material will have translucent areas, or beautiful pockets of natural green or white crystals.
Jasper is a member of the Chalcedony family with a hardness of 6.5-7. Ocean Jasper cabochons take a great polish and wear well.
Unfortunately the sources have been depleted and good quality rough is increasingly hard to find.
Ocean Jasper is believed to teach responsibility and patience, as well as aid in regulating breathing for meditation. It is a stone of joy and high spirits and may be beneficial to those who suffer from depression. Ocean Jasper is said to help one maintain a centered emotional state.