A member of the chalcedony family, jasper is extremely versatile; it has been used in carvings, seals, cabochons, beads, and has even been used in fire-making techniques. Jasper is a semi-precious, opaque, and relatively common stone; what makes jasper so unique is the wide array of colors and patterns it comes in!
Jasper can be found all over the world; common sources include Russia, Uruguay, India, Egypt, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Madagascar, and the United States. Jasper usually has banding, matrix-like inclusions, or a spotted appearance.
Jasper stones that possess unusual patterns, characteristics, and coloring are called "picture jasper." Types of jasper that resemble a certain pattern, color, or scene are often named for their visual characteristics, and these names can vary from region to region. We call our jasper stones by the names we're familiar with-but you may recognize a jasper stone as having another name entirely!
Picture jasper stones often resemble animal coats, such as Dalmatian Jasper (jasper resembling the coloring and spots of a Dalmatian dog), Leopard Skin Jasper, and Zebra Jasper (which can come in both black and white stripes, and brown and pink stripes!).