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Jasper: Landscape in Stone

Jasper is an ornamental rock composed mostly of chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, in association with other minerals, which give it colorful bands and patterns. Jasper was a favorite gem in the ancient world, and the name jasper can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Latin.

Jasper is often named according to its pattern: landscape jaspers, the most popular, offer a small worldscape in stone. Ribbon jasper, picture jasper, and orbicular jasper describe other designs. Jasper is found in many countries. It is sometimes used to create bowls and other objects and to adorn buildings, such as the Saint Wenceslas Chapel in Prague.