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Jasper vs Agate
Posted by Administrator on 5/25/2012 to News & Events

How to tell the difference between Jasper and an Agate?
The simple answer is if you put light behind the material and you can see through it, then it is an Agate if you can’t then your holding Jasper. The more complex answer is that it is not always that straightforward. The simple science behind this question is that both Agates and Jaspers are comprised of Quartz- which is one of the most common minerals on the planet. Quartz is comprised of two major types- macrocrystalline (large crystal) and cryptocrystalline (small crystal).


Now here is where it can get confusing, one major variety of cryptocrystalline quartz is Chalcedony. Chalcedony includes Carnelian, Chrysophase, Agate, Bloodstone, Jasper and others. When Chalcedony in concentrically banded it is called an Agate. Occasionally the banding is larger than the crystal and the banding is not visible- like with most Carnelian.

Another sub-variety of Chalcedony is opaque quartz called Jasper. Jasper can be banded or striated, depending on how it formed, and are most commonly red, yellow, green, brown or a mixture of these colors.

Examples of Macrocrystalline Quartz are clear quartz, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine which form in a singular point or clusters. But these are neither an Agates nor a Jasper, so were moving on from these.

The main reason it is difficult to differentiate an Agate from Jasper is that they originate from the same minerals. Another major reason is due to the mislabeling of materials being cut in foreign countries as either an Agate or Jasper without considering the science in the naming process. We recognize this problem quite often, but for reasons of consistency in the marketplace we use the incorrect label.

I hope this sheds a little light on the differences between Jasper and Agate and provides you with a quick test to tell the difference for yourself, even if it is labeled otherwise.

SIDE NOTE: Examples of Macrocrystalline Quartz are clear quartz, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine which form in a singular point or clusters. These types of quartz tend to be translucent and neither Jaspers nor Agates fall under this category of Quartz.
Penny Hammack Date 7/19/2012 1:04:18 PM
If you're a vendor in a foreign country naturally you will label your product as the most lucrative stone. I on the other hand want to tell my customers exactly what I am selling. I have to depend on you as the middleman to label your stones correctly. I realize I'm being picky but so are my customers. Please take the time to change the labels if needed so I can label the jewelry I sell correctly. I will be extremely embarrassed if, for instance, I call my beads agate when they are really resin
Dakota Stones Date 7/19/2012 3:06:38 PM
Penny- Our policy at Dakota Stones is to provide as much information about a stone type as we know and to label a stone by the most common name used in the industry. We feel this allows people to source the material as well search out information about it. To rename a stone type would create more confusion and render searches impossible. Two examples I can use to illustrate my point are Yellow Turquoise which is comprised of Serpentine and Jasper or New Jade which is a Serpentine. Both of these
Richard Merrill Date 11/29/2012
I am having trouble getting a password. I'm on the verge of shopping elsewhere. Please help me. My old password just won't work and the "new Password" instructions just puts me into a hopeless cyber-loop.Please advise. Rich Merrill Merrill Gemstone Jewelry
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