How to Identify Red Jasper

by Ashley Garay

If you think your stone might be red jasper, be sure to carefully check it with a magnifying glass.

red gem like stone image by Sean Arenas from Fotolia.com

Red jasper is a hard, reddish-brown semiprecious stone often used in jewelry. An opaque form of chalcedony, which is a form of quartz, red jasper has a fine grain and often contains patterns or bands that are formed from minerals or other organic material within the stone. If you need to verify that a piece of jewelry contains red jasper, you will need to carefully assess it to see if it meets all the characteristics of the stone.

Items you will need

  • Knife
  • Magnifying glass or microscope
Step 1

Scratch the stone with a knife. Red jasper is a seven on the Mohs hardness scale, so if your stone is truly red jasper, it will not be scratched by the knife.

Step 2

Look at the stone under a magnifying glass or microscope. Red jasper may contain black streaks or bands of color variations. You might also find minerals within the stone. You will notice a grainy structure because red jasper is formed by tiny quartz crystals.

Step 3

Hold the stone up to a strong light or the sun. Red jasper is opaque, so you will not see any light shine through. If your stone is translucent, it is not red jasper.

Step 4

Take your stone to a jewelry store for help in positively identifying your red jasper, especially if you are buying or selling the gem.

Photo Credits

  • red gem like stone image by Sean Arenas from Fotolia.com