Jasper is an opaque, (not able to be seen through; not transparent) variety of chalcedony.
Jasper contains enough impurities and foreign material to render it opaque
Microcrystalline quartz in its pure form is semitransparent. When a small amount of impurities or foreign materials are added, the colour of the microcrystalline quartz changes and its ability to transmit light decreases.
Jasper Jasper is derived from the Greek for “spotted stone”. Jasper is usually considered a chalcedony, but scientists put it in a group by itself because of its grainy structure. Finely grained, dense jasper contains up to twenty percent foreign materials that determine its colour, streak and appearance. Uniform jasper is rare; it is usually multi coloured, striped, spotted or flamed.
Chrysoprase, a bright apple green translucent chalcedony, is the most valued. Some treasured jasper stones exhibit a picture that appears to be taken from nature and are called “landscapes”. Another specialty is bloodstone or blood jasper, also known as “heliotrope”; a dark green chalcedony or jasper with flecks of red. Most jasper is opaque and takes an excellent polish. Jasper is used for ornamental objects, cabochons and stone mosaics. Care must be taken during cutting. Banded jasper tends to separate along the layers.
The real difference between Jasper and Agate is the amount of impurities and foreign material contained with a specimen. In other words the colours, found in Jasper are more because of the other minerals,, and can be very colourful. when polished. But you can not see through the Jasper Gemstone.
Agate has lots of colour also, but has a more dull crystal look. some of the colours you can see through, other you can not. Finding a agate you can see all the beautiful colours, when cutting them you find crystals I the middle of some Agate Stones.
Agate is a form of chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a remarkable variety of colours and textures
Calcite. you can see through and can not see through it, The orange broken stone I have in my hand ,you can not see through it, but the stone I have that looks like a slab of crystal you can see through it, the Calcite stone is shiner and is a cleaner stone, mostly one colour.
You can get a Jasper, Agate, and Calcite rock all the same colour.
Jasper is a variety of quartz with a chemical composition composed primarily of silicon dioxide. Up to 20% percent of fine dense jasper can be composed of foreign materials, typically Hematite, pyrolusite, clay or calcite.
Jasper has a microcrystalline structure which means its trigonal crystals can only be seen under high magnification. It can be easily distinguished from many other similar materials by its excellent hardness and lack of cleavage.
Jasper can be one colour or lots of different colours. The picture in the image on top of the page is multicolour Jasper.
Cryptocrystallines like agates are more often opaque. Agates and Cryptocrystallines can be slightly softer than Macrocrystallines, 6.5 on Moh’s scale rather than a full 7.
Cryptocrystallines have a duller, wax-like luster while Microcrystallines have a shiny, vitreous luster.
Cryptocrystallines have a higher water content as well as other non-quartz ingredients, up to 20% more.
Because the Cryptocrystalline Quartz can include several Non-Quartz minerals, many of these Quartz are considered Rocks.
Macrocrystalline Quartz– like. Amethyst, Citrine, Tigereye, and Smoky Quartz, which are more likely called Gems, Gemstones or “stone due to their Purity, Bling, shine.
Cryptocrystalline Quartz can look like a Coloured Rock or a dirty rock until it is broken, smashed or cut open. Picking one up, the colours get your attention. Check out Agate. Lots of beautiful colours.
These are my Agate From Agate Creek in Qld.
Agate come in lots of colours have a look at these agate pictures . Are they Real?
Finding a stone that shines like a big piece of glass. Is it Glass or a gemstone. some gemstone don’t sparkle until you put water on them. The Sapphire is a rock in dirt until you put it in water, then it looks like glass.
Any good Rockhound/ Fossicker is bound to come across a rocks that he or she has trouble identifying.
The location of where the rock was found, can help Identify it, some times.
How to Look at a Rock.
People don’t usually look at rocks closely. So when they find a stone/ rock that intrigues them, they don’t know what to do, except to ask someone what it is, or they just forget about it.
Your local Lapidary Club.
I never new about our local Lapidary Club. The Members there can help you.
This is what you need to know before you can identify rocks and give each one its proper name.
Where did you find it.
There are simple clues all around. Does your area contain coal mines? Volcanoes? Granite quarries? Fossil beds? Caverns?
Birds Like Gemstones.
Birds carry some gemstones miles away from where the bird first seen that sparkle. You have glass, gemstones that sparkle like glass that I have come across are opals, sapphire, crystals, topaz. Plus there would be more.
Fossicking Trips or Going Rock hounding
When you go on a Fossicking trip or Rock hounding you normal plan where you are going and you know what you are looking for. I have picked up rocks that I like, and I still don’t know what they are called. Learning more about rock will help me identify that Stone or Rock.
Make Sure Your Rock Is Genuine.
If you find your rock your self it has to be real/genuine , it is your stone.
Buying rock/stones you do not know , there is to many cheats out there .
If it is a crystal or sparkling rock to see straight through it is great. no lines or cracks.
You’ll need a magnifier. You want a lightweight, powerful magnifier (also called a loupe) that has impeccable optics and is easy to use. Get the best magnifier for demanding jobs like inspecting gemstones and crystals; in the field, for quick looks at minerals, buy a decent magnifier you can afford to lose.
Your local Lapidary Club.
Join your local Lapidary Club.
Most of the information I have got about rocks is from my local Lapidary Club, most of the time you have to ask .
The members are full of information about where to find different rock/gemstones, And most clubs have day trips and weekend trips to find gemstone.
Clubs have rock/gemstones so you can see what you have to look for.
Plus the club have equipment to use to clean/cut/Polish your gemstone/rocks you find.
Our planet is like a onion, made up of a number of layers.
In the centre is a solid core, which is surrounded by Mantle and the crust.
We live on Earths surface on top of the crust, the tin outer layer that carries oceans and continents.(countries).
During earths formation, denser materials such as iron, sank to the centre, while lighter materials such as silicates and other materials, rose to the surface.
How old are rocks.
Rocks formed when earth was cool enough for them to become solid.
The first rock on earth solidified around 4.2 billion years ago.
Rocks and Minerals have been forming ever since, and are still forming today.
At Earths Surface, In the Crust, On The Ocean Floor, and in the Mantle deep below.
4.2 billion years ago.
The oldest type of rock is Acasta Gneiss, which first formed 4.2 billion years ago.
Finding that Gemstone is a great way for you to do rock identification your self, understanding all the information out there about different rocks/stone, you never stop learning.
Lots Of Books out there.
There is lots of books out there, about Rocks, Stones and gemstones. Then you have all the different minerals. To kept it interesting and to learn about stones go to your local library and lend books. Then again you can get a lot of information on the internet, and from your local Lapidary Club.
I love going out finding all sorts of stones/rocks, I am lucky I do not have to got far to find something. Camping out under the sky and counting the satellite that pass over a night. So peaceful.
Fossicker- Rockhound love what you do. Enjoy have fun.
Gem of a holiday, Camping in the Bush Park at Opalton.
Search for opal, by Noodling. Patience and a good eyes.
Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal.
Offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals.
Finding a bit of Sparkle in a rock and then making something from it is very rewarding. Opal is Beautiful
Boulder Opal From Opalton in Queensland.
Boulder opal is the second most prized form of opal, after black opal. The name derives from the fact that boulder opal is found embedded in ironstone boulders. The opal usually forms as thin veins within these boulders, and most stones are cut to include some of the host ironstone matrix. Boulder opal is sometimes referred to as opal in matrix for this reason. Boulder opal is especially attractive because, like the black opal, it has a dark body tone which adds vibrancy to the play of colour. Boulder opal also has a higher density because of the ironstone content, and can be more durable as well.
Opalton is 120kl From Winton
Boulder Opal is found at Opalton. Opalton is about 120 kl From Winton. The road is a dirt road is pretty good. You have to watch out for the animals crossing the road.There is a bush Park at Opalton, they like people to camp there. Toilets and shower .
Opalton is a Small place, People do live there, that have got claims. Such a very friendly place to visit. Most of the claim sites are, tin shacks and caravans. When you dive to Opalton from Winton which is 120kl, it is a dirt road, yes you would be able to drive a normal car there, the first thing you come to, is the sign for Opalton. A little ways up, you will see buildings on your left. Kept going and on your right you will see a sign saying bushpark. This is where you camp, it has toilets and showers. Hot water if you light the donkey. Cost in May 2016 was $2.50 each per night. When you set up camp the locals come down and talk to visitor., very friendly people.
Lots and lots of flies, make sure you have cream and a fly net.
Opalton is the centre of the largest and most extensively worked opal deposits in Australia. The opal fields are within a belt of deeply weathered cretaceous rocks known as the Winton Formation and they mainly produce ‘Boulder Opal’ – the second most valuable opal after the Black Opal.
The field was discovered in 1888 by George Cragg, a stockman from Warrnambool Station. The first claims were worked in 1894 and the township was started in 1895 following a rush to the region. By the end of the century the township was supporting about 600 people and the usual commercial activities were established including two hotels, stores, blacksmith and saddler’s shops, as well as a police station and telegraph office.
Now days there is a hand full of people working claims out at Opalton. One claim owner has been moving a lot off dirt, and has not seen any colour for 6 months, ask why, you never know what tomorrow will bring, plus once you see the colours of opal, it is addictive,
When visitor go to Opalton they fossick in dirt piles around the camping grounds, or ask the locals where to go. Just remember these people are very helpful and go out of there way for visitors. Ask if they, have opal for sale, support these people.
Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal, also offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals. You do have to have a fossicking licence, they are only around $10 for a month. Most tourist shop have them or go online to buy one.
Spray Water Bottle.
Fossick through the piles of dirt at Opalton, To see Opal easy it is a good idea to have a spray water bottle on hand, when you see a flash of colour, spray water the brilliant colours shine , just makes you want to find more. So So Pretty.
Looking for Opal
It Is rugged, in the Australian out back.
Dirt tracks every where, it is a good idea to have a navigator, to leave sail tracks so you can get back to where you come from.
Some places like Opalton have tracks go every where.
Equipment For Noodling.
Equipment for Noodling, The only equipment you require is a small pick ( a prospector’s pick is ideal). Patience and a good eye. Another item is your spray bottle of water, and a container to put what you find in.
When it Rains.
If it rains you don’t go anywhere, even to leave your camp to go for a walk is a big effort, Mud. Off cause you have some people just because they have a 4 wheel drive they can go through the mud, they just wreck the roads. Stupid.
No Phone Coverage.
There is no phones coverage. If you can afford a satellite phone is great. The locals have phone lines and TV’s. Batteries, Generators, Solar Panels .They Just have got a great life style. Nothing to spend money on. Once they have set up camp.
This is our third time back to Opalton. Why? Because of the Opal you find , and there is not any digging, Peace and quite. Love Opal and Love Opalton
Born in the dark and depths of time,
Taking Millions of years to form,
Coloured with silicon rainbows fine
Lies the opal with Heart so warm.
Entombed in beds of hardest clay
Many a foot from the top,
It’s very hard work, the miners say,
But the prize is the best of the lot.
The pick rings out on the hard, white bed,
The hope rise high in the miner’s breast,
The sparks fly off past the miner’s head
And a river of light is exposed to the test.
He holds the candle close to the vein,
Red, Green, Yellow and flash bright,
Now taken from mother earth where it has lain
Treasured by mankind, born to the light.
This was Written By.
Michael Lynn (at the age of 14 years).
Need more information about Opalton . Please leave me a comment. and I will get back to you soon.
I fossick on the surface when we go to Opalton , I do have some stone for sale, it is pot luck, if you find opal in the stone, most stone show signs of opal. Postage will cost more than the stone. Contact me.