Sunday, February 14, 2021

Is Impression Jasper Really Jasper????

     If you ask a geologist if Impression Jasper is really jasper, the answer will most likely be "no". But if you ask a buyer of beads and jewelry, the answer will probably be "yes".  Like many questions, the answer is not as easy as it seems it should be. 

     If you're not familiar with Impression Jasper, you're in for a treat if you like colorful stones. Impression Jasper is an opaque stone that comes in a variety of colors, often mixed together in geometric patters.  You can find blues, greens, reds, purples and more in many rock and bead shops. I found a beautiful set of 9 graduated tear drop purple Impression Jasper cabs at the Tucson Gem Show two years ago. Dakota Stones was selling them.  

    The stones were labeled as composite and dyed, as opposed to natural stones that are frequently only cut and polished. So I was curious about what composites go into Impression Jasper. I'm not sure I found the answer to that question, but I did find some interesting information. 

    The Gemsona Critique Hub website states that Impression Jasper is "actually a hydrated aluminium phosphate mineral called variscite."  On page 159 of Patti Polk's book, Collecting Rocks, Gems, and Minerals, there is a picture and information about Variscite. However, there isn't any information about it being used in this manner.  

     Other sources identify Impression Jasper as a composite, including Dakota Stone.  But it's still beautiful, and Impression Jasper rolls off the tongue easier and sounds much prettier than Variscite.  
    I usually like more natural stones, but I have to admit that Impression Jasper is colorful and striking. I finally made my set into a necklace a few days ago.  The set came with some 4mm Purple Impression Jasper beads, but I added more.  I also added some crystals and some gold spaces.   The clasp is a gold plated lobster claw that didn't make it into the picture.  It's big enough to be easy to use and very secure.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

          The crystals are more sparkling than they appear in the picture. They also came from the Tucson Gem Show from a store called Queenly Global.  Queenly Global is one of my favorite shops, and I always make time to shop with them.  

    You might be wondering if Impression Jasper, being a composite, has any healing or metaphysical properties.  According to information found at the website of Crystal Life Technology, Inc. "Impression Jasper (Variscite) is a stone of tranquility and encouragement. This is a stone that unifies lives and reminds people to help one another. Impression Jasper absorbs negative energy, balances yin/yang energy, and aligns the body, mind, and spirit. It is useful for shamanic travel. This stone also aids quick thinking and restores energy after recovering from an illness."

      So if you like colorful jewelry, take a look at Impression Jasper. Ignore its origins if you like the look and feel of this colorful cabochon. 


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Blessings for All

     Blessing Bags or Amulet Bags have interested me for a long time. I have intricate patterns for peyote stitched bags with a Wolf, Eagle, or other wildlife totem on the front. I love to look at them, but I know it would take me months, maybe longer, to stitch even one.  

     I have a small leather bag that I bought somewhere, and another circular leather bag that I made.  Inside I have wolf fur and healing stones.   

     Blessing Bags have been around for centuries and are known by many names. Medicine bags and Possibles bags are the same, or are very similar, to what others call Amulet Bags or Blessing Bags. By any name the idea is the same: Create or acquire a small bag to carry precious, personally important sacred items.  In the case of Possibles, some early explorers and mountain men carried larger bags that could hold gun powder, knives, and other items they needed for survival.   

  This year, with all of the terrible events that are plaguing us, I decided to make a few Blessing Bags to give to special friends.  

    Since I wanted my friends to have their Blessings within this century, I started with Ultrasuede or ribbon.  From there I added beads, fringe, sequins, and whatever else caught my fancy.  I tucked a Moonstone heart into each one to start their collection of amulets.  

     If you're interested in making a Blessing Bag, you can find patterns and info on Pinterest and other sites.  Or write me a comment and I'll send you directions on how I made mine.  

     If you don't want to make your own, there are many Blessing or Amulet bags available on Etsy. I don't sell any in my shop, but there are many available in a wide range of price points.  

      Whether you make or buy one, consider acquiring one of your own. Now is the time when we all need a Blessing Bag.