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.
he 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.