Red Jasper is scientifically categorized in the family of quartz due to its grain-like structure. But generally, it is regarded as a member of the chalcedony clan. Chemically composed of Silicon Dioxide and Iron Oxide, this stone is classed as silicates. Jasper itself can contain different kinds of impurities which determine the stone color. In the case of Red hued Jasper, the foreign body responsible for the red color is iron. However, it is difficult to find a plain-colored Red Jasper as a result of the presence of impurities. Consequently, it is striped or spotted. Normally, the stone is available in different red tints depending on the amount of iron oxide it contains.
Red jasper is available in various parts of the world and forms on sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks solidifying in a trigonal system and exhibiting a microcrystalline aggregate habit. The gemstone is in massive form but does not occur in visible crystals. It can also form as veins in iron ores or cavity filling as well as in detrital deposits. Red Jasper is an inflexible and tough stone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7 and specific gravity range of 2.58 to 2.91. With a conchoidal and splintery fracture, this gemstone does not have any cleavage quality. It is an opaque gemstone with vitreous luster and a white streak. The stone manifests a uniaxial optical character with a refractive index of 1.540 (+/-) and no birefringence. It also does not manifest any dispersion and pleochroism phenomenon when viewed from a different angle.
Right from the cradle of civilization, Red Jasper has been highly utilized as a material for making different kinds of items. The ancient Egyptian jewelers made a movable ring with this stone. In Mehrgarh, between the 4th and 5th BC, it was used to produce bow drills. Given its availability in various parts of the world, it is widely used in the lapidary and jewelry making industries. Beads, earrings, and necklaces are made with Red Jasper and other variants of Jasper. It is said that Mark Anthony, the Great Roman General that spoke to the Romans against the killers of Julius Caesar had a seal ring made from this stone.
Red Jasper is a stone held in high esteem by scientists, poets, scholars, lapidaries, physicians, magicians and jewelers of all ages. In the old world, it was revered as a sacred stone and utilized for protection both in the earthly and spiritual world. Warriors wore it to build courage and endurance. It was a renowned stone used to heal the spirit. The person bearing this stone is believed to be empowered and to acquire the courage to withstand any domination by other people.