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The Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means "spotted stone." This form of semiprecious chalcedony, is usually red, brown or green. It contains microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz. Jasper derives its colorful patterns from other minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern.The gem was a favorite in the ancient world, and the name jasper can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. In the fourth century, it was called the great "rain-bringer." Jasper is mined in North Africa, Sicily, France, India, Venezuela, Germany, the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

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