Published July 2014  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 5 minutes
Picture Jasper is a true jasper that typically has brown earth tones.  It sometimes has patterns that look like an old fashioned sepia landscape photograph, hence the name “picture.”  It can be found in several locations around the world, but some deposits have their own unique name like “Owyhee Jasper” which is a colorful variety found on the border of Idaho and Oregon, in the USA.  Picture Jasper is grounding, calm, meditative, and comforting.  It is a great choice for anyone who lives in a big city and suffers from Nature Deficit Disorder.  It provides a direct connection back to Mother Earth to help us regain a sense of balance in our lives and environment.

Picture Jasper

Picture Jasper Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Picture Jasper provides us with a strong connection to Mother Earth and Earth Goddess energies. It can be used for past-life work and to help us understand previous times and experiences. Picture Jasper evokes harmony and balance, making it a wonderful stone for group work.

Metaphysical Properties Picture Jasper
Chakra Root and Third Eye
Element Earth
Numerology 7
Zodiac Leo

Emotional Healing Properties

Picture Jasper helps us to emotionally reconnect with our planet. It is a wonderful stone for treating nature-deficit disorder and feelings of disconnect. Picture Jasper encourages us to live in balance, in our lives, our environment, and in our interactions with others. It can bring to the surface long hidden feelings, both negative and positive, so we can express them and work through them. Like all Jaspers, Picture Jasper has a very nurturing energy which can help alleviate fear and bring great comfort.

Mental Healing Properties

Picture Jasper brings a sense of proportion to our thinking habits, helping us resist the impulse to exaggerate or dismiss the extent of real situations. It helps us to see the “big picture” and gives us clues to how we might deal with the details. Picture Jasper is a particularly helpful stone for anyone engaged in an earth science or restoration career.

Physical Healing Properties

Picture Jasper is said to support bone health and help cleanse the kidneys. It has been commonly used to help stimulate the immune system and increase overall health.

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Picture Jasper Mineralogy

Where does Picture Jasper come from?

Picture Jasper is a brown jasper with black dendritic markings.  It is found in Brazil, Namibia, and the United States.  The varieties found in the United States may be known by other names such as Biggs Jasper, Deschutes Jasper, and Owyhee Jasper.

Mining and Treatments

Picture Jasper is mined in tandem with other precious and semi-precious stones in artisanal mines.  It is mined from primary deposits which still have their original relationship with the host rock.

All Jaspers are natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.

Picture Jasper Placeholder
Picture Jasper

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Mineral Family

Picture Jasper is a Silicate mineral. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. The Quartz family can be further divided into two categories, macrocrystalline and microcrystalline, all of which can be colorless or appear in every shade of the rainbow.  Macrocrystalline quartz has well-formed crystals that are large enough to be seen by the naked eye, for example, Amethyst or Clear Quartz.  Microcrystalline quartz has crystals so small they can only be seen through a microscope.  These are typically grouped together under the name Chalcedony, or it’s subcategories Agate and Jasper.

Picture Jasper’s energy works well with its family – other true Jaspers.  Try it in combination with Bloodstone, Brecciated JasperDesert JasperMookaite JasperRed Jasper, and Yellow Jasper.

Picture Jasper Formation and Crystal Associates

Jaspers typically form in the cavities of igneous rocks, but it can also be found in metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.  Most Picture Jaspers are found igneous rocks.  Following volcanic activity, magma and lava are slowly transformed into igneous rocks broken up with cracks, fissures, other hollows.  Jasper is formed long afterwards, when silica-bearing water permeates the rocks and begins to fill these crevices.  As the water flows, it picks up an assortment of other trace minerals which give Jasper its coloring and patterns.  If the trace minerals are microscopic, the Jasper can have a single uniform color, as is the case with Red Jasper, or have multicolored layers, such as Desert Jasper.  If the trace minerals are larger, able to be viewed with the naked eye, the Jasper will be spotted like Bloodstone, or have plant-like inclusions like Picture Jasper.

Picture Jasper’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Brandberg Amethyst and Opal

Mineralogy Picture Jasper
Chemical Formula SiO2
Cleavage None
Color Brown
Crystal System Hexagonal/trigonal
Form/Habit Cryptocrystalline 
Fracture Conchoidal
Hardness – Mohs Scale 7
Luminescence None
Luster Vitreous/earthy
Mineral Family Tectosilicates
Specific Gravity 2.7
Streak White
Transparency Opaque

History of Picture Jasper

The name “Jasper” is a generic name given to any spotted or multicolored stone.  It comes from the French word jaspre, which literally means “spotted or speckled stone”   Some Jaspers are “true Jaspers,” meaning they are an opaque variety of spotted Chalcedony, like Brecciated Jasper.  However, monochromatic chalcedony is often sold using the name Jasper, such Yellow Jasper, as is multicolored chalcedony without spots, like Mookaite Jasper.  The name Jasper is also given to a variety of spotted rocks, most often a form of Rhyolite, for example, Ocean Jasper.  Because so many different types of stones may be referred to as a Jasper, it is difficult to know exactly which stone is being referenced in ancient and medieval writings.

Picture Jasper is a marketing name give to any true jasper with splotches of brown and tan, and sometimes black dendritic inclusions.  These patterns can resemble an old fashioned sepia landscape photograph, hence the name “picture.”  Some particularly notable varieties of Picture Jasper are found in the Pacific Northwestern, United States.  Each deposit has its own name, Biggs Jasper (tri-corner border of Idaho, Oregon, Washington), Deschutes Jasper (Oregon), and Owyhee Jasper (border of Idaho and Oregon).  Deschutes has the classic pattern of browns and tans, while Biggs can be brown but also may display more reddish tones.

Owyhee is the most colorful variety, sometimes exhibiting reddish-oranges and greyish-blues similar to Desert Jasper in Madagascar.  The name Owyhee is actually an older spelling of the word Hawai’i.  Between 1810-1813, parts of the Pacific Northwest were mapped by John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company.  The expeditions included Native Hawaiians.  This was because the Pacific Fur Company sent out two expeditions, one that traveled across the land and the other that traveled by sea.  Due to prevailing winds, ships that sailed around Cape Horn, the tip of South America, would land in Hawaii to take on fresh food and water, before re-crossing the Pacific back to North America.  When the Pacific Fur Company ship landed in Hawaii, they were given permission by King Kamehameha (c.1758-1819) to take forty Hawaiians with them.  The Hawaiian king had only very recently united the Hawaiian islands under his rule, and he was curious about the wider world.  As a result, more than a thousand Native Hawaiians visited or immigrated to the Pacific Northwest during the 19th century and they gave their name to the Owyhee Mountains, Owyhee Desert, Lake Owyhee and the Owyhee River.

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