Jasper is March’s mineral at the Crater
By Waymon Cox
Greeting from Crater of Diamonds State Park! March is fast approaching, and with it comes one of the Crater’s most beautiful and easily-found birthstones—jasper!
Jasper is a silicate mineral formed from quartz sediments and hardened with heat. Much of the Crater’s jasper is red due to iron content, though many other hues are readily-found, as well. It can be solid-colored or may exhibit multi-colored bands and patterns formed as materials deposited in layers over time.
Jasper’s rounded appearance and waxy luster come from the stone being tumbled in a river or stream for a very long time. The abundance of jasper at the Crater tells us that this land was once part of a river system that deposited these minerals when the water disappeared!
Jasper was widely used for jewelry and tools in ancient Greece
, Assyria, and Persia
, and its popularity continues today with many who love to wear these colorful, semi-precious stones.
Many collectors polish their own jasper using rock tumblers, machines that speed the natural process of erosion begun by flowing water!
Though commonly found at the Crater, jasper’s diverse appearance and natural beauty catch the attention of many visitors, who often collect these stones as souvenirs from one of the most unique geologic areas in Southwest Arkansas. If you have a March birthday, come to Crater of Diamonds State Park for your own mining adventure, and see how many colors of jasper you find along the way!
Field Last Plowed: February 23, 2009
Diamond Finds for February 16 - 22, 2009
February 16 – Denis Tyrrell, Bismarck, AR, 4 pt. white, 5 pt. yellow; Mack Evans, Diamond, MO, 12 pt. yellow, 36 pt. brown
February 17 – Denis Tyrrell, Bismarck, AR, 3 pt. white
February 18 – Peggy Qualls, Avinger, TX, 11 pt. white; Greg Cimino, Scottsdale, AZ, 7 pt. white, 10 pt. white; Johnny Estes, Harrison, AR, 1.49 ct. white
February 20 – Eve Campbell, East Jordan, MI, 2 pt. yellow, 4 pt. yellow
February 22 – Billy Moore, Alma, AR, 5 pt. white, 47 pt. white, 51 pt. brown