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  Author   Comment   Page 2 of 2      Prev   1   2
Just received Sea sediment Jasper heart...pretty. Feels like a rock but too many straight angles in inclusions. Looks like a man made conglommerate to me. Very pretty though!
Check out this link of "fakes" and misnomers.
(Screen shor below and my heart)
Do you have a pic of your "real thing"...the one you saw in the rough? Guess you just make up big chunks of it and then slice and cut n polish. Looks nothing resembling Mooakite.
Bah! Wont let me send pics too big file.
Kimberly McNeice
I bought some of the "jasper sea sediment " although I think it quite colorful and pretty it's not real. It feels like resin. So I used a file on it and it is extremely soft so I would say it's some sort of pieces of dyed stone in a resin with metals added. Idk. Educated guess.
I have read the above dialogue, having found this site in a Google search on "sea sediment jasper."  In recent days I've been buying a lot of stone beads and pendants at eBay, mostly from China, but also India.  I have avoided the "sea sediment jasper" because I have assumed it is some sort of artificially-colored conglomerate.  My search was an attempt to seek confirmation.  I too would like to know the details of coloring this or any stone, as well as what is being used to "cement" the conglomerate pieces together.  (I would guess Epoxy, or something similar—but who knows what the Chinese may be doing.)  THAT is the making of a very long dialogue.

I noticed, as often happens, that artificially-colored stones are often referred to as being "dyed."  And, certainly, many stones ARE dyed.

However there is an entire class of coloring that relies on dissolved mineral baths, and heating, burning, or subjection to acid.  This is VERY DIFFERENT from dying stones.  Mainly because dyes are organic compounds, and they are, at best, temporary.  They fade from washing, solvents, and even just direct sunshine.  In contrast, the mineral-enriched stones receive a permanent color that mimics nature, in depositing mineral oxides into the lattice of the stone (usually chalcedony or agate).

This method was brought to a science at Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and has been practiced for at least about 200 years.  The original techniques were used thousands of years ago.  (This history is one of my specialties.)  The method is sometimes characterized as "beizen" (pronounced "BITE-zen"—and referring to any crafts or processes where something is soaked in an acid.)  For instance, an animal skin is beizen when it's made into leather.  A cucumber becomes beizen when it's made into a pickle.

Various solutions or oxides are used to make specific colors.  Brown and black are the simplest and derive from sugar (carbon), and only require soaking in a water solution and heating (or burning).  Red (carnelian) comes from dissolved nails (iron), etc., etc.  This has been practiced since antiquity, while colors such as yellow, green, and blue may have been devised relatively recently at Idar.

The point I want to make is that these permanently-colored stones, that derive from science and technology, are routinely characterized as being "dyed"—when this is not an accurate proposition.  Dyed stones are not permanent, and are inherently cheap and inferior.  Also, many people do not understand that carnelian, sard, and "black onyx" have been manufactured for thousands of years.  These are routinely believed to be "natural," when this is most-often not the case (particularly beads and ornaments from India in antiquity, and from the commercial or "costume jewelry" industries of Europe throughout the previous 200 years).

From 1881, the Germans were importing agate for beizen treatments from Brazil—and in the 1980s manufacturers in Brazil (apparently) learned the beizen techniques.  The Chinese learned to make beizen agates/chalcedonies in the 1990s.  (Prior to then I suppose they mostly got their commercial carnelian from Germany.)  In the past 15+ years, the Chinese have gone crazy, developing techniques to color stones (using both dying and beizen techniques—sometimes together.  Plus they have a retinue of techniques to change the structure of the stone to make crackles and textures—and particularly the "dragon vein" pattern that is essentially dyed crackles. The colors most-often dyed now are pink, lavender, and purple.  Possibly others, but beizen processes are more likely for red, yellow, green, and blue—and the simple brown/black colors.

On top of all this fiddling with stones that is NOT admitted, these are routined described as "natural"—which they surely are not (if that is taken to mean "untreated" and the like).  And then there is the misidentification of stones, in which one mineral is ID'd as another, or given some new fake name.  Figuring out all these variables has become very complicated—if you care.

Some of you may not care whether a stone is beizen or dyed, because if it's messed-with at all, you lose interest—and who cares how it's done.  Yet, as I said, beizen stones have been presumed to be "natural" for a very long time—particularly carnelian and several agate or chalcedony types such as "black onyx."

OK—I suppose this is a long-enough first post here.  I hope some of you find this interesting and helpful.  Beadman
Here's an image I harvested from a book by Dake et al, showing the artificial coloring of Brazilian agate.  A polished nodule was sawn into slices, and the individual pieces were given to companies that specialized in a particular beizen color.  The left piece is untreated, and shows the natural translucent banded gray color.  Note also structural white layers that do not accept the mineral colorants, and likewise the crystalline quartz areas.  Only the microcrystalline material absorbs the elemental baths, throughout.

The next piece is carnelian (iron), followed by brown (sugar/carbon), blue (cyanide), yellow (?), and green (chromium).  The right piece was actually dyed bright plum-purple—which would have been temporary; but no known mineral bath created any similar color.  So, as now, pinks and purples were and are dyed. 

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Steven A Barben
I have a geology background. My father is a geologist and I have a minor degree in Geology. From all of the conversation it seems that nobody really knows what sea sediment jasper is. I'm with Jack. It's probably either fake (not a natural stone) or enhanced low grade rock made to appear better or more valuable than it is. I believe this simply because of the vague definitions and locations. It is called by several different names, as some of you have mentioned, which to me is a red flag. Real jaspers usually have one established name, possibly one or two others, but not so many as this material. Calling a stone by multiple names is usually intended to confuse or mislead customers to make it more difficult to trace a source, a marketing ploy. Real jaspers are composed of silicon dioxide (quartz based) period. If not, they are not under the true definition of a jasper. Some have said that sea sediment jasper might be some kind of variscite, if this is true then it is definitely not jasper, as variscite is composed mostly of aluminum phosphate, not quartz based. After researching this some, I have also found that it is claimed to come from many different locations - Australia, Africa, and China to name a few. While many varieties of jasper are found all over the world, specific named jaspers usually come from one location, many locations appears to me another way to lose a customer in vague reference. The extensive use of obvious dyes also shows me that much of the stone or material is low quality as dyes are often used on lower quality stones to enhance, or rather cover up the poor quality, or to turn an ordinary rock into something more beautiful, apparently valuable, and saleable.

I am an advocate of real and natural precious or semi-precious stones and believe the naming of such stones should be based on established name definitions rather than deceptive marketing purposes for an extra buck. Fake, dyed, and otherwise enhanced stones may indeed be beautiful, but still they have little real value. Manufactured glass can be beautiful too, but its still a material that can be produced in billions of tons, so its value as a gem is quickly lost. Nevertheless I'm sure that I can't stop the deception of false naming practices, so it is as it will continue to be - buyer beware, customer be careful.

Jasper agatized MUD!....All it is! Mud.

 Wording in name...ocean jasper really... how about tube agate bull quartz, with a casting of matrix mud.  every plate on the globe is in part soon to be coast line digs for more Biggs jasper


  Jack Cole

Joyce Massey
I believe I have found sea sediment jasper. With extensive research and confirmation....this is dark brown/ black in color with ivory veining. Some red tones ate noted. Hope this helps

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I am a petroleum geologist by profession, but collect and deal in rare and very fine colored gemstones as an avocation.

To clear up one question, jasper and agate are both forms of cryptocrystalline quartz. Generally speaking, jasper is semiopaque to opaque and agate is semitranslucent to highly translucent.

As to "sea sediment jasper", or whatever else it may be called, I don't know if it has pieces of true jasper in it or not, but I doubt it. It appears to be brecciated (as "Pietersite" is brecciated Tigerseye et al.), but most likely an artificially "brecciated" composite helped along by human hands and modern chemistry (some of the stuff I've seen has veins of copper or so-called "pyrite" cementing the pieces together rather than a "rock-like" cement). Not that I've seen that much of it, but all that I have seen appears to have been dyed, as well.

That being said, I just bought a bunch of very inexpensive, one of a kind, natural stone bead necklaces made by a very talented lady here in the States. I plan to use them as stocking stuffers and little holiday remembrances for receptionists and other office personnel, etc., this coming Xmas.

A very few of these had pendants added that were made of this "sea sediment jasper". The lady that made the jewellery didn't know what the stuff was and didn't represent it to be natural. The pieces were very attractive and tasteful--not at all garish--and I am sure the recipients will be delighted with them (they'd be happy to get anything, just to be remembered!). So, I think there is a time and place for this stuff, so long as it is not represented as natural or overpriced.

However, if anyone is serious about this "sea sediment jasper", just send a piece of it off to GIA for analysis and you'll know for sure what it is. In fact, there may already be an article about it in a past issue of GIA's magazine "Gems & Gemology". I remember when they published an article "way back when" debunking "Helenite". Not only did they prove it was not "natural", they proved that a transparent glass could not even be manmade from ash from the Mt. St. Helen's eruption!

Good luck!
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