2.8" Wide, Polychrome Jasper Heart - Madagascar
This is a beautiful, 2.8" wide hand polished piece of polychrome (picture) jasper found in the deserts of Madagascar. The specimen has been sculpted and polished into the shape of a heart.
Polychrome jasper (also known as desert jasper) is known as one of the rarest forms of jasper and is only mined from a single location in Madagascar. The jasper deposits are typically in ribbon like formations, and are almost always multicolored. The color presented by this mineral is commonly an earthy purple, tan and pink, however teal polychrome jasper is one of the more sought after and desired colors. Some people consider it a form of picture jasper.
Jasper is a term that can be applied to an opaque variety of chalcedony (light does not pass through it). The opaqueness is due to a higher concentration of impurities mixed with silica/quartz. Like agate it may form in a wide variety of colors, and is often multi-colored. In most cases, jasper will occur when silica-rich fluids permeate throughout a soft sediment or volcanic debris deposit. The fluids then crystallize around the particles/impurities, resulting in a cementation process. Most often, the impurities present determine the coloration of the deposit following solidification, however other factors can play a role in the color of what is now considered a jasper.