Friday, July 27, 2012

Natural Wonders: Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper

Morgan Hill poppy jasper is similar to ocean jasper, but it's not found in Madagascar. It is found in Morgan Hill, California. And unfortunately whatever of it is floating around in the universe, that's pretty much all that is available currently. Disputes over public / private lands, hostile ranchers, etc plague this stone. I don't know the real answer to why no more can be obtained, but I hoard it when I can and it's on my "watch list" of stones to look for whenever I'm gem shopping.

It's impossible to mistake for anything else except ocean jasper, as they share similar orbs or "blooms" on the stone surface. But the Morgan Hill jasper has very distinctive and bright coloring, while ocean jasper tends to be softer and more pastel-y colored. Here's an example of some Morgan Hill jasper that I recently purchased:

a gorgeous cab with the typical "orbs" or "blooms" on the surface and the rich red color saturation.

Another view:

There's a bit of green on the right side of the photo but this cab is mostly red.

Here's one I set that will show you more of a color range:

This was an outstanding cab, thick and with really great coloring.The detail on the stone is amazing!

Here's another one I recently bought:

More green background and lovely red blooms.

And one more:

This one has much a brighter pinkish color. The stone dealer I purchased from had thousands of cabochons but only one tray of about thirty Morgan Hill stones. I picked out what I considered the best three of the bunch.  :)

And just for comparison, here's some ocean jasper with typical coloring:

The one on the upper left is a standout! And the one one the lower right is nice too, but you'd never mistake either of them for Morgan Hill jaspers.   :)

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