Ocean Jasper is known by many names, including Ocean Orbicular Jasper, Cellular Jasper, and Atlantis Stone. So what makes Ocean Jasper so special and why should you have it on your list of Jaspers to add to your collection? For one, it’s mined in a single location and the locals have a limited time each day to mine the material. Keep reading below to find out why and how they mine the material.
Types of Ocean Jasper
Ocean Jasper is one of many types of Jasper but the rare shades of blue, black, pink, red, yellow, orange, and gray make it a must-have for cabochon collectors and rockhounds. Another signature display of Ocean Jasper is the intricate patterns revealed when lapidary artists cut them into cabochons. These patterns include orb-like shapes and waves of color, hence the name Ocean Jasper.
Some of the material will have beautiful specks of shimmering Druzy Quartz which adds to the complexity of the patterns.
8th Vein Ocean Jasper
Ocean Jasper supposedly gets its name because the patterns resemble the ripples and waves of the ocean. Eight different veins of Ocean Jasper have been discovered in Marovato, each producing slightly different-looking stones.
The first vein was the largest of them all, with the remaining 8 being smaller. The first vein was mined from 1999 to 2006, and the specimens tend to be white, pink, and green, with less clearly defined orbs. The vein was 90 feet long and 25 feet wide.
The second vein was only mined for a year, from 2005 to 2006. The stones tend to have a broader range of colors and include more yellows and reds, with incredibly clear orbs, often in bulls-eyes. This vein was only 35 feet long by 15 feet wide.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the third vein was found, but it was tapped out after six months. The stones from the third vein tend to be white, green, and pink with some clearly defined orbs. This vein was 10 feet long by 7 feet wide.
In 2014 a fourth vein was discovered, but sadly it only lasted a few months. Since 2014, four more veins have been found in Madagascar, bringing us to the 8th vein.
Ocean Jasper from the 8th Vein of Madagascar. The Mine of Morovato is a newer vein discovered only a few years ago, around 2017. Unfortunately, the pocket was so small that it’s unknown how much material is left. We could be facing an event where there is no more material commercially available.
Blue Ocean Jasper
While some Blue Ocean Jasper specimens resemble a far-off view of planet Earth, others display shades and waves similar to the ocean. The blue variety of this stone contains natural inclusions which produce various shades of blue ranging from light blue to deep rich blue. Black, red, yellow, and light brown streaking are common.
You need to be careful when purchasing Blue Ocean Jasper because some people enhance it to brighten the colors.
Pink Ocean Jasper
This Ocean Jasper displays beautiful shades of light pink with swirls that can be golden brown, yellow, blue, white, reddish brown, and sometimes green. Again, you can find dyed specimens with an appearance similar to bubble gum’s bright pink color.
Red Ocean Jasper
Red Ocean Jasper displays beautiful shades of deep and dark reds, with lighter hues as well. The orbs are often white, with the bulls-eyes being white orbs with red rings. You can also find specimens with yellow and green swirling.
Orbicula Ocean Jasper
Orbicular Jasper is a variety of Jasper that contains variably-colored orbs or spherical inclusions. The needle-like Rhyolite or Quartz crystals provide the basis for the orbicular inclusions. The material is incredibly attractive when polished and is used in jewelry.
You’ll find various commercial or local names used for orbicular Jasper, including Oregonite, Kinradite, Owyhee Jasper, Poppy-patterned Jasper, and Ocean Jasper.
How To Spot Fake Ocean Jasper
Fake Ocean Jasper can be identified by its unnatural colors, including bright blue, violet, or orange shades. Sometimes Chalcedony or Agate is passed off as Jasper, but they are semi-translucent, and true Jasper is opaque. Take a look at the image above to get an idea of what unnatural colors look like.
Another type of fake Jasper is often represented by dyed natural materials like lesser-quality Jasper, Agate, and Chalcedony. These fakes or enhanced stones will have glowing colors like acid yellow, green, blue, and purple.
How Rare Is Ocean Jasper?
Ocean Jasper is rare and hard to come by because of the mine location and the lack of material coming from the mine. It’s only mined in one location, the Mine of Marovato, on the Ambolobozo Peninsula in Madagascar. The deposits or veins can only be reached by boat and miners have to wait until low tide to remove the Jasper.
You can source Ocean Jasper Cabochons on Instagram if you’re looking to make custom jewelry or add to your Jasper collection.