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Testing Jasper Gemstones for Authenticity

I purchased some Sea Sediment Jasper and Picasso Jasper gemstones recently and after doing some research found a few discussions on forums that questioned their authenticity.  I know the color of Sea Sediment Jasper is obviously dyed but I wanted to know if the stone itself was just a porcelain slab with silk screened image or some sort of resin material or actual stone. I have a few great ideas for these beauties and I need to know what to tell my customers the “stone” actually is.

I found a website called The-Vug.com that has a link to their fake minerals site. I wrote to Justin from The Vug about my jasper issue and here’s what he suggested that I do some tests to find out. Oh boy, hammer time!


So, I started with this piece of Picasso Jasper. I don’t care for the pattern so I didn’t mind wasting it for testing purposes (it came in a set with other pieces I actually do like).  Sorry for the bad lighting, I was testing at 5:30 in the morning and it was pretty dark.

Set on my little bench block I tried the first test, the needle heat test. First I heated the stone to see if the heat would travel. It took a minute but the stone did get hot all the way through. Not likely a resin. Then, I heated a sharp mandrel with a lighter and poked several places on the stone. It did not melt. Cool, not a resin or plastic. But was it silk screened? I took a hammer to it to see if the veins of color ran all the way through or not.


Yes! The banding went through. I was pretty convinced that it was a real stone at this point but wanted to drill into it a bit to see if it crumbled apart like sand or what.


It drilled like real stone. If it walks like a duck…


I didn’t feel a need to break apart any other specimens but I was curious enough to keep inspecting.

This time I inspected a piece of Sea Sediment Jasper that has some pretty interesting patterning on it. Here’s the original piece.


Close up I noticed the color veining ran through the stone when I inspected the drilled hole at the top.


I also observed color inside of a little crack in the surface.


I did the hot mandrel test on some of my other beauties and they all passed. I looked through the drill holes and once again saw the veining go through. Justin mentioned that he believed the Sea Sediment Jasper is white brecciated Jasper dyed pretty colors. Yeay! I’m happy to know I can use it in my work and feel comfortable about it. Just happy to know it is a real stone, dyed, but real stone. I love the colors and have some juicy ideas for them.


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