I can't believe June was the last post here, I promise to keep this up better from here on and with new things One of the ideas I have had for this spot is information on Lapidary rocks and minerals. Probably one of the easiest ways to do that is to give information and observations on material that has been recently worked, So keeping with that I give you Noreena Jasper:
Mined in Western Australia Noreena Jasper has a Mohs hardness of around 7 according to the charts, I did this one this afternoon and would say closer to 6 for it. This was fun to work in that the colors play out and come up very quickly, I knew I wouldn't run out of color but I wanted it a certain way so had to be careful and grind just a little at a time with each process. Had I continued red would have begun poping up in the gray areas on the left and the bottom.
Noreena has a new family member, Pilbara Jasper (named for the town Pilbara near where both are found) two years ago it came on the scene at the Tucson show and it is still very popular today. Both have some of the same dramatic colors but you can tell the one from the other as Pilbara has stark sharper a tighter lines and usually they are a little bit brighter. Also cost, Pilbara is still bringing a premium price both in rough and in cabochons. I hope that will change before long but don't hold your breath.