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Sahara jasper pendant
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Posted by: frank Post Reply
11/29/2020, 17:46:18

This rough has been on the market for a bit over a decade and purportedly is collected within the confines of the Sahara Desert. I have had a special interest in north African agates and jaspers since seeing the Egyptian beads in Dubin's " History of Beads ". In the last ten years it has become obvious that Morocco could be the source of all the lapidary rough needed to produce those Egyptian beads but what of other suitable rough. I have never seen any beads pictured that looks anything like this rough so I bought some and cut it. This rough seems to be not especially rare but it has proved unsuitable for ancient bead making in that it is incredibly brittle and readily cleaves on two widely divergent planes. Not a good investment of beadmaking time even with the forgiving drilling techniques used today. If anyone has seen a bead from Africa made from a material similar to this I would appreciate a picture or reference.

jasper1.jpg (42.2 KB)  1_jasper2.jpg (39.4 KB)  


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Re: Sahara jasper pendant
Re: Sahara jasper pendant -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
11/29/2020, 17:48:05

1_jasper3.jpg (44.2 KB)  


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Amazing! - looks like a window into a scene of the desert sands
Re: Sahara jasper pendant -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/30/2020, 10:04:08



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This looks like the material that is routinely commercially called "picture jasper."
Re: Sahara jasper pendant -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2020, 17:51:54



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Re: This looks like the material that is routinely commercially called "picture jasper."
Re: This looks like the material that is routinely commercially called "picture jasper." -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
11/30/2020, 18:30:22

It is very similar to Biggs jasper and similar to a few others but this jasper is not found in volume to allow modern commercial beadmaking. I worked for a lapidary stone miner and we would mine 250,000 pounds at a time from huge deposits in Oregon. The jasper deposit is drilled and then blasted and excavated with trac hoes and loaded with a front loader onto open topped big rigs. It is sorted lightly then packed in shipping containers for shipment to China. The exact same rough that Americans pay $10 to$30 a pound for is sold for about 2 dollars a kilo.Exactly the same is happening with Canadian jade. Large scale bead production of the wonderful Moroccan agates was scheduled to begin this year but covid probably stopped it as the investors were old Americans who would have to travel to supervise and train people in Africa .



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