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Antique 19th Century Genuine Natural Two and One-Half Carat Hand Crafted/Polished Nubian Red Jasper Semi-Precious Gemstone Oval.

CLASSIFICATION: Polished Nubian Red Jasper Cabochon.

ORIGIN: 19th century Nubian region of Egypt and/or Sudan.

SIZE: Length: 10mm. Width: 8mm. Depth (Thickness): 4mm. Measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 2.58 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, earring, or pendant.

DETAIL: A very nice quality 19th century antique hand crafted/shaped/polished red jasper semi-precious gemstone from the Nubian region of Southern Egypt/Sudan. The fabled land of ancient Nubia was the source of the red jasper held so precious by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Carved into jewelry and religious amulets, red jasper was obtained from the Nubian Upper Nile, typically in the form of annual tributes to the Pharaoh. As well ancient Egypt received annual tribute of their treasured red jasper from "the land of Punt". But there exact whereabouts of Punt (and the pygmy black tribesmen of legend) remains a mystery today. A religiously significant amulet known as an "Isis Tit" was carved from red jasper and placed at the throat of the mummified remains of Egyptian Pharaohs and Royalty.

This 19th century red jasper gemstone originated from the same Nubian region which presently is part of both Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. Crafted by 19th century Russian artisans into these beautiful polished cabochons, it was intended for use in the domestic jewelry production that Renaissance and Victorian Russia was so famous for. Jasper, as well as other forms of agate, were extremely popular throughout the ancient Mediterranean, and maintained its immense popularity through Renaissance and into Victorian Europe. This is a jewelry quality gemstone, and is colored a very beautiful blood red. However close examination of the gemstone reveals that the gemstone has been hand shaped and hand finished. The slight irregularities which are the hallmark of a handcrafted gemstone are generally regarded as appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered detrimental. Unlike today's computer controlled machine finished gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-crafted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-produced gemstones.

HISTORY: Jasper is a form of agate, and belongs to the chalcedony family of gemstones, a type of quartz. Jasper is very similar to citrine and amethyst in make up, but is so heavily included with elements such as iron and sulphur (which provide the colors) that they are opaque rather than transparent. The biggest difference between a Red Jasper and a Citrine is that there is probably 20 to 30% more Iron in the Jasper. The crystals in Jasper gemstones are so dense and so tightly compacted that they are invisible to the naked eye. It often contains organic material and mineral oxides which give it interesting patterns, bands and colors. Many of these patterns resemble landscapes with mountains and valleys.

Jasper was a favorite gem in ancient times and is referenced in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian and Latin literature. The name Jasper comes to us from the Greek language. Jaspis or the ancient spelling Iaspis was the name of a mythical stone found in the head of the adder snake. Greek warriors carried one to give them courage in battle. Early Mediterranean shamans or wizards believed that jasper was a very sacred stone. Blue colored Jaspers were used to travel safely back and forth to the Spirit World. Red Jasper represented the blood of the Great Mother and was used to connect with the Earth in healing ceremonies. Green Jaspers were used to call the rain. Medieval authors of the 11th and 12th centuries wrote volumes about the protective powers of the Jasper. It was written that the gemstone could drive away evil spirits and protect the wearer from the bites of poisonous snakes and spiders.

However mankind's relationship with Jasper, especially red jasper, is much more ancient than merely the Greeks, or medieval Europe. It dates back as early as (20,000 B.C.) in France where it was found to be used for ornamental objects, to the Babylonians times (1000 B.C.) where it was used in seals which have been found in ancient ruins. The Harrappa culture of India (4th millennia B.C.) also used this stone in their jewelry. The Egyptians used red jaspers to represent the blood of their goddess Isis. Amulets of the gem were said to have the same virtues as the goddess' blood and when worn helped prepare one for the judgment of Osiris upon death. Thus Chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead required the amulet in the form of the Girdle Tie of Isis, placed at the throat of the mummy, to be made of red jasper, whose blood-like coloring would enhance the words of the spell: 'You have your blood, Isis; you have your power.'

You can see an outstanding red jasper amulet of this style, courtesy of The British museum, by clicking right here. The ancient Egyptian word for red jasper, khenmet (hnmt), was derived from the verb "hnm", and meant "to delight". Red jasper was extremely popular in Ancient Egypt, expensive, and especially favored for use in earrings (click here to see red jasper earrings of ancient Egyptian/Nubian origin). Red jasper came to ancient Egypt from Nubia (a region laying between present-day Southern Egypt and Sudan) and from Punt (somewhere as yet unknown in Africa) in the form of regular tributes to the Pharaoh. In fact an ancient papyrus detailing the tribute from Nubia survives to present time (see here). Red jasper tributes from both Nubia and Punt were discovered in the Thebes tomb of Rekhmire and the tomb of Iamunedjeh; both were high officials of King Tuthmosis III (1450 BC).

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".