The Mysterious Rediscovery of Ocean Jasper
Ocean jasper is such a unique stone, its found in only one place in the world – a small site along the northwest coast of the island of Madagascar. Ocean jasper is a variety of orbicular jasper, a type of jasper named for the spherical shapes that pattern the stone. The term jasper comes from the Greek word, iaspis, meaning “spotted stone.” Various forms of this jasper can be found in many areas around the world, however the ocean jasper of Madagascar is unique due its beautiful colors and markings.
Another aspect that lends mystery to the stone is the story of how it was found, or actually “found again”. Ocean Jasper was first written about in 1922, but the location was lost for the next 75 years. All that was known was that it came from somewhere in Madagascar, and that the location of the quarry had been lost. In the 1950s, a sample specimen was brought to the Museum of Sciences in Paris, France. But with the sample came a mystery – no one knew where the source was located and Madagascar is a very large island (approximately 1,000 km long and 300 km wide).
The stone made its reappearance to the world at the 2000 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and the story behind its rediscovery was the talk of the crowd. After 45 days of tirelessly searching along the Madagascar coast, an exploration group from the mining company, Madagascar Minerals, located the ocean jasper deposit. The reason the site was lost for so long is that it is only visible at low tide.