Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Red River or Red Creek?

I bought a cabochon at a gem and mineral show last month. I fell in love with the colors and the markings on the stone. The seller told me it was Red Creek Jasper and came from China. I thought that the markings reminded me of an oriental painting. I ended up buying matching beads in two different sizes and shapes.

I’ve been working with the components this week and when I listed my finished items in the shop, I thought I would do a little research and see what the internet had to say about Red Creek Jasper.

Hmmmmm……not much material available. I found only two articles by sellers of stones. Am quoting one here “Red Creek jasper comes from Africa (what the heck happened to China?). Soft, sensual shades of butter, mustard, olive and cooked lobster, with delicate tracings of licorice. The condiment stone”. This certainly sounded like my piece, but the pictures shown didn’t really resemble my stone. Quote again: “the silky smooth finish and graphic black lines make this stone look like abstract landscapes….” Again, similar sounding but not quite looking like MY stone.

Red Creek Jasper

The other post was for Cherry Creek Jasper otherwise known as Red River Jasper. This one does come from China and it does look like my stone. Quoting the souce: “It has a wonderful bracciated and streaked pattern. Cherry Creek Jasper tends to be a bit fractured so it doesn’t usually cut good size slabs, but will cut excellent cabochons. Cherry Creek Jasper is too soft to be a true jasper and is most likely some sort of a silicified calcim based stone such as dolomite.” The pictures shown with this stone sure do look like my own cab.

Cherry Creek Jasper

Whatever this stone is……..Cherry Creek, Red Creek or Red River, dolomite or jasper, I love the color and pattern. I used copper wire with it because copper seemed to best compliment the neutral colors and the “lobster and mustard” accents. I’ve created sets with the beads and cab and want to share them. If anyone has had any experience with this stone and has any more information to share, I’d love to hear it.

Here is the necklace I made with the cabochon, some coiling wire links and the beads.   I made matching earrings, quite plain but they are perfect for this necklace.   I’m not quite satisfied with the bright copper.   I would like a darker patina but am not quite sure how to do this without having an effect on the stone as well.   I’ve got to do a little reading.

cabochon and copper

You can see it in my shop on Artfire here.

That was the favorite of the three pieces I made, but I also like this other one really well, made with just beads and copper.

jasper beads with chains

You can see more pictures in my Artfire shop.  

Both of these have matching earrings.

I really like the darker patina of this copper better with this jasper.   If you know what I can do to change the patina of the other necklace, I’d sure appreciate some tips.


August 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. From my limited reading on this stone, the original Picasso jasper came from Utah. It is predominantly gray, black and brown. Then they found some in China that had many more colors, especially the deep reds, and called that New Picasso Jasper or Cherry Creek jasper. Several sources say it’s not actually a jasper but a marble. I don’t know about Africa. Need to research it more.

    As for the patina, you can use liver of sulfur to darken it. Or boil an egg, cut it in quarters and place it hot in a baggy or plastic container with the necklace. The sulfur will oxidize the copper and you can then buff it out.


    Comment by Nelson Jewelry & Gemstones | November 5, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for further info. I’ve since suspected it was perhaps a form of picasso. Whatever it is, I sure do like it.


      Comment by stregajewellry | November 5, 2012 | Reply

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