Marra Mamba Picture Jasper is a quartz family mineral composed mainly of cryptocrystalline (sub microscopic) silica.
The name Marra Mamba comes from the iron rich geological formation from which the stone is mined.
Marra Mamba Picture Jasper is mined from an Archaean iron formation around 2.5 billion years old, on Hamersley Station near Tom Price Western Australia. The area is rich in iron ore and was once part of a vast inland sea.
Marra Mamba Picture Jasper contains an unusually high percentage of impurities, mainly iron oxides, these impurities being the principle source of the stones colour and pattern. A wide palette of colours is possible, with reds, greens, browns and yellows being the most sought after.
Many specimens can also feature folded bands of magnetite and/or hematite, septarian nodules and inclusions of various sulphides.
Marra Mamba Picture Jasper has a hardness of 6.5 to 7, and has been used as a gemstone since ancient times. Today it is used in areas such as architecture for tiles and designer pieces, along with its more traditional use as an ornamental stone in jewellery and carvings.