Rainforest Jasper Isn’t a Jasper at All–It’s Rainforest Rhyolite

Rainforest Jasper Isn’t a Jasper at All–It’s Rainforest Rhyolite

In the world of crystals and stones, rainforest jasper has long captivated enthusiasts with its intriguing appearance and mystical allure. Yet, rainforest jasper is not a jasper at all, instead it’s a variety of rhyolite. Let’s dive into the depths of rainforest rhyolite (rainforest jasper), exploring its geological origins, physical characteristics, and metaphysical aspects.

What is Rhyolite?

Rhyolite is an igneous rock characterized by a high silica content, resulting in a fine-grained texture. Its formation involves volcanic processes, often creating striking patterns and colors.

Rainforest Rhyolite tumbles

Physical Characteristics of Rainforest Rhyolite (aka Rainforest Jasper)

Rainforest rhyolite is a distinctive variety of rhyolite that boasts unique physical attributes that contribute to its enchanting allure.  It’s very distinctive based on both its color and pattern. Rainforest rhyolite distinguishes itself with intricate spherulitic patterns, and the presence of a variety of mineral inclusions and banding, making it a sought-after gemstone for collectors.

Color of Rainforest Rhyolite

The color palette of rainforest rhyolite is a masterpiece of nature, showcasing lush greens, earthy browns, and vibrant reds. Peach, cream, pink and yellow are also quite common. This kaleidoscopic fusion gives each piece a mesmerizing and distinct appearance.

Rainforest Rhyolite inclusions closeup

Pattern of Rainforest Rhyolite

Rainforest rhyolite is renowned for its captivating patterns, often containing orbs or star-shaped inclusions. Intricate swirls, dendritic formations, and picturesque landscapes make each specimen a wearable or displayable work of art.  It’s also common to find agates within the small spherulites (small round bodies/inclusions), adding an extra dimension of intricacy to the stone.

Hardness of Rainforest Rhyolite

With a moderate hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6, rainforest rhyolite is durable enough for various jewelry applications such as cabochons or beads. Its resilience makes it a popular choice for both collectors and jewelry designers.  This hardness also allows for relatively easy rock tumbling (polishing), however care needs to be taken to add extra cushioning to allow the inclusions to polish.  This stone also often has natural pits and deep crevices, so extra time may need to be spent cleaning out grit to ensure a nice shine in the end.

Rainforest Rhyolite sphere

Mineral Composition of Rainforest Rhyolite

The mineral composition of rainforest rhyolite contributes to its unique appearance. The spherulites may include minerals such quartz, feldspar, jasper, agate, chalcedony, and various trace elements.

Geological Formation of Rainforest Rhyolite

Rhyolite is formed when volcanic magma extrudes from a vent and cools quickly on the surface.  While this rhyolitic flow is cooling, gas bubbles can form. Over long periods of time, those gas bubbles fully, or sometimes partially, fill with silica rich materials, forming the multiple small inclusions that so many people love rainforest rhyolite for.  The volcano which created this material was last active approximately 120 million years ago.

Rainforest Rhyolite towers

Distributions of Rainforest Rhyolite (Where is Rainforest Rhyolite found?)

This material is mined at Mount Hay, Rockhampton Region in Queensland, Australia.  This region is known for having rhyolite with spherulites, such as rainforest rhyolite, along with thundereggs.  The thundereggs are larger agatized spherulites that have weathered out of the host stone.

Mining and Treatments of Rainforest Rhyolite

Commercial mining of this material began in 1963 at Mount Hay by Bert and Gwen Hayes, later forming Aradon Pty Ltd.  Today people can visit Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park and dig through piles of material from the nearby mine.  The material is exported around the world and does not require any additional treatments to be worked with.

Is Rainforest Rhyolite/Rainforest Jasper rare?

As it is only mined from one location, it is more rare than materials that can be found more ubiquitously.  However, it can currently be found in the form of towers, spheres, tumbles and more from many dealers at reasonable prices.

Rainforest Rhyolite Meaning

Rainforest Rhyolite spheres

Symbolic Significance of Rainforest Rhyolite (Rainforest Jasper)

Beyond its geological and aesthetic appeal, rainforest rhyolite holds symbolic meanings that resonate with spiritual seekers and crystal enthusiasts alike.

This stone has a happy energy that can flow to all aspects of life, bringing about change and helping you reach your goals, whether they be spiritual or financial.  It helps you take time to pursue those goals and keep you motivated.

Metaphysical Properties of Rainforest Rhyolite

Spiritual Healing Properties

Rainforest rhyolite's spiritual healing properties are said to align with higher energies, facilitating spiritual growth and inner peace.  Rhyolites are also used for past life healing by some, and also for meditation.

Emotional Healing Properties

For emotional well-being, rainforest rhyolite is believed to aid in releasing negative emotions and fostering a sense of balance and harmony.  Rhyolite is also said to enhance self worth or self esteem.

Mental Healing Properties

In the realm of mental healing, rainforest rhyolite is thought to enhance focus, clarity, and cognitive abilities.  Rhyolite is also said to help you calmly deal with challenges.

Physical Healing Properties

On a physical level, rainforest rhyolite is associated with promoting vitality and overall wellness.  It’s said to help increase the body’s natural resistance.  However, gems, crystals and stones should not be relied upon for medical care.

How to Clean and Care for Rainforest Rhyolite?

Rainforest rhyolite is a relatively hard stone, so little extra precaution needs to be taken during cleaning.  A soft damp cloth is sufficient to wipe clean any dust from display pieces.  Tumbles can be kept in pockets or bags with little damage. 



We think this stone is a geological marvel that makes for beautiful jewelry as well as a stunning collector's item.  Rainforest rhyolite stands as a testament to the Earth's artistry and its ability to captivate and inspire.


Check out our selection of rainforest rhyolite here.


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