Original Owyhee or Owyhee Gem picture jasper is a classic old-stock material from Eastern Oregon. The patterns often resemble the rolling desert hills and blue sky of the desert in which it originates.
Here is the story of its discovery as told to me by a good friend, fellow rockhound and well-known miner of the area. It was discovered in the late 60's by Bruce Markus and Ralph Fuson and brought to market by Dudley Stewart at Stewarts Gem Shop. Bruce and his buddy Ralph were out in the Owyhee mountains one day chasing a herd of wild horses on the only dirt road that traveled from fisherman's road to Leslie Gulch road (near three fingers rock). They happened to be driving a Volkswagen bug. They came to a dirt ridge that had veered off the road and the horses, trying to get away from these two nuts, took the ridge away from the road hoping to lose them. Bruce was not to be outdone so he went off the road and kept following the herd. He saw brush but no rock and thought he could do it even if there was a steep drop-off to his left. The duo continued chasing the herd for a bout a quarter of a mile, laughing all the way, until the herd dropped over the steep side of the hill and ran to the Gulch below them. Bruce came to a dust bellowing stop, got out and watched the herd gallop away to freedom. Totally delighted, Bruce and Ralph walked along the ridge top admiring the blocks of beautiful stone lying around the entire top of the ridge. They didn't have a hammer so they broke one rock with another and couldn't believe what they saw. Bruce being a county assessor knew a lot of locals and happened to know Dudley Stewart. Even though Bruce wasn't particularly a rockhound at the time he knew of Dudley's shop and the rockhound attraction. So... Ralph and Bruce filled the Volkswagen bug full of rock and took it to Dudley. Dudley was amazed and excited and encouraged them to claim the deposit and agreed to market it for them through his rock shop. Thus the legend of Owyhee Gem began its journey to thousands of hands of rock enthusiasts all over the world.