Aptly named Bumble Bee for its visual similarity to the yellow and black stripped insect, this gemstone is nothing short of spectacular. Not actually jasper at all, Bumble Bee ‘Jasper’ has launched onto the gemstone market as the bright shining star from its hometown of Indonesia and is quickly becoming all the buzz amongst gemstone collectors.
Classified as a calcium carbonate, Bumble Bee is a rich source of minerals containing a swarm of over 40 elements. Although silica is present it is not the main constituent according to recent testing of the mineral. Found around volcanic fumaroles, vents/ openings in the earth’s crust that emit steam and gases, these areas are rich sources of sulfur, carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulphide.
Sulfur is the coloring agent responsible for the vivid yellow shades fit for a Queen (or Queen Bee) and these beautiful bands of yellow, orange and black run through areas of grey-green to create a visual feast. The banding in this mineral is mostly in response to rapidly changing temperatures and oxygen pressure at the mouth of the vent running its course over hundreds of thousands of years. Bumble Bee also exhibits round ‘eyes’ amongst the zoned patterning and these particular pieces when cut have been named ‘eclipse jasper’.
Bumble Bee has been described as travertine. Travertine is a sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solutions of geothermally heated hot springs. Forming in long lateral fractures in surrounding rock, at the entry to these volcanic vents, the cavities fill with solutions rich in sulfur, manganese and iron oxides, calcium phosphates, carbonates and native sulfur from venting hydrogen sulphide. CaCO3 and SiO2 saturated hot water deposits calcite, aragonite, anhydrite, chalcedony and other dissolved minerals. Along with various other minerals they gradually cement together over time in layers through the waves of heat and pressure.
Bunny Bedi, owner and designer of Made in Earth, is in love with this addition to our gemstone jewelry collection. “Yellow is a color that we often get requests for and Citrine has been the long standing golden-hue in our rainbow of gemstones, until now. This bright, luscious yellow stone will be great for summer fashion trends, reminiscent of the glaring sun of the tropical getaways. Creating unique jewelry is what we do best and the individuality of each cabochon is another reason why it will be so popular for our clients.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, although it’s clear to see why this golden gem is so sweet. From hot, volcanic beginnings to cool summer endings, Bumble Bee’s beauty is undeniable and can be admired in each of our Bumble Bee Jasper rings or pendants in each of our galleries.