Cabochon ID
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Author:  gingerkid [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Dream wrote:

No no no!!!! You put them in a plastic bag !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think my mother inlaw would think they are breathtaking beautiful. :smt096

Where did you say you got them? :smt046

:shock: ain't misbehavin,' are u, dream?? :lol: it may be wise not to disclose where y'all found these mysterious and perhaps toxic, lol, eclipse cabochons to dream!!

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Hello. I frequently come to this site looking for gem and lapidary material answers. I was searching for info on the bumblebee and found the arsenic reference listed. I didnt want to cut any till I had some answers.
I researched further and am attaching the original miners explanations used with his permission. These are gleaned from several conversations: (I removed the photo)

"Attached here is a foto of the crater area where we dig the Bumblebee Jasper. Its a deposit formed around sulfataras or volcanic fumeroles which turn into boiling mud pools during the rainy seasons.
The families of minerals associated with these surface deposits are not rich in arsenic. Arsenite Sulfides such as Orpiment and Reargar form at greater depths in a hydrothermal deposit, not at the oxygen rich level found on the surface. Most of the minerals found around the vents are sulfates. The most abundant minerals found in these deposits are: sulfur, hematite, halite, sylvite, gypsum, ralstonite, anhydrite, thenardite, langbeinite and opaline silica. Deposits around fumaroles exhibit a zoned pattern in response to rapidly changing temperature and oxygen pressure at the mouth of the vent. The zoning pattern can be explained by the reaction of a volcanic gas composed of H2O, SO2, CO2, HC1 and HF, along with trace amounts of volatile cations, which interact with the atmosphere and local wallrock. Since the temperatures are low, sulfuric acid plays a role in breaking down local wallrocks and mobilizing minerals to the deposits. The mineralogies at fumaroles are common to straovolcanos worldwide since these types of cones are formed by rocks of similar intermediate to acid chemistries."

And I asked about it being a true Jasper or not and more info on its formation:

"Jaspers seem to be rocks which are silica cemented sediments or volcanics or volcaniclastics. I think this qualifies. Not sure what else to call it. Its cemented volcanic ash from a hypdrothermal environment and does have some silica, anhydrite, native sulfur and other hydrothermal minerals in the cement.
The Jakarta Post ran an article on the material and the guys collecting it a few years back. They harvest the native sulfur. Maybe you can find that online.
There is alot of research on volcanic vent deposits, fumaroles, volcanic mudd pools, sulfataras.."

And on its softness compared to other Jaspers, and how it was formed:

"I haven't bothered to look but where does it state that a jasper must have _X_% silica?? I think of jasper as a junk term and the cement maybe be from any number of impurities filling the pore space in a volcano-sedimentary host undergoing hydrothermal alteration be it associated secondary silica or a mix of carbonates or phosphates..

All I did was take survey data from the study of several hundred fumeroles found around the globe on composit stratovolcanos form from intermediate felsic lavas and ashe. The analysis comonly found proximal fumerole deposits of low temperature silicas (opal and chalcedony), calcium phosphates and carbonates, manganese and iron oxides and native sulfur from venting H2S gas. Now run these gasses and saturated hot waters thru a pile of loosely consolidated volcanic ashe and lithic tuff and you will get deposition in open spaces. During a rainy season dump inches a day of rain water into a small caldera and drown a vent, you get a boiling mudd pool with all the above mixed in. Bursts of gas blow the gray mudd over the pools edge and it forms an apron just like a hotspring sinter or cold spring travertines. Cool that and it pulls away from the dusty surface and H2S gas vents between the layers coating the layer with native sulfur. Fill the layer with Ca/SiO2 saturated hot water and deposit calcite, aragonite, anhydrite and opal and other dissolved minerals.. Picture this going on for thousands or hundreds of thousands of years...
BumbleBee is as young as a rock gets.. If spent alot of time in these calderas and seen the layers form. Its a seasonal event."
So there you have it from the source. I hope this helps anyone still wondering about this material. I have read about arsenic forming deeper in hydrothermal environs from other sources as we get a fair amount of that locally in wells in this area which is volcanic.
I still may get a piece tested at some point from our local university geology department, but I also have heard lecture here on the yellow opalized sulfur compounds that occur near volcanic vents locally. In tiny pieces, not as bright as the Bumblebee.
Sorry for the long post.

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

=D> Thank you for the informative post, lapidarious.
And welcome to the forum! :D

Any additional pictures of the material?

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Thank you. The photo he attached was huge, and just showed a man standing next to a sulfur encrusted volcanic vent in Indonesia. This material however has made a resurfacing at Tucson this year and its very limited quantities assures a fairly steep price. Its being called Bumblebee agate, bumblebee jasper or just bumblebee. The original source IndoAgate dot com has some photos and there are a few feeBay sources. Prices are substantial.
Sam Silverhawk also has a couple cabs on his site that are exemplary. (as always)
I am cutting some of the stuff today and will have a few photos this week. Its a very attractive material , and has varying degrees of vibrancy, some is downright neon colored.

Author:  stonemania [ Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Thank you guys for all the information you posted, it was both interesting and useful! So Eclipse as I've been calling it for sometime will now be re named on my website as Bumblebee Jasper and I have quite a few pieces available which have been mounted as pendants so I'm really pleased after al this time that I actually know what it is!!!

=D> :lol:



Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Well now I am not so sure there arent two materials being somewhat mixed. I looked all around on the web for cabs and stone marked Eclipse Jasper and mostly got reference to some character in a vampire television series. However in between these there seems to be a few cabochons that look similar, but have all been cut horizontally to the banding in the material I have gotten under the bumblebee moniker. And search under eclipse stone yielded a few more. Different? Not sure, but I DID also run across some material from Brazil noted as just eclipse magnesite, and one for eclipse jasper also from Brazil that look different in several ways. All boils down to a resounding not sure from my search. I wouldnt abandon the eclipse name just yet.
I tried to add a few shots of what was sold to me as bumblebee, and it is sourced from the importer.last two are cut parallel to the bands.
(first attempt here of adding photos -- hope its right)

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

I tried to add a few photos to my last post, but I see the post and photos have diappeared.
Synopsis is that there may be an eclipse both from indonesia that may be similar ,and an eclipse from Brazil that seems to be a magnesite, but is somewhat similar.

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Well, I will try again.

hopefully thats how its done !!
Sorry for my ineptness.

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Well, that didnt work either.
Guess I will stop trying to post any images of the bumblebee.
Take care

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

I'll see if I can help you load these pictures.

Here's what I did.
Grab the HTML/BBCode

Copy and paste only the .jpg portion of the code and put that between image tags.

<a href="" title="JBB6 by joyfulcrow, on Flickr"><img src="" width="426" height="500" alt="JBB6" /></a>

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

WOW, thanks so much.
I have no idea what I was doing.
I probably shouldn't have gone driving the picture car till I had drivers ed!

Author:  Lapidarious [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Heh, heh I still have no idea, but thank you all the more.
Think I will go hit the wheels.

Author:  Sean Lines [ Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

Jasper has to contain silica because it is a form of Chert which is a cryptocrystalline quartz.

It can form in various enviroments and the deposition of volcanic fluids is one of them.

Hows that to upset the apple cart :twisted:


Author:  stonemania [ Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

I've looked very carefully at all the pieces of 'eclipse' in my collection, and even though some have similar colours to 'bumble bee jasper', it's definitely not the same stone!


Author:  gemresource [ Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cabochon ID

photos from the digging site

I recently saw this material on Ebay directly from Indonesia in 100CT parcels at about $1 a CT.
I am selling it way below that, and I am not likely going to run out of material any time soon.
I will show some of the cabs.

Information about Indonesian material can be found at
My son made the website.

photo3ab.jpg [ 75.44 KiB | Viewed 7439 times ]
photo2ab.jpg [ 52.94 KiB | Viewed 7439 times ]
photo.jpg [ 54.47 KiB | Viewed 7439 times ]

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