Kambaba Jasper

Kambaba Jasper has to be one of the more interesting Jaspers you can collect. Some rock collectors believe it’s Jasper while others argue it’s a fossil and that’s not too far-fetched when you think about Turritella Agate.

This variety of Jasper has quite a few trades names given it to. So, next time you’re walking around the rock and mineral show you might see signs with the following names; Bambamba, Kambamba, Cumbamba, Kabamba, and Kabamby you’ll know it’s actually Kambaba Jasper.

Stromatolite is fossilized algae and it resembles Kambaba Jasper but is it really?


Kambaba Jasper cabochon


Kambaba Jasper Characteristics

Kambaba Jasper is believed to be a fossil comprised of prehistoric algae dating back billions of years ago. The blue-green color and the black swirls and spots are believed to be created by fossilized algae colonies.

These stones have an incredibly captivating appearance and some people find it hard to believe it’s a work of art created by nature. It’s not uncommon to meet novice rock and mineral collectors claiming or assuming Kambaba Jasper is manufactured or has been enhanced.

The distinct color patterns of Kambaba Jasper are reminiscent of alligator skin, which is why some folks call it Alligator Jasper. Opaque Kambaba Jasper displays a vitreous luster, with a hardness rating between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.


Kambaba Jasper specimen


Is Kambaba Jasper A Fossil?

For a very long time, many people believed that Kambaba Jasper is comprised of a fossil called Stromatolite and that the colors are caused by the fossilized blue-green algae. However, emerging studies from Germany’s gemstone testing institute dispute this claim. They conducted an X-ray and the analysis revealed that Kambaba is actually Rhyolite.

EPI’s analysis detailed the specimen’s composition to be comprised of green groundmass of Quartz, Aegirine or Pyroxene, soda, and potash spats. The stone’s circular aggregates are arranged from small Amphibole minerals that form in volcanic rocks and not within sedimentary rocks where fossils originate from.


Is it Jasper or is it a fossil? That is the question some rock hounds ask.

Here’s a little “Jasper History” and then Let’s hit a little backstory, and then we’ll get into the claims.

Jasper derives from the Latin word Iaspis, which means spotted stone. Jasper is classified as a Chalcedony within the Quartz family. The stone comes in various hues and has ancient ties.

Jasper has a lengthy history, spanning over 10,000 years, and it’s often used in crafting jewelry. The stone has been used as weapons, for rituals, and for different ceremonies.



Where Is Kambaba Jasper Found?

Kambaba Jasper is primarily found in the west-central part of the Bongolava region of Madagascar. The stone is also said to be found in Belgium, Brazil, India, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.


Kambaba Jasper Value

Most Kambaba Jasper is affordable and can be sourced online or at a larger rock and mineral show.

Kambaba Jasper for sale

Small pocket stones and worry stones only cost about $5 to $8, depending on the seller.


Kambaba Jasper For Sale


Kambaba Jasper For Sale

Kambaba Jasper isn’t as difficult to obtain as one might think. Hit your local trade shows, gem shows, lapidaries, and jewelers to find specimens for sale. Gemologists can also lead you in the right direction if they don’t have anything available for sale.

While there is still debate about whether Kambaba Jasper is a precious stone or a fossil, nobody can deny that it is definitely a sight to behold. Regardless of what it’s comprised of, collectors and investors around the globe find a great appreciation for the Alligator Stone.

Jerred Morris
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