Large Namibian 'Bumblebee' Sodalite Sphere - 102mm, 1410g
Locality - Namibia Size – 102mm Weight – 1410g
This large bumblebee sodalite sphere features paintily, 'planetary' patterns with swirling, banded azure blue sodalite and ochre yellow calcite streaks and two striking, parallel chalk white 'rings' running around it. This unique material with contrasting colours is known as 'bumblebee' sodalite, and this sphere is an exceptional example of this obscure variety, boasting a considerable size of over 100m in diameter. Please note that this will be accompanied by a smaller wooden stand than the one pictured.
Sodalite is named after its sodium content and is well-known for its deep blue colouration, although it can also be grey, yellow, green or pink. Blue sodalite is the most highly prized variety and is often used in jewelry. Sodalite is found in many localities around the world, usually in very small deposits. The most impressive, translucent sodalite, forming in well-defined crystals rather than as veins in rocks can be found exclusively in Nambia and the lavas of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. Another notable feature note is that most sodalite will fluoresce orange under ultraviolet light.
Sodalite in History
Sodalite's use by mankind dates back for many milennia. It was traded by the Norte Chico civilization 5500 years ago, with specimens found in the city of Caral, the oldest city in the Americas, situated in modern Peru. Although little is known about the use of the stone, its blue colouration would have been rare in the region and therefore highly prized.