Jasper is probably the most common of the semi-precious stones to be found in the desert. While common jasper is typically found as a solid color, banded jasper contains several variations of color streaked through the stone in interesting swirls and stripes. This variation makes it desirable for cutting and polishing.
My collection of banded jasper comes from several locations. One of my favorite collecting sites is close to home, has abundant supply, and the material is interesting. I have even named a geologic formation in my back yard 'jasper ridge' which is mostly covered in this banded jasper that I have trucked home from this site.
There are lots of colors in the stone but it's been a bit of a learning curve to pick out the material that polishes up well. Streaks of soft material divide the bands in much of the rock rendering a wicked undercut on the wheel. Consequently, I've learned which to cab and which to use for yard decoration.
I have also noticed that if the stone gets hot in the sanding process, it forms a red glaze over the finish. Which makes it a good candidate for tumble finishing after its been smoothed on the 600/wet.