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Gemstones

Articles from GEMSTONES - LOOSE (254 Articles), GEMSTONES - SYNTHETIC (54 Articles), GEMSTONES - CHRYSOPRASE (40 Articles)










Tiger’s Eye
Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye: the stone of conviction

Tiger’s eye is a member of the quartz group of chalcedonies and is the anniversary gemstone for the ninth year of marriage.
Predominately brown in colour, the gem is known for the yellow to red bands that wrap its exterior. These coloured bands give the impression of a tiger’s eye.
 
Tiger’s eye is one of the chatoyant gemstones as it exhibits a changeable silky lustre as light is reflected within the thin parallel fibrous bands. 

It is usually cut into cabochons to best display the stone’s chatoyancy (taken from the French word, meaning “cat’s eye”).

The gem is currently mined in Western Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, India, Namibia, and Burma.

Two popular theories speculate the gem’s formation and both are vastly different. The first claims that tiger’s eye contains oriented fibres of crocidolite (blue asbestos) that have been replaced by silica. 

This process - where one mineral replaces another but retains its original shape - is called pseudomorphism. 

In 2003, however, a new origin for the stone’s mineral bands was postulated. American mineralogist Peter J. Heaney and his Penn State colleague Donald M. Fisher suggested that the crystal structure of tiger’s eye forms via what they called a “crack-seal” mechanism. 

In such a process, quartz and crocidolite crystals simultaneously condense from hot, mineral-rich fluids that course through a tiny crack in a rock, and grow to fill it. 

It is believed that it took so long for this new theory to be discovered as scientists had merely accepted the previous explanation as correct.

Unsurprisingly, the stone has rich mythological roots and it is said that Roman soldiers wore the gem for protection in battle, this was due to its “all-seeing” appearance. 

There are many references - both ancient and modern day - that speak of tiger’s eye as a beneficial gem for health and spiritual well being; legend lists it as a psychic protector, great for business, and an aid to achieving clarity. 

Also, it is said that tiger’s eye offers protection during travel, strengthens convictions and confidence, relieves high blood pressure and is very helpful in the presence of rheumatic heart disease, otitis and psoriasis. 

Tiger’s eye is widely used today to make pendants and beads, and it’s here that its lovely tiger-like peculiarity displays best. The gem is also used for carvings, boxes, ashtrays, cameos and intaglios. 

Because it is a variety of quartz, tiger’s eye is a relatively hard stone registering 7 on Moh’s scale; however, as with all gems, it should be protected from scratches and sharp blows, and shielded from severe temperature changes. 

Not to be confused with tiger’s eye is tiger iron, an altered rock composed chiefly of tiger’s eye, red jasper and black hematite. The undulating, contrasting bands of colour and lustre make for an attractive motif and a closer look at the rippled wavy lines often draws comparisons with fiery landscape horizons. 

Tiger iron is a popular ornamental material that is used in a variety of applications. These include everything from beads and cabochons to knife hilts. 

Artificial fibreoptic glass is also an imitation of tiger’s eye, and is produced many colours.

Fact Sheet

Hardness: 7
Variety of: quartz
Found: Western Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, India, Namibia, and Burma.

birthstones

OCTOBER birthstones
Modern: opal, tourmaline
Traditional: tourmaline
Mystical:  jasper
Ayurvedic: opal

zodiac birthstones

Libra (September 23 - October 22) peridot/jacinth
Scorpio (October 23 - November 22) aquamarine










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