Tiger’s Eye Gemstones - Chalcedony quartz family
Tiger’s Eye is a gemstone that belongs to the chalcedony quartz family. However, the funny thing about tis gemstone is that it does not start out as a quartz. This gemstone started out in the form of a blue fibrous mineral which is known as crocidolite, and it is made of Iron and Sodium. The other name for crocidolite, which many people know is asbestos. Slowly, with time, the crocidolite is transformed into quartz and it maintains its fibrous formations.
Tiger’s Eye, is described as a pseudomorph in metrological terms. This is a term that comes from the Greek word meaning false from. These minerals are formed when one mineral replaces another within the crystal structure. For the process to start, quartz mineral particles begin getting deposited in the fibers of the crocidolite. Once the process is complete, there are two results that are commonly found. One is a blue form which is known as the Hawk’s Eye and the other is the popular golden form which is known as the Tiger’s Eye.
In the formation of Tiger’s Eye, the crocidolite within the structure is completely dissolved. Now it is the quartz crystals that get a fibrous form and this is why you get parallel lines forming within the gemstone, and this is why it has a marvelous display of scintillating light. The iron and sodium within the crocidolite dissolves, but there are traces of iron oxide which are left in the crystal, and these are the ones that are responsible for the golden color of the gemstone. However, if there is little iron oxide left in the gemstone, the color tends to be blue like the original crocidolite.
Although many people may think that the Tiger’s Eye got its name from the fact that it looks like the eye of a tiger, this is not true. You see, the slim sliver of dark light that is seen in a cat’s eye is only common to small cats. When you look at the eyes of the big cats, you will see that their pupils are always round like the eyes of a human being. So for those who know about this fact, then they can believe that it is the golden brown color that is similar to that of the eyes of a big cat, that is responsible for the naming of the gemstone.
The fibers that are found in the gemstone can be as long as 2 inches in length. However, they are usually very thin. You will find that most are only a very small fraction of a millimeter in diameter. It is therefore very tricky when you are sawing through such tiny materials; the cuts have to be exactly parallel to the fibers, so that the gemstone does not lose the chatoyant cat’s eye effect. Usually, gemstones are usually cut using the cabochon cut, which is best for displaying the chatoyant characteristic. However, you may also find it being faceted to make rings.
It was in the early 1800s that the Tiger’s Eye was found in South Africa. The German mineralogist known as Wilbel, was the first to put forth a theory on how the Tiger’s Eye is formed. However, this theory has recently been challenged, and there is a new one that says that the gemstone is not a pseudomorph, but it is a form of crocidolite, which has been transformed through a different mechanism, which can be characterized by cracking of the fibers and filling of the cracks with quartz.
A profile of the Tiger’s Eye
This is a gemstone that has a unique, exotic appearance that is quite similar to the eye of the tiger. If you have never worked with this gemstone, then you might have a great experience with it. The color of the gemstones varies from light gold shimmers to deep, dark and reddish brown bands. These color variations add a lot of mystery and warmth to the jewelry that is designed out of this wonderful gem. Thanks to the feature that is known as Chatoyancy, or cat’s eye effect, the gemstone does resemble the eye of a cat, but the golden color is what makes it resemble the eye of the tiger. This Chatoyancy brings about a slim band of light on the surface of the gemstone which resembles the eye of a cat.
Now here is a short lesson about the science of the Tiger’s eye and its sibling gemstones. They are all composed of silicon dioxide, the main source of this marvelous gemstone is quartz, which one of the most common minerals on the earth. There are two main groups of quartz gemstones on the planet. There are the large crystals, which are also called microcrystals, and the small ones which are also known as cryptocrystals. They all have the same chemical competition, but their physical properties are different. The macrocrystalline quartz crystals cannot be seen using the name eye but the cryptocrystalline crystals are easily seen; these are also called microcrystalline quartz and they are seen as being fine.
It is only possible to see the Tiger’s Eye under magnification, and this is something that is very common in all the quartz stones that compose the group known as chalcedony. The small groups of gemstones includes some popular ones such as jasper, carnelian, moss agate, and onyx, which are very common in the making of most jewelry.
The question that is raised is why there are so many different colors of quartz, if they all have the same chemical composition. It is possible that during the formation of the crystals, deep within the earth, the colors are influenced by the assimilation of different chemical elements within the crystal structure. For example, iron, when heated to high temperatures within the earth, changes into several different colors. This is the reason why many gemstones of the chalcedony group are treated with heat, after they are mined, in order to clear up the colors or alter them. Others are also dyed; for example, black onyx is died to make it have that magnificent black color.
When it comes to quality, the best of the Tiger’s eye gemstones are those that are found in South Africa. However, there are others which are found in China, Namibia and the Arizona area of the United States of America. This is a hard gemstone, which can easily be turned into a ring or bracelet, since it does not break easily. It is also used for making earrings and pendants. Roman soldiers were known to wear tiger’s eye talismans from over 2,000 years ago. This is a gemstone that is said to provide calmness, and this, to any soldier, is essential when going into value so as not to be overcome with fear and panic.
A deeper look at Tiger’s Eye
The Tiger’s Eye, which is also known as tiger eye or tiger’s eye, is a gemstone that displays a high level of Chatoyancy which gives it the name. It is a metamorphic rock that has a golden to reddish brown color, with a very fine and silky luster. This is a gemstone classifier as a quartz, and is said to a classic example of the pseudomorphous replacement of fibrous crocidolite, or blue asbestos, by silica. The blue variant known as Hawk’s eye is a variant of this gemstone which has not yet been fully silicified.
The cutting treatment and imitation of Tiger’s Eye
Tiger’s eye gemstones are usually cut in the cabochon style since this is the best for displaying its chatoyant nature. The Red variants are usually treated using heat, gently. The darker varieties are brought about through the use of acids to deepen the color. There are also acids that can be used to lighten the colors of the gemstones. The acid commonly used is Nitric Acid.
The variants that have a honey color are used to imitate the quartz called cat’s eye Chrysoberyl, which has a higher value. However, when used to substitute this gemstone, the trained eye can see the difference. Tiger’s eye can commonly been imitated by using artificial fiber optic glass. This type brings about many different colors, for those who would want to explore different color variations other than the natural gold, red, blue or green natural variants.
Some variants of Tiger’s Eye gemstones
Tiger iron – This is a rock was is made by combining red jasper, black hematite, or tiger’s eye. The effect is that of different colors and banding. This brings about an attractive motif for people who love exotic designs. This gemstone is used for making jewelry and other forms of ornaments. This rock is used in the making of beads and also knife hilts for high value chefs. There are many other applications for this gemstone. Tiger iron commonly comes from Western Australia and South Africa. This gemstone is primarily composed of Silicon Dioxide, and the main color is brought about by iron oxide. It has a specific gravity of 2.64 to 2.71 and is brought about by the silicification of the fibers found in crocidolite, a form of asbestos.
Serpentine Tiger’s Eye – This is a gemstone that is found, occasionally, in the chatoyant strips of Chrysolite fibers; they are found mainly in the United States of America, in the states of California and Arizona. They are cut and sold under the trade name of Arizona tiger’s eye, and also California tiger’s eye. It is also possible to find dark blue gray fibrous variety of north the hawk’s eye and tiger’s eye and they are sold under the trade name of Pietersite.
Tiger’s Eye is mainly found in Australia, India, Burma, South Africa, Namibia, and United States of America. Other notable sources are Canada, Korea, Spain and Brazil. Despite bring found in all these places, the most notable place is South Africa.
A little more about Tiger’s Eye gemstones
This is a protective gemstone, which is said to give the wearer a lot of willpower and courage. This is a gemstone that promotes creativity, focusing of the mind, and also gives the wearer a clear stream of thought. This is a gemstone that has a Chatoyancy, which is described as the small band of light that appears at the top of the stone, which makes it resemble the eye of a cat. The stone, when cut as a cabochon, displays a golden brown color that is very similar to the eye of a tiger. This color is brought about by the presence of iron.
Sometimes the stone is found as a blue gemstone and in this case, it is called a Hawk’s Eye Quartz. At times, it can also be found as a greenish gray quartz, when it is called an Ox Eye Quartz, and sometimes the Bull’s Eye Quartz.
Generally, this is a gemstone that has a lot of brown and golden stripes, and this is an effect that has mesmerized the world for thousands of years. The Romans Soldiers are the most prominent users of the gemstone, as they believed that it would make them better soldiers. They would place the gemstone n their shields and swords and helmets. For time immemorial, this is a gemstone that has been worn by people to protect them against the evil powers of witchcraft, and also bring them good luck. This is a gemstone that is said to bring people on to the right path in life, and that it would help one to understand what is wrong with their behavior. For those who believe in astral healing, this is a gemstone that can be used to heal asthma and hypochondria.