The silky golden and brown bands of tiger’s eye are always a crowd favorite. Many of you can easily recognize it in the diverse sea of natural stone jewelry that I display at home parties and art fairs. Under your breath you proclaim, “Tiger's eye! I love tiger's eye!” I love it too, and here's why:
Tiger’s eye is a chatoyant stone that comes primarily from South Africa and east Asia. From the French “œil de chat” or cat’s eye, chatoyancy is an optical effect created by the reflection of light off of either the fibrous structure of a mineral or of fibrous inclusions within it. The highest quality specimens that demonstrate this effect, like the cymophane below, reflect a single streak of light perpendicular to the grain that moves across the stone as it is rotated.
Tiger’s eye forms in the cracks of stones that contain both quartz and strands of the ethereal, fibrous, and splintery crocidolite, or blue asbestos. As mineral-rich water seeps into the crack, more quartz and crocidolite simultaneously form to fill the crack. The parent rock cracks again along the surface of the original crack, and the process repeats. This means that the diagonal and discontinuous chatoyancy created by the crocidolite fibers in tiger’s eye is actually a record of tectonic shifting. While the crocidolite is still blue, the resulting stone is called hawk’s eye, but as the iron in the mineral oxidizes, it becomes the familiar brown and gold colors of tiger’s eye.
The Romans wore tiger’s eye amulets into battle for courage and protection as it is said to relieve fear and anxiety while promoting balance and calm. Arab tradition says it will help you go unnoticed. Our exquisite Primula necklace, however, will not go unnoticed when placed around your neck. It combines nuggets of tiger’s eye with a carefully proportioned and arranged collection of faceted apatite nuggets, chrysocolla coins, and turquoise rounds.... A lovely addition to your healthy jewelry diet.