Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye is the silky golden and brown striped variety of quartz that when cut correctly en cabochon can display a chatoyant lustre or a ‘cats-eye’ effect.  Unlike other microcrystalline quartzes like chalcedony, tiger’s eye is technically a quartz replacement (pseudomorph) of the asbestos mineral crocidolite.  Skilled craftsmen often use these qualities to create carvings with beautiful and striking effect.  Similar to tiger’s eye is the greyish blue variety called hawks-eye.  Although tiger’s eye is found all around the world the most important source of tiger’s eye is in South Africa.  There seems to an unending debate over the spelling of this stone ... tigereye/tiger eye/tiger-eye/tigers eye/tiger’s eye ... we have settled on the latter.

Mohs’ Hardness: 6.5-7
Specific Gravity: 2.57-1.640
Refractive Index: 1.530-1.540
Birefringence: 0.004
Optic Sign & Character: Aggregate
ICA Code: N or E
Treatments: Heating
Incidence: rarely
Purpose: To deepen colour reddish brown
Durability: Good
Special Care: none
Synthetics: None
Possible Imitations: Fibre optic glass