Friday, September 16, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Tiger-eye

("Udiya" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Tiger-eye is a type of Quartz that can be translucent or opaque. It is one of the few stones hat exhibits what is called chatoyancy.  Chatoyancy is the shimmering optical reflectivity effect that Tiger-eye has. In this stone, it is created by quartz replacing crocidolite (a type of asbestos) in the stone.  This is what forms the shimmering gold stripes in the stone. Most Tiger's-eye are gold in colour, but there are also red and blue-grey varieties as well.  The blue-grey variety is known as hawks'eye.  There is also a variety of Tiger-eye that is a brecciated combination of tiger-eye and Hawks'eye which is called Pietersite. Regular Tiger-eye sells for between $3-$70 a stone.