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Tiger's-Eye Gemstones


Also known as "Tiger Eye" and "Tigers Eye"


Brown tiger's-eye cabochon

Brown tiger's-eye cabochon: Brown banded tiger's-eye cut into an oval cabochon. Image © Geology.com.

What is Tiger's-Eye?

Tiger's-eye, also called "tiger eye" and "tigers eye," is a very popular gemstone that displays a chatoyancy (cat's-eye) when a polished stone is moved back and forth in incident light. It is a quartz gemstone, usually amber to brown in color, that forms when fibers of the mineral crocidolite are replaced by silica. This structure of parallel fibers is preserved in the stone, and the chatoyant "eye" crosses the parallel fibers at right angles. The best specimens of tiger's-eye are usually cut en cabochon in an orientation that yields the best display of chatoyancy.




Tiger's-Eye Beads

Tiger's-Eye Beads: Brown tiger's-eye beads. © iStockphoto / Sohfian Mohamed Kamari.

A word about spelling...

An internet search will show that not everyone agrees on how to spell the name of this gemstone. Many people are unclear if it should be "tiger" or "tigers" or "tiger's" in addition to whether or not a hyphen is used.

For this article, we have come to the conclusion that "tiger's-eye" is the most proper way for the name to be written. That is how it is written in Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann, which is an authoritative book with the distinction of having more copies in print than any other book about gems. The stone also appears as "tiger's-eye" in GIA course materials.

Of course, other variations are not necessarily incorrect; however, we believe that since "tiger's-eye" seems to be preferred by some gemologists, scholars, and punctilious editors, then that is also how it should appear on Geology.com.



Tiger's-Eye Gemstone

Tiger's-Eye Gemstone: Tumbled tiger's-eye with the typical brown color. © iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.

Red Tiger's-Eye Gemstone

Red Tiger's-Eye Gemstone: Tumbled tiger's-eye with a dyed red color. © iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.

Tiger's-Eye Gemstones

Tiger's-eye cabochons are very popular ring stones. They are one of the most common stones used in men's rings and cufflinks. It is also frequently cut into beads for use in necklaces and earrings. Tiger's-eye cabochons are used in pins, earrings, pendants, and many other jewelry items. Stones with a light honey color are especially popular. Tiger's-eye is frequently used for small sculptures and for producing tumbled stones. It is considered a semiprecious stone.

Tiger's-Eye Rough

Tiger's-Eye Rough: A piece of rough tiger's-eye. © iStockphoto / Robert Ellis.

Tumbled Tiger's-Eye

Tiger's-eye is frequently used as a rough in the production of tumbled stones. It has a hardness of 7 and tumbles well with other quartz gemstones and with agates or jaspers. It easily takes a high polish in a rock tumbler and is suitable for beginning to experienced tumblers.

More About Tiger's-Eye

Most tiger's-eye used as a gemstone is brown in color. A similar material with a gray-blue color is known as "hawk's-eye." Red, blue, and green tiger's-eye is often sold as finished stones. These colored stones are usually dyed.


 Rocks and Minerals Commonly Tumbled
Agate
Amazonite
Aventurine
Beryl
Bloodstone
Carnelian
Chrysoprase
Flint
Fluorite
Hematite
Labradorite
Lapis Lazuli
Malachite
Obsidian
Petrified Wood
Rhodochrosite
Rhodonite
Rose Quartz
Smoky Quartz
Sodalite
Sunstone
Tiger's-Eye
Turquoise



More Gemstones
  Diamond
  Pictures of Opal
  100+ Gems
  Ruby and Sapphire
  Emerald
  Amethyst
  Gemstones of the World
  Labradorite

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