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Home » Rock Tumblers » Gemstones » Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye Gemstones

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

What is Tiger Eye?

Tigerís eye, also known as tiger-eye, is a very popular gemstone that displays a chatoyancy (catís 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 ďeyeĒ crosses the parallel fibers at right angles. The best specimens of tigerís eye are usually cut en cabochon in an orientation that yields the best display of chatoyancy.

Tiger Eye Gemstones:

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

Tumbled Tiger Eye:

Tigerís eye is frequently used as a tumbling rough. It has a hardness of 7 and tumbles well with other quartz gemstones and with agates or jaspers. It easily takes a high polish and is suitable for beginning to experienced tumblers.

Tiger's Eye Rough
Rough tiger’s eye. © iStockphoto / Robert Ellis.

More About Tiger's Eye:

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

Tiger's Eye Beads
Brown tigerís eye beads. © iStockphoto / Sohfian Mohamed Kamari.

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

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

Brown Tiger Eye cabochon
Brown banded tiger's eye cut into an oval cabochon. Image ©

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