Tiger’s eye (also called Tiger eye) is a type of quartz replacement of the mineral crocidolite which is a form of asbestos, called blue asbestos. It is formed when the crocidolite has dissolved away over time, and replaced with silica (quartz). These days, you may have already noticed some people wearing tiger eye jewelry; tiger eye is rapidly gaining popularity as a trendy piece of jewelry, fashioned into pendents or bracelets.
Tiger’s eye exhibits chatoyancy, meaning a kind of reflection depending on the angle of the light shining upon the its fibrous structure. This property is also shared most notably by other crystals such as moonstone, cat’s eye (a chrysoberyl), and apatite. Unlike cat’s eye, tiger’s eye has twisted or crumpled fibers instead of straight ones. On the Mohs scale, its hardness is rated 7 and it has a similar density with quartz overall.
This is one of my favorite stones, because of its brilliant coloring and nice feel.
Tiger’s eye comes in a wide range of colors – brownish, reddish, the common golden variety, and even in blueish shades (Hawk’s eye) in which the silica hasn’t completely replaced the blue asbestos. Tiger eye is often cut into a cabochon or sphere’s in order to show off the chatoyancy better. It is also cut and polished into striking pendants and bracelets. In the case of the redder varieties, these are often obtained via heat treatment; so if you want genuine unaltered red tiger’s eye, make sure you buy red tiger’s eye only from reputable sources.
Tiger’s eye is not a rare mineral, hence it is cheap, and mined from South Africa (mainly), Namibia, Brazil, China, and the USA. Tiger’s eye is probably the first crystal newcomers come into contact with, these days. You probably would have seen some people wearing a tiger’s eye bracelet by now.
Among its many properties, tiger’s eye is known as a great grounding stone, combining practicality with the sharper focus of the mind, and helping the user to condense haphazard details into a logical pattern. It helps eliminate depression, and is good for keeping your physical energy up.
In the East, tiger’s eye is believed to bring good fortune to the wearer, and balance the yin-yang energy. It is also believed to improve night vision, and other eye disorders. Placing small pieces of tiger’s eye on closed eyelids for 20 minutes is a soothing rejuvenator for sore eyes. Tiger’s eye also helps in broken bone healing, and is good for digestion.
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