You may not have heard of tiger’s eye before, but at one point in time it’s worth was higher than that of gold.
Nicknamed ‘The Shapeshifter’, tiger’s eye is known for its dark and golden brown tones, which resembles a tiger’s coat. Originating from South Africa, India and Western Australia, tiger’s eye is a chatoyant gemstone, which means it demonstrates a band of bright lustre caused by reflection from inclusions in the stone. The stone is formed of quartz and crocidolite, and occurs when the quartz takes over and dissolves the crocidolite, creating the beautiful effect of brown and yellow lines and waves. Tiger’s eye gems are usually given a cabochon cut to best display their chatoyance.
Tiger’s eye has been admired and revered by civilizations throughout history. The Ancient Egyptians used the stone to represent the eyes of great deities, believing that they reflected and inspired divine vision. Roman soldiers also used the stone in protective amulets when going into battle. It was in the 16th century that the rare stone was considered so precious that it’s worth rose higher than gold.
Tiger’s eye is also used to create other materials. Mined primarily in South Africa and Western Australia, tiger iron is a stone composed of tiger's eye, red jasper and black hematite. The undulating, contrasting bands of colour and lustre make it perfect for jewellery. The stone has also been used in beads and knife hilts.
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