by Brooke Bartlett
The tiger's eye is a widely sought-after gemstone from the quartz family. Tiger's eye is beautiful, mystical and versatile. This multihued gem is traditionally associated with the ninth wedding anniversary, and tiger's eye jewelry is resilient enough to withstand the rigors of everyday wear in a variety of settings and styles. Tiger's eye works well in a variety of jewelry selections, including tiger's eye earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches and bracelets. Add some tiger's eye jewelry to your collection to give your wardrobe a fantastical style.
Appearance: Tiger's eye is a striated gemstone with bands of color that range from brown to yellow. Although the warmer hues are common, some stones feature rare blues, greens and reds. Cut stones feature a silky sheen, and the surface is smooth to the touch. The cabochon cut is most common, giving the stone the look of a great animal's eye. Cabochon cuts also show off a stone's chatoyancy, which is a reflection of light off the fibrous bands within the gem. Tiger's eye jewelry is especially striking in a simple gold setting because the metal sets off the colors in the stone.
Origin: Quartz is one of many gems that form when water mixes with elements on the Earth's surface. Iron gives this gemstone its unique appearance, and the bands are caused by changes in the concentration of the elements that form the stone.
Selection tips: Each tiger's eye is unique in coloration. Although many stones actually resemble a cat's eye gem in cut and color, there are many variations. Select semiprecious jewelry with tiger's eye stones that are well cut, with no fractures, chips or blemishes, and shop settings that complement the stone of your choice. Tiger's eye is especially striking in multi-stone jewelry because it highlights the differences in each gem. Choose tiger's eye earrings, necklaces and rings that offer unique stones and well-crafted settings.
Availability: Tiger's eye is widely available. You can find gorgeous semiprecious jewelry with tiger's eye gems in a myriad of styles. Tiger's eye is affordable, yet its value as a gemstone is consistent. Some color combinations, such as those with blue or green tones, are rare and more difficult to find.
Fun facts: Marra mamba, the rarest and most colorful variation of tiger's eye, is found in Australia, and it is stunning in all types of jewelry. Tiger's eye is prized in New Age medicine and is believed to have health and spiritual benefits. Tiger's eye is a protective stone in ancient gemstone legend and lore.