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What on Earth is Tiger Iron?

What on Earth is Tiger Iron?

Tiger iron is a fusion of 3 minerals: tiger's eye, black hematite, and red jasper. The result? Rustic-looking bands of browns, grays, reds, and golden yellows. This attractive combination makes tiger iron a pleasurable sight in decor and jewellery pieces. It is often cut as beads, tumbled stones, palm stones, and carvings.

The Physical Properties of Tiger Iron

The alternating bands of tiger iron come in many colours like golden yellow, tan, black, crimson red, and ginger orange. The golden brown stripes are similar to that of tiger eye quartz. In terms of hardness, the stone is rated 7 on the Mohs hardness scale which makes it durable and fit for jewellery and ornamentation applications. Tiger iron has glassy and silky lustre.

How does tiger iron differ from tiger eye? At one look, an untrained eye can confuse both stones so it helps to know the similarities and differences between the two.

Tiger iron and tiger eye are both opaque and have a gleaming appearance. But when you look closely, you'll notice that tiger eye has a predominantly honey gold shade, (caused by silicon dioxide and oxidized iron) whereas tiger iron has mainly red and black bandings (due to its red jasper and hematite contents).

The History of Tiger Iron

Technically, tiger iron is classified as a sedimentary rock. It was formed some 1.7 billion years ago through metamorphosis, the process whereby heat, pressure, or other natural elements change the structure/composition of a rock.

In the case of tiger iron, the buildup of shallow sea sediments and the heated water from volcanic activity dissolved its silica content and left behind iron ore deposits.

What gives tiger iron its colours? These are created by different types of iron and the reintroduction of silica. The bands resulted from the folding and distortion of sedimentary layers influenced by the movement of the Earth billions of years ago.

High quality tiger iron specimens are found in the Pilbara region in Australia. Other known deposits are in the USA and Zambia.

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The Lore of Tiger Iron

Tiger iron and tiger eye were used by the native peoples of Ceylon as an amulet to ward off evil entities. Roman soldiers engraved symbols of protection on tiger iron stones and wore them to battle.

In feng shui, the combination of yellow and black/brown colours (earth and water colours respectively) in tiger iron is believed to promote balance. It also increases spiritual power since yellow is associated with communication and dark colours with independence and self-discipline.

The Metaphysical Properties of Tiger Iron

Tiger iron carries the energies of its 3 constituent minerals, making it a powerful stone for healing. It is useful for activating the root, sacral, and solar plexus chakras ” the energy centers you must align to live out your purpose, manifest your desires, and accomplish your life goals.

Below are the healing abilities each mineral imparts to the stone:

  • Hematite - Clears the mind and keeps your thoughts and ideas grounded. Also attracts energies that complement your own.
  • Red jasper - Boosts your determination, concentration, and strength. It increases your motivation and resolve to accomplish your plans while reducing procrastination. As a result, you'll be able to launch your ideas, plans, and goals and realize them.
  • Tiger eye - As you put your mind and body into action, you'll also need the confidence to grab opportunities and forge on to take your plans to completion. Tiger eye will fuel you with unwavering courage and tenacity.

As a grounding stone, tiger iron also helps empaths protect themselves from getting overwhelmed by other people's emotions. If you easily feel for the other person, use tiger iron to ground yourself in your own energy. Remember to place it near the front and back entrance of your home or office to shield it from negative energies.

Tiger iron is inherently stable so there's no need for regular cleansing. But if you feel its energy is weakened, cleanse it under warm running water. Then put it out under the sunlight for a couple of hours.

Note: There is no scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of mineral stones and crystals in treating ailments. All information published here is purely for educational purposes. Scientists attribute the healing impact to the placebo effect that takes place when using stones and crystals. Holding stones and meditating with them is said to trigger the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins and dopamine) in the brain.

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