Updated July 18 by Alexandre Baillairge
Tiger’s Eye is most identifiable by its contrasting colors and luster that make it perfect for decorative and jewelry pieces. The rippled wavy bands of gold to red-brown color often resemble a scenic view such as desert sunset.
The Physical Properties of Tiger's Eye
Tiger's eye, a captivating semi-precious gemstone, is predominantly composed of silicon dioxide, or silica. Silicon dioxide is a chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2. This is one of the most common minerals on earth and is the major constituent of sand, quartz, and many types of rocks. In the case of tiger's eye, the silicon dioxide forms the main part of the stone, providing a stable, solid base that allows for the unique optical effects that characterize this gemstone.
The distinctive golden to red-brown coloration of the tiger's eye is primarily due to the presence of iron oxide, a common geological compound that creates a variety of earth tones in minerals. Iron oxide can have several forms and colors, but in the case of tiger's eye, it imparts a golden to red-brown hue. The presence of this iron oxide within the silicon dioxide matrix results in a gemstone that carries a warm, earthy tone, reminiscent of a tiger's fur.
A critical characteristic of tiger's eye is its silky luster, an optical effect that sets it apart from other gemstones. This luster is a consequence of its unique structure and composition, featuring a parallel intergrowth of quartz crystals and altered amphibole fibers. Amphibole is a group of minerals forming prism or needle-like crystals.
During the formation process of tiger's eye, these amphibole fibers undergo pseudomorphosis into silica while maintaining their original fibrous structure. This transformation creates a parallel alignment of very fine fibrous structures within the gemstone, which in turn gives tiger's eye its intriguing chatoyant, or cat's-eye, effect when cut and polished.
The hardness of a mineral is a key feature in determining its durability and resistance to scratches and abrasion. On the Mohs scale, which measures mineral hardness, tiger's eye scores between 5.5 and 6. This means that while the stone is not as hard as some other gemstones, such as diamonds, it still has decent durability, allowing it to be used in various types of jewelry without being too susceptible to wear and damage.
As part of the quartz family, a widely distributed and diverse group of minerals, tiger's eye shares many common characteristics with other quartz varieties, such as its silicon dioxide composition and hexagonal crystal system. However, its particular formation process involving amphibole fibers sets it apart, endowing it with its iconic lustrous appearance.
The History of Tiger's Eye
Tiger’s eye is mined in Western Australia, US, Canada, India, South Africa, Burma, and Namibia. In the late 16th century, Tiger's Eye was considered more valuable than gold for certain tribes for being so rare and strikingly beautiful. In fact, only tribal leaders and their immediate family could possess.
Throughout history, it has been highly regarded as a stone of prosperity and good fortune, protecting one from the malice or threats from others.
The Egyptians would use Tiger’s Eye as the eyes for their deity status to express sacred vision and was believed to provide the protection of Ra, the sun god, and Geb, god of the growing land.
In Eastern mythology, Tiger’s Eye was linked to the magical tiger, the king of beasts. Tiger's Eye represented courage, integrity and right use of power. Roman soldiers carried it to deflect weapons and to remain brave in battle.
Using Tiger's Eye As A Guide
Tiger's Eye is a remarkable stone, known to assist individuals when they feel creatively blocked or spiritually adrift. Much like a compass guiding you through a dense forest, Tiger's Eye has the power to guide you back onto your path, helping you navigate through uncertain terrains of life. Its energy serves as a radiant beacon in moments of darkness, illuminating the path forward. This stone is exceptional for those seeking to unearth their true passions or who find themselves at a crossroads, uncertain about which career path to pursue.
The stone taps into the grandeur and energies of the cosmos, teaching you how to harness these powers and utilize them for your advantage. This celestial guidance can be particularly beneficial during periods of struggle or confusion. Tiger's Eye shines a light on the possible routes you could take, making it the ultimate guide and companion during such transformative stages of life.
Beyond serving as a spiritual guide, Tiger's Eye is also well-known for bringing good fortune to its wearer. To unlock the potential of this stone, one needs to concentrate their mental energies, which in turn allows the stone to function at its maximum capacity. It's a stone that promotes mental clarity and helps to dissipate conflicting emotions, allowing for clear thought and decision making.
Healing Properties of Tiger's Eye
Tiger's Eye is a powerful tool for healing emotional and mental wounds. It has a unique ability to soothe fears, mitigate paranoia, and alleviate anxiety. By providing insight, it equips the wearer with the ability to acknowledge their needs in relation to others, leading to harmonious relationships and interactions.
By invigorating the emotional body, Tiger’s Eye effectively moderates mood swings and releases pent-up tension. This calming influence is instrumental in instilling a fortified sense of willpower and purpose. It also cultivates courage and self-confidence, empowering the wearer to face challenges head-on.
In addition to its emotional and spiritual benefits, it is believed it has physical healing properties as well. It is believed to be particularly beneficial for the eyes, throat, and reproductive organs. This powerful stone is said to aid in healing broken bones and restoring the alignment of the spinal column, offering profound physical relief.
Tiger's Eye is also believed to facilitate the release of toxins from the body and to alleviate pain, contributing to overall health and wellbeing. Therefore, Tiger's Eye is a holistic healing stone, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits, making it a truly multifaceted gem in the world of gemstones.