Tiger Eye

Chemical Composition and Formation Process

Tiger Eye is a variety of quartz (SiO₂) characterized by its golden to reddish-brown colour and silky lustre. It is primarily composed of silicon dioxide, with a golden colour resulting from iron oxide staining and forms through the pseudomorphosis of crocidolite (blue asbestos) into quartz. This process involves the replacement of the fibrous crocidolite with silica while preserving the fibrous structure, resulting in the chatoyant (cat’s eye) effect characteristic of the mineral. The iron within the crocidolite oxidizes, producing the distinctive golden and brown stripes.

Name

The name “Tiger Eye” derives from the stone’s resemblance to a tiger’s eye, reflecting its chatoyancy and colour. Alternative names include “Tiger’s Eye” and “Tigerite.” These names emphasize the stone’s appearance and its similarity to the eye of the fierce feline.

Mythology and Legends

The ancient Egyptians believed Tiger Eye to be the “all-seeing, all-knowing eye.” They used it for the eyes in deity statues to express divine vision. Roman soldiers wore the stone as a talisman for protection in battle, believing it to bestow courage and strength. In Chinese mythology, the Tiger Eye is associated with the tiger, a symbol of protection and courage. It was used as a protective amulet against evil spirits.

Electric Cosmology

Mining, Production and Use

Historically, Tiger Eye has been mined in South Africa, and it remains one of the primary sources of this gemstone. It has also been found in Australia, India, and Myanmar. Traditionally, it was mined using simple hand tools and rudimentary techniques.
Most of the stone is sourced from South Africa and Western Australia. Modern mining methods include both open-pit and underground mining. The extracted rough stones are then processed through cutting, grinding, and polishing to produce beads and other jewellery components.

Tiger Eye


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