“Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night”
The beginning of this poem by William Blake always makes me think of the gorgeous gemstone, Tiger’s Eye.
Tiger’s eye is a chatoyant gemstone of honey, yellows, reds and browns; and it has a gorgeous silky lustre. Tiger’s eye is a member of the quartz group.
Chatoyancy refers to the cat’s eye effect which is an optical reflectance effect seen in certain gemstones. In Tiger’s Eye the chatoyancy arises from the fibrous structure of the stone. The luminous streak of reflected light is always perpendicular to the direction of the fibres. The effect can be likened to the sheen off a spool of silk.
In order to best display their chatoyancy, Tiger’s eye gems are usually cut en cabochon with the fibers or fibrous structures parallel to the base of the finished stone. Faceted stones are less likely to show the effect well – but I think these faceted beads look fabulous:
Cabochon, from the Middle French caboche (head), is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted.
Red tiger’s eye stones are brought about through gentle heat treatment and dark stones have their colors improved by using nitric acid treatments to artificially lighten them.
Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Beads
The pictures shown here are all from my bead stash. As you can see, I like to source different shapes and cuts of beads. The most beautiful tiger’s eye beads I have come across on my travels, are this string of graduated highly polished chunky nuggets:
I used them in a really simple necklace design – the stones are so beautiful that they do not need any supporting act to showcase them…..sometimes less is more.
To view this necklace and other beautiful and unique gemstone necklaces, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store.
For information about other gemstones:
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