With attractive shades ranging from caramel to grass green, cat’s eye rings are a great addition to any jewelry collection.
What is Cat’s Eye?
Cat’s eye is a member of the chrysoberyl family, which includes the gems chrysoberyl and alexandrite. The chrysoberyl family is interesting in that though the three gems are alike chemically, they look nothing like one another.
Cat’s Eye Rings Appearance
Cat’s eye is milky and translucent, is found in shades from honey to green, and , when properly cut displays a white line of light down the center of the stone, giving the appearance of an eye lit from inside – hence the name. This effect, known as chatoyancey, is best observed under one strong light, directly overhead. The “eye” effect is found only in cabochon, or rounded, stones, not in stones cut in facets.
Cat’s Eye Ring Texture
The cat’s eye gem is known for its smooth, velvety texture.
Cat’s Eye Hardness
Cat’s eye weighs in at an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is a tool used to rate gem hardness from 1 to 10, with diamond, the hardest known substance. The harder a gem, the more resistant it is to scratching and chipping. At 8.5 a cat’s eye is relatively hard, making it a good choice for use in cat’s eye rings, which tend to get knocked around quite a bit with regular wear.
Sri Lanka is the source of the finest cat’s eye gemstones, but they are also found in India, Burma, Brazil and Madagascar.
Cat’s Eye and Tiger’s Eye
Cat’s eye is sometimes confused with the gem tiger’s eye, however tiger’s eye is the mineral quartz, not chrysoberyl, is brown, and has a less dramatic eye effect.
Cat’s Eye Folklore
Ancient people believed the cat’s eye gem could see everything and could therefore protect its wearer. Ancient people also believed that the cat’s eye gem promoted happiness and serenity.