Cat’s Eye Rings

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.

Sources
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.

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Alexandrite

Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Alexandrite’s claim to fame is its ability to change from the color red to green. Alexandrite is transparent, and under incandescent light it appears red as a raspberry, but walk outside into the sunlight and it turns to a grassy green shade.

Alexandrite Facts
The stone was named in honor of Russia’s Alexander II. As the story goes, alexandrite was discovered in Russia on Alexander II’s birthday in 1831, the day he reached his majority. This fascinating stone is a type of chrysoberyl. Most alexandrite is cut in facets, but cat’s eye alexandrite from Brazil is sometimes cut in a rounded, cabochon style.

Alexandrite Size
Alexandrite is a rather uncommon gem particularly in larger sizes. Stones larger than 2 carats are extremely rare and can command prices of thousands and thousands of dollars.

Alexandrite Ring

Synthetic Alexandrite
Until 1973, synthetic alexandrite stones weren’t good enough to fool gemologists. However in 1973 a convincing substitute was created. While good gemologists are able to tell the real thing from the fake, the average consumer might find it more challenging. Be particularly careful when buying alexandrite jewelry from the seventies, when the synthetic stone was new and many gemologists hadn’t yet learned to tell the difference.

Folklore
Alexandrite is not on the birthstone list, probably because it is relatively rare, however it does have some folklore associated with it. Some consider alexandrite to be the stone for a child born on Friday, or just Friday’s stone. Russians consider an alexandrite to be a lucky stone, due to its red and green colors.

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