Advertisement

Cat's Eye

cat's eye many stones

There are two subtypes of chrysoberyl particularly valued as a precious stone – they are cat's eye and alexandrite. The yellowish chrysoberyl with chatoyant effect is known as cat’s eye or cymophane. And the famous color-changing alexandrite is showing both red / purple and green depending on indoor or outdoor light it is exposed to.

Cat's Eye

cat's eye ball shape

Alexandrite

cat's eye alexandrite

Cat's eye is in green or copper-yellow tone, but can be met also in green and brown shades. This is a very valuable gem. For example, a beautiful and rare honey-yellow cat eye of medium size is comparable in price with the best quality diamond or a perfect emerald of similar magnitude and mass. Due to its high hardness (8.5 on a 10-point scale) and its crystal luster with soft opal shades cat eye is highly sought after by jewelers. One of its great advantages is that it stands equally well in both gold plating, and the white metal (platinum, white gold, silver).

cat's eye ring
cat's eye jewels

Cat's eye has a white line across the yellow-gray stone due to featherlike fluid inclusions, spiral or needle like rutile inclusions. In light this bundle of fine filaments in the middle looks like it slides along the surface of the stone. This optical property is known as "chatoyancy" from the French word "cha" meaning cat and "oeil" meaning eye.

The cat's eye effect can also occur in other types of stones which are not chrysoberyl. For this the gem is described more precisely adding the name of the respective stone, eg quartz cat's eye, ruby cat’s eye etc. When using the name as cat’s eye only it is definitely referred to chrysobelil.

cat's eye cabochon and faceted

When in chrysoberyl cat's eye effect is absent the stones are cut as faceted. Cat eyes are always cut cabochon as long circular line shapes will enhance the eye effect and make it visible. Chrysoberyl cat's eye is a rarity and is found in several deposits in the world. Cat's eye is not normally enhanced, but is occasionally irradiated for color change.

Advertisement


Up to top
› Cat’s Eye

› Cat’s Eye

› Cat’s Eye