Chrysoberyl
 
The Original 'Cat's Eye'
 
18th Anniversary Gemstone.
 
Like the eye of a sleek feline predator, the Chrysoberyl "Cat's Eye" is a real miracle in nature.   Only this gemstone has the right to the name of "cat's eye".   This gem is really something special with its narrow, bright band of light on a shimmering golden background, which seems to glide magically across the surface when the stone is moved.   Translucent yellowish chatoyant Chrysoberyl is called Cymophane or  Cat's Eye.   Cymophane has its derivation from the Greek words meaning 'wave' and 'appearance', in reference to the chatoyancy sometimes exhibited.   In this variety, microscopic tubelike cavities or needlelike inclusions of rutile occur in an orientation parallel to the c-axis producing a chatoyant effect visible as a single ray of light passing across the crystal.   This effect is best seen in gemstones cut in cabochon form perpendicular to the c-axis.      (Cat's eye effects can also occur in other gemstones which must then be referenced by adding the name of the gemstone (i.e. Quartz cat's eye, etc.)
 
Gems lacking the silky inclusions required to produce the cat's eye effect are usually faceted.   An Alexandrite cat's eye is a Chrysoberyl cat's eye that changes color.   "Milk and honey" is a term commonly used to describe the color of the best cat's eyes.   The effect refers to the sharp milky ray of white light normally crossing the cabochon as a center line along its length and overlying the honey colored background.   The honey color is considered to be top-grade by many gemologists, but the lemon yellow colors are also popular and attractive.   Cat's eye material is found as a small percentage of the overall Chrysoberyl production.
 
Cat's eye really became popular by the end of the 19th century when the Duke of Connaught gave a ring with a cat's eye as an engagement token; this was sufficient to make the stone more popular and increase its value greatly.   Until that time, cat's eye had predominantly been present in gem and mineral collections.   The increased demand in turn created an intensified search for it in Sri Lanka.
 
Often, the name Chrysoberyl is spoken in the same breath as that of the Beryl group which include the Emerald and Aquamarine.   The name 'Chrysoberyl' comes from the Greek words chrysos and beryllos meaning 'gold-white spar'.   Despite the similarity of their names Chrysoberyl and Beryl are two completely different gemstones.   During the Victorian and Edwardian eras Chrysoberyl was referred to as "Chrysolite", causing some confusion as this is the same name used for the mineral Olivine, or Peridot.   That name is no longer used in the gemological nomenclature.
 
Chrysoberyl together with Alexandrite form an independent gemstone category, in which Alexandrite is regarded as the more attractive due to its color changes, though it is definitely the Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye which is entitled to that acclaim.
 
The Chrysoberyls are aluminium oxide containing beryllium, and thus actually have little in common with the Beryls, which belong to the silicate family.    With their excellent hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale (third in the hardness scale), they are clearly superior.    Normally, Chrysoberyls are  yellow in many hues ranging from lemon to greenish yellow, and in honey colors and shades which range from mint to brownish green due to the presence of iron.   They are mostly found in the gemstone deposits of Brazil, Sri Lanka or East Africa.
Among the most beautiful things that God has created, again and again Chrysoberyl cat's eyes fire the enthusiasm of those who are looking for something individual and unique.   Cat's eyes are also well suited to being worn as jewelry by men.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

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