Tiger's Eye vs. Cat's Eye Stones

Do you think Tiger's Eye and Cat's Eye stones are the same thing? While both have quite a bit in common, they are each distinctive and distinguished gems in their own right. Below is a low-down of the two stones similarities and differences, and as soon as you see their facts side-by-side you will never confuse them again.

Perhaps the most obvious similarity is that both share a beautiful effect known as chatoyancy, which refers to the thin, elliptical line that gives these gemstones the appearance of a cat's eye. This stems from parallel, mineral fibrous tubes that form within the stones, and when polished in the en cabochon manner, reflects the light in long, vertical lines. Be that as it may, these stones do not have the same mineral make-up as you would expect. Tiger's Eye is a quartz, and is often found near iron deposits primarily in South Africa. It is the iron within the quartz that gives Tiger's Eye its unique coloring of golden yellows, coppers, and browns.

While many mistake Cat's Eye as quartz, it is in fact Chrysoberyl, a gem formed from beryllium-containing aluminum oxide. The word, itself, is a combination of Greek words that describe the common colors of the stone, golden and green. However, the stone has been known to come in a variety of colors such as red and blue and is often cut as an oval or sphere.

Both have been worn throughout history as metaphysical and medicinal amulets. Tiger's Eye has been used through time as a healing tool, known to ward off bad luck and illness. Traditionally, it was given to children as a protective talisman and is perhaps why it is still sometimes given as a birth stone for November babies. Likewise, Cat's Eye has been said to bring sagacity and luck to those who wear it. Both stones mark important wedding anniversaries, with Tiger's Eye an appropriate gift for the ninth year, while Cat's Eye is often given on the eighteenth.

From a practical standpoint, both are among the most affordable of gemstones, and rank high on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Cat's Eye is the highest at 8.5, and Tiger's Eye ranks at 7, making them both ideal for everyday wear in high-contact jewelry like cufflinks, bracelets, and rings. Cat's Eye is ideal for both sexes, whereas typically Tiger's Eye is seen in women's jewelry as elegant statement pieces such as this Smoky Quartz and Tiger's Eye Necklace. Because of its resiliency, good Cat's Eye finds can be found in estate and antique sales, such as this Gentleman's estate ring that features a honey-colored cat's eye sandwiched between two diamonds.

Now that you know the subtle differences between these two stones, it is time to decide which Eye is right for you. If you have an anniversary, or need an elegant, everyday statement piece, please contact Noe's Jewelry for consultation on our Tiger's Eye and Cat's Eye pieces, as well as with our vast array of precious and semi-precious gemstones.