| Share
 

cat's-eye

cat's-eye, gemstone that displays a thin band of reflected light on its surface when cut as a cabochon. Its name is derived from its supposed resemblance to the eye of a cat. The optical effect, known as chatoyancy, is caused by the reflection of light from very thin, closely spaced filaments in parallel arrangement within the stone. True cat's-eye, a variety of chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka and Brazil, is the most valuable, but some quartz, tourmaline, and a few other minerals that display chatoyancy are also used as gems. A golden-yellow species called tiger's-eye is a form of quartz that contains crocidolite asbestos.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on cat's-eye from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mineralogy and Crystallography


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring