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Cat's Eyes and Star Gemstones - Bad is Sometimes Better

Dec 16, 2007
Cats eyes and stars appearing in gemstones are still considered inclusions but of a unique type. While the presence of inclusions is often detrimental to the value and looks of gemstones, cats eyes and stars have the opposite effect. These may occur naturally or man-made but ultimately, they enhance the beauty of gemstones. Use the following tips when shopping for gemstones with stars and cats eyes.

What You Need to Know about Cats Eye:-
Cats eye is a product of chatoyance or chatoyancy. It is an optical effect brought about by a certain light intensity emitting in a specified direction from the gemstones surface. Cats eye may either be produced by fibrous cavities or inclusions, such as the case of cats eye in chrysoberyl, or fibrous structures like cats eye in quartz.

The effects of chatoyancy can also be achieved in woodworking and providing products with 3D appearances.

Chrysoberyl This gemstone is arguably the most popular gemstone for its cats eye inclusions. Chrysoberyl is often mistakenly believed to be under the beryl group of stones. In truth, chrysoberyl is not part of the beryl group, but aquamarines and emeralds are. Chrysoberyl are mostly found in East Africa, Sri Lanka, and Brazil.

This gemstone registers the third highest rating in the Mohs Scale for naturally occurring stones. There are three types of chrysoberyl: alexandrite, the more common yellow chrysoberyl, and lastly cymophane or cats eye.

Common chrysoberyl is yellowish-green. It may be translucent or transparent. If it turns yellow and see-through, that is the time it can be used as a gemstone. Alexandrite, on the other hand, has colors varying from orange-yellow to red to emerald-green. It can display even other colors if seen under artificial lighting.

Lastly, there is cymophane or the chrysoberyl cats eye. Its name was derived from its similarities with a cats eye, showing a silk-like spread of light stretching from a light-green source.

Certain gemstones belonging to the beryl group can also display chatoyant features. This includes golden and green beryl, aquamarine, and emerald. The effects are, however, not as intense as those in chrysoberyl and therefore needs special mounting to strengthen the look and feel of its cats eye.

This is the most abundant mineral in the Earths crust. Not all of the minerals belonging to the quartz group are able to display cats eye on their surfaces. Those that can are rose quartz, citrine, smoky quartz, cats eye quartz, and amethyst. Some believe that cats eye quartz are able to help improve vision problems, self-healing, concentration, and psychic abilities, as well as provide better judgment.

What You Need to Know about Star Gemstones
Stars in gemstones occur mainly because of asterism. It is another optical effect caused by a certain reflective portion of the gemstone. There are two kinds of asterism that occur in gemstones.

Stars appear when light is transmitted through the gemstone. It will only be visible, however, if light illuminates the gemstone from the back. Rose quartz exhibits this effect.

This occurs mostly with rubies and sapphires. Light this time is reflected on inclusions positioned parallel with each other.

Star gemstones come in a wide variety. For sapphires and rubies, there are yellow, purple, gray, black, blue, silver, white, and 12-ray stars. Burma and Sri Lanka are the top producers of star sapphires and rubies. Other gemstones with stars possibly appearing on their surfaces include sunstones, garnets, rutiles, quartz, diopside, citrine, moonstone, prasiolite, and chrysoberyl as well.

How to Shop for Star and Cats Eye Gemstones:-

A single light source like a candle, light bulb, or even sunlight is best used when judging the quality of stars and cats eyes in a given gemstone. This type of lighting will reduce chances of blurring and make it easier for you to determine the intensity of these much-coveted inclusions.

The appearance of the cats eye or star must be clearly distinct from the body of the gemstone.

How far does the star or cats eye extend? Bigger size is better, but some clients may prefer a more subtle effect.

More specifically, color for stars in gemstones differ. It is up to you to choose which appeals to you the most.

Lastly, remember that all gemstones with stars and cats eyes are cabochon cut to maximize their effects. Thus, viewing uncut gemstones will not yield accurate results.
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites that specialize in Vintage Engagement Rings. and Antique Engagement Rings, Providing you with product reviews, information and guides that are essential when purchasing any type of Engagement Ring. .
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