History of Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye was generally not included in early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. For most of history, Tiger’s Eye was relatively rare, since the main deposits are in South Africa and western Australia. However, in modern times, Tiger’s Eye’s distinctive flash, as well as its basic affordability and availability, has allowed its metaphysical properties to be widely explored.

In the ancient world, South African Gold Tiger’s Eye was sometimes traded North, and has been found in ancient Egyptian and Assyrian tombs, crafted as jewelry and talismans. On a few occasions, Gold Tiger’s Eye seems to have been used as the glowing gemstone eyes in statues of the Egyptian sun god Ra and the earth god Geb. It is thought to represent the “all seeing and all knowing eye” of these benevolent gods. Centuries later, some Roman soldiers supposedly carried Tiger’s Eye with them into battle, for courage and protection.


Gold Tiger’s Eye, and the more rare blue Hawk’s Eye and Red Tiger’s Eye, are famous for the way they seem to shimmer when moved. This trait is known in geology as “chatoyancy.”  The term “chatoyant” is a combination of the French words for “cat” and “eye.” Tiger’s Eye’s bold gold coloring elevated it above a mere kitty, to instead honor the Tiger, the largest and most powerful member of the feline family.