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Tiger Iron: Three-in-one Gemstone

The creative beauty, cultural and biological presence of tiger iron gemstone jewelry and art objects are valued in many ways. This article describes the beauty and value of this natural gemstone.

Tiger Iron is almost exclusively valued as a decorative gemstone. Its rich and striking beauty is created by three gemstones that nature has combined to create tiger iron. Tiger’s eye, hematite and jasper exist in layers to form this composite gemstone.

Ironstone (Fe) is plentiful and accessible. Hematite is ironstone that can be very shiny and highly polished for artistic and cultural purposes. It is usually grey colored, although surface oxidation sometimes gives it a brownish hue.

Jasper exists in a variety of colors. It is made up of mineral oxides that create bands and patterns of color. In the U.S.A. it is found in California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Washington. It is petrified or silicated mud that dripped into gas pockets in molten lava. It became superheated and then solidified forming the unusual banded patterns which are typical of this stone.

Tiger’s Eye or tiger eye is natural asbestos. During volcanic events, the fibrous asbestos is replaced by iron-bearing quartz called limonite. This is what creates the dazzling golden luminous eye of the tiger that provides such elegant beauty in tiger eye gemstone. Golden brown tiger eye is most common. However, there is also a blue version know as hawk eye or falcon’s eye, red tiger eye and of course tiger iron which is made up of three gemstone crystals combined into one.

The glamour of tiger iron gemstone is created by what is known as chatoyancy. This is a French word meaning “cat’s eye”. It is an optical reflectance that gives a sense of depth, shape and shine between the fibrous layers of crystal.

In order for chatoyancy to occur in a gemstone, it must be cut in cabochon style. This requires the stone be cut so the fibrous crystal layers are parallel to the base of the polished gemstone. Many fine examples of this affect can be seen in elegant tiger eye gemstone at

Besides being elegant and beautiful, both ancient and modern people relate tiger iron to chakras. Many people consider chakras to be the metaphysical/biophysical energy of the human body. A chakra is perceived as a center of energy that receives, assimilates and expresses life force. Chakra means wheel and it references a spinning sphere of bio-energetic activity emanating from the nerves of the spinal cord. This concept is expressed in the practice of Yoga.

If you study the chakra, you will discover that tiger iron is highly valued. Hematite is believed to provide emotional clarity. Jasper is thought to provide emotional stability. Tiger eye enhances personal creative forces. Those who try to harness the forces of chakra will hold a tiger iron gemstone in there hand and breath deeply to become re-grounded, centered, balanced, peaceful and focused.

The creative beauty, cultural and biological presence of tiger eye/iron jewelry and other tiger iron art objects can certainly bring pleasure, presence and satisfaction to the bearer.

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Janet K. Nelson has done research and written articles on subjects that range from the cultural to the technical. She is an author noted for integrating information and providing a fresh, clear and whole-picture perspective on her subjects. She has written articles, manuals and perspectives for marketing, cultural, media and distribution organizations. Ms. Nelson has a double BA degree in Music and Speech Communications and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. More information is available via

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