Accessibility options

Switch to preferred accessibility theme:


Increase or decrease the text size:

  • Internet Explorer: View > Text Size > Largest

Keyboard navigation and access keys:

  • A - Accessibility options
  • 0 - Skip navigation
  • 1 - Home
  • 2 - Alexandrite chapters
  • 3 - Alexandrite directory
  • 4 - Alexandrite forums
  • 5 - Alexandrite gemstones
  • 6 - Alexandrite localities
  • 7 - Contact information
  • 8 - About Alexandrite Guide
  • 9 - Sitemap
  • Press ALT + Access Key, then ENTER.

Close

Alexandrite

Tsarstone collectors guide

What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?

Cat's eye is the popular name for an optical effect known as chatoyancy in the gemological nomenclature. Microscopic needle-like inclusions inside the stone reflect a streak of light that appears to open and close as the stone is rotated -- hence the eye like effect. The effect becomes most apparent under a spotlight or in direct sunlight. Although other minerals including tourmaline, beryl, scapolite, sillimanite and quartz may also display the cat's eye effect, these stones are referred to as tourmaline cat's eyes or quartz cat's eyes etc., and only chrysoberyl is referred to as "cat's eye" with no other designation.

The finest quality cat's-eyes display a sharp silvery white line across the stone that opens and closes as the stone is rotated. "Milk and honey" is a term commonly used to describe the color of the best cat's eyes. The effect refers to the sharp milky ray of white light normally crossing the cabochon as a center line along its length and overlying the honey colored background. The honey color is considered to be top by many gemologists but the lemon yellow colors are also popular and attractive. Cat's eye material is found as a small percentage of the overall chrysoberyl production wherever chrysoberyl is found.

Alexandrite is that variety of Chrysoberyl that can display a color change. If a chrysoberyl cat's eye also displays a color change, it is known as an Alexandrite Cat's Eye.


Bibliographic details
Page title What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?
Author David Weinberg
Website title Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide
Date published 03 July 2010 04:41 UTC
Date accessed 23 December 2014 04:23 UTC
Permanent link http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123
AMA style
David Weinberg. "What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?". In Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide. July 03, 2010, 04:41 UTC. Available at: http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123. Accessed December 23, 2014.
APA style
"What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?". (2010, July 03). In Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide. Retrieved 04:23, December 23, 2014, from http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123.
Bluebook style
"What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?", http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123 (last visited December 23, 2014).
Bluebook: Harvard JOLT style
See Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide, "What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?", http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123 (Cat's eye is the popular name for an optical effect known as chatoyancy in the gemological nomenclature. Microscopic needle-like inclusions inside the stone reflect a streak of light that appears to open and close as the stone is rotated -- hence the eye like effect. The effect becomes most apparent under a spotlight or in direct sunlight. Although other minerals including tourmaline, beryl, scapolite, sillimanite and quartz may also display the cat's eye effect, these stones are referred to as tourmaline cat's eyes or quartz cat's eyes etc., and only chrysoberyl is referred to as "cat's eye" with no other designation.) (as of Dec. 23, 2014, 04:23 GMT).
CBE/CSE style
David Weinberg. "What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?". In Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide. 2010 Jul 03, 04:41 UTC.[Internet], Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide; 2010 Jul 03, 04:41 UTC [cited 2014 Dec 23]. Available from: http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123.
Chicago style
David Weinberg, "What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?", http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123, (accessed December 23, 2014).
MLA style
"What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?". Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide. 03 Jul 2010, 04:41 UTC. 23 Dec 2014 http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123
MHRA style
David Weinberg, "What is the difference between cat's eye and alexandrite?", Alexandrite Tsarstone Collectors Guide, 03 July 2010, 04:41 UTC, http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=GG-0123 [accessed 23 December 2014].
Close options details