Highly polished black tigers eye crystals from the Northern Cape, South Africa. The colour of black tigers eye is produced by heating the brown and yellow coloured stone. Heat changes crystal's chemical makeup hence initiates a change in the stone's colour. Heat treatments are widely used around the world to enhance or change the colour of rocks and minerals. This practice has been going on for thousands of years and was first documented by the Ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus.
Unlike the red variety of tigers eye which is also heated, the black stone retains its chatoyant properties and can often enhance them. Chatoyance is an optical phenomenon present in some minerals. It's caused as light reflects off the fibrous structure, inclusions or cavities within the stone. When a stone that's chatoyant is gently moved back and forth in good light, colours and markings appear to move. The quality of this optical phenomenon can vary from one stone to the next.
Brown and yellow coloured tigers eye is by far the best known variety. This stone has long been used for lapidary purposes and in particular for gemstones. As well as South Africa, Australia and the USA also export large quantities of this variety of quartz. Smaller quantities can also be found in several other countries around the world.
Black tigers eye is a beautiful stone even though the colour has been produced artificially. With that said, it's important to note the process of heating rocks and minerals is really only mimicking natural geological processes which take place over millions of years.
These fine grade black tigers eye crystals are wonderfully tactile and no two pieces are the same. Although classed as a large sized stone, weights and sizes do vary from piece to piece. For this reason we have split sizes into medium and large.
Empathic warriors are stones which have at some point in time sustained some kind of damage, usually a chip or fracture. With rocks and minerals having evolved over millions of years we do not believe in throwing them away. These pieces are available to buy at a significantly reduced price. Empathic warriors are not always available. More information can be found in our article on empathic warrior crystals.