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Tiger Iron Properties Facts and Photos

section of tiger which is a banded iron formation

1. Tiger Iron Banded Iron Formation
2. Also Known As Mugglestone
3. Popular Decorative Stone
4. Healing Properties
5. Article Photos 
6. Our Collection of Tiger Iron

Tiger Iron Banded Iron Formation

Tiger iron is a natural stone that can sometimes be mistaken for the mineral tigers eye.  Although some material can look quite similar, it's not the same stone.  With closer inspection it's quite easy to tell one from the other.

Tiger iron is a banded iron formation (BIF) that occurs in rocks dating back 1.8 to 2.5 billion years.  These geological structures which can be found in several locations around the world are made up of relatively thin layers of minerals rich in iron.  Hematite or magnetite, red jasper and tigers eye are the most common.

Banded iron formations which can be hundreds of metres thick formed when the earth was very young.  At this time there was no oxygen in the atmosphere.  Dissolved iron most likely from underwater volcanoes reacted with oxygen being expelled as a waste product by microscopic aquatic organisms called cyanobacteria.  The reaction led to precipitation which is a process whereby substances in a solution mix together and become an insoluble product.

banded iron formation fragments in the ground

The result was the formation of iron oxides on the seafloor which gradually became banded formations rich in iron and silica.  Iron oxides are a chemical compound of iron and oxygen, rust is a common example.

Over millions of years immense heat and pressure led to crystallisation.  Earth's natural movements caused the layers to become distorted.

As oxygen began to form in the atmosphere, an ozone layer developed which protected Earth from the sun's deadly ultraviolet rays.  Organisms were then able to leave the water to start living on land.

The banded iron formation known as tiger iron can only be found in the Pilbara region of western Australia.

tiger iron tumbled stones

Also Known As Mugglestone

In recent years the name mugglestone has started being used as an alternative to tiger iron.  The name only seems to be used within the metaphysical community.

Having carried out extensive research into the origins of the name, we can find no factual evidence to connect the name to the stone.  The only vague association is ironstone was once widely mined in the Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire areas of the UK.  Mucklestone is a small village in Staffordshire.

Ironstone is an iron-rich sedimentary rock valued for its iron ores. Ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted.  Ironstone is a type of banded iron formation (BIF).  It can also be a type of pottery first produced in the UK in the 19th century.  Similar to stoneware, ironstone was used as a cheaper alternative to porcelain.

Despite sharing the same name, ironstone the stoneware contains no iron and is not the same as the iron-rich sedimentary rock.  Iron was used in the name to reflect the material's strength and durability.

The ironstone (iron-rich sedimentary rock) once mined in Staffordshire is not the same material as tiger iron.  This mineral can only be found in western Australia.

polished tiger iron stone

Some references we've seen state; "mugglestone was once found in a place called Moclestone in what is now Great Britain."  The only reference to Mucklestone (not Mugglestone) being known as Moclestone is in the Domesday Book of 1086

As we've found out after many years of writing articles, plagiarism leads to a huge amount of inaccurate and misleading information being published especially online.

This is how we believe the name Mugglestone came about.

At some point an article was written associating tiger iron with Mucklestone in Staffordshire.  The article is likely to have been routinely plagiarised as so many articles online are.  Each time it was rewritten the wording would have changed to give the impression it was someone's own work.

At some point the name Mugglestone appeared.  With the rise in popularity of tiger iron, the name would have quickly spread.  As the plagiarism continued it only needed one article to claim the stone was named named after the village of Mucklestone.

We can find no factual evidence to explain how or when this name came about.  Nor can we find any evidence to support any association between tiger iron and the United Kingdom.  We have seen some information that claims mugglestone is not tiger iron but more similar to tigers eye.  The vast majority of tigers eye comes from South Africa and Australia.

The first time we wrote about tiger iron was in 2006.  At that time there was nothing online about the stone also being known as mugglestone.  The first time we became aware of this name being used was just a couple of years ago.

The material being called mugglestone is definitely tiger iron.  How, why or exactly when the name came about remains a mystery.  If you can share any factual information to help us get to the bottom of this please do get in touch.

Widely Used for Decorative Purposes

Tiger iron is an attractive stone that takes on a high polish.  It's made up of alternating layers of tigers eye which is a fibrous variety of quartzred jasper and either hematite or magnetite.

With tiger iron being made up of different minerals it's classed as a rock not a mineral.

This relatively hard material grades 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Metaphysical Healing Properties

When used for its metaphysical healing properties tiger iron is said to promote inner strength and help balance emotional energies.  It can help to bring peace, calmness and tranquillity into your life.

Tiger iron enhances concentration, brings optimism and clears doubt and confusion.  It encourages appreciation of everything that's pure and beautiful and is especially suited to those who are artistic or creative.

Article Photos

The tiger iron in the photo at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John. The banded iron formation fragments in the second photo are 1.7  billion years old.  They're located in Pike's Peak, Arizona.  Photo courtesy of Stan Celestian. 

The tumbled stones are from our collection.  An entire album of tiger iron images can be found here.

All the photos are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed image. 

Our Collection of Tiger Iron

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