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Tiger Iron Properties, Facts and Photos

tiger iron crystals

1. Properties of Tiger Iron
2. Tiger Iron or Mugglestone?
3. A Few More Facts
4. Healing Properties of Tiger Iron
5. Article Photos 
6. Shop for Tiger Iron

Properties of Tiger Iron

Tiger iron is a banded iron formation or BIF for short.  Many types of banded iron formation are known around the world.  This has caused a great deal of confusion.

The type of banded iron formation known as tiger iron can only be found in Western Australia.  It occurs in rocks that date back 1.8 to 2.5 billion years.  Another type known as jaspilite can be found in the USA and Ukraine.  

These geological structures are the most important source of iron on Earth.  They're made up of relatively thin layers of minerals rich in iron.  Hematite or magnetite, red jasper and tigers eye are the most common.

Although some tiger iron can look very similar to the mineral tigers eye they're not the same stone.  With closer inspection it's usually quite easy to tell one from the other.

Banded iron formations which can be hundreds of metres thick formed when Earth was very young.  At this point in 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 the most common example.

Over millions of years immense heat and pressure led to crystallisation.  Earth's natural movements are the reason for the layers being distorted.

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

Tiger Iron or Mugglestone?

In recent years the name mugglestone has started being used as an alternative to tiger iron.  It only tends to be used by those who use the stone for its metaphysical healing properties.

Having carried out extensive research into the origins of the name, we can find no factual evidence to connect mugglestone with tiger iron.

Here's what we discovered.  Ironstone was once widely mined in the Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire areas of the UK.  Mucklestone is a small village in Staffordshire.  

Although ironstone and banded iron formations are both sedimentary rocks that have been used by man as a source of iron, they're not exactly the same.  This is where things become confusing.  Banded iron formations are also known as banded ironstone formations.  Ironstone is also a type of pottery that started being produced by Staffordshire potters in the 19th century.  Similar to stoneware, it was created as a cheaper alternative to porcelain.

Iron was used in the name ironstone (the stoneware) to reflect the material's strength and durability.

The ironstone also known as a banded ironstone formation or banded iron formation once mined in North Staffordshire is not the same banded iron formation that's known as tiger iron.  This stone can only be found in Western Australia.

polished tiger iron stone

One article we've seen online that ranks well in searches for 'mugglestone' states; "mugglestone was once found in a place called Moclestone in what is now Great Britain."

This line as far as we're aware is completely inaccurate.  The only reference to mucklestone (not mugglestone) being known as moclestone (not found in a place called moclestone) is in the Domesday Book of 1086.  So where did that information come from? 

We've learnt after years of writing articles that plagiarism leads to so much inaccurate and misleading information being published especially online.

We believe the name mugglestone probably came about because of the following chain of events;

An article was written associating tiger iron with the village of Mucklestone in Staffordshire.  That was probably because of a misunderstanding over ironstone being a banded iron formation.  Tiger iron is another type of banded iron formation.

Once published it's likely to have been plagiarised as so many articles on 'crystals' are.

Most people who write articles to publish online are aware that duplicate content doesn't rank well in search results.  Therefore each time it was plagiarised it would have been changed slightly before being republished.  That would have been done to make it look as if it was an original piece of work.

At some point the name mugglestone appeared probably because of an error.  Once that article started being plagiarised this new name for tiger iron would have spread quickly. 

Articles that rank well in search results are prone to being copied.  They'll also be used for reference purposes.  People rarely check the accuracy of what they read online.  That's how false information and 'fake news' spreads.

Since writing this article we've seen a video on YouTube in which the presenter states tiger iron is found in Mucklestone in the United Kingdom.  That's not correct. 

A perfect example of how plagiarism can lead to inaccurate information being accepted as being factual can be seen in a myth about amethyst.  It's widely claimed the myth comes from Greek mythology but that's not true.   

We can find no factual evidence to explain how the name mugglestone came about.  Nor can we find any evidence that confirms tiger iron has ever been mined in the United Kingdom.  When we do research we only use geological websites and forums.

The first time we wrote about tiger iron was in 2004.  At that time there was nothing online about it being known as mugglestone.  The first time we became aware of this name was a couple of years ago.

A Few More Facts

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

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

Tiger iron grades 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Tiger Iron Healing Properties

When used for its 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 Pictures

The tiger iron tumbled stones in our first picture are from our collection.  The banded iron formation fragments in the second picture are 1.7 billion years old.  They're located in Pike's Peak, Arizona.  Despite being a banded iron formation they're not tiger iron.  Photo courtesy of Stan Celestian.

The next picture is courtesy of James St.John. Clicking the picture takes you to an album of banded iron formations.

The final stone is tiger iron.

The first three pictures are clickable and redirect to the original image. 

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