227. Cat’s Eye

The gem chrysoberyl has a narrow, bright band of light on a shimmering golden background, which seems to glide magically across the surface when the stone is moved.

The name ‘chrysoberyl’ comes from the Greek and means ‘gold-colored beryl’. In spite of its name, however, it is not actually a beryl at all. Together with alexandrite, chrysoberyl forms an independent gemstone category.

From a mineralogical point of view, chrysoberyls are aluminum oxide containing beryllium, and thus actually have little in common with the beryls, which belong to the silicate family.

Indeed, with their hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, they are superior to the beryls. The popular chrysoberyls come in many shades between lemon and greenish yellow and in honey colors and shades from mint green to brownish green.

Cat’s eye are found in the gemstone deposits of Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa.


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