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Cat's Eye Gemstones

Some gemstones can display what is commonly referred to as the Cat's Eye effect where light is reflected in a parallel line from the gem's surface. The technical term is chatoyancy which is derived from the French expression, 'oeil de chat', meaning, 'the eye of a cat'.

Most Cat's Eyes are cut into cabochons - with flat bottoms and rounded, domed tops - which display the chatoyancy effect at its best.

Cat's Eye Colors

Cat's Eye Gemstones vary in color according to their type but tend to occur in yellowish, golden, green-yellow and yellow-brown colors thus best mimicking the eye of a real cat.

Very rarely they can be found in a color change variety known as alexandrite which can display both green and red tones in the same stone when looked at under different light sources.

Read more about gemstones colors here

Cat's Eye Species

If a gemstone is called simply Cat's Eye without any indentifying species name then it will be a chrysoberyl , also known as cymophane, a very high quality gem.

Other types of Cat's Eye gemstones are usually prefixed or suffixed with a particular name and the most popular examples include:

  • Actinolite Cat's Eye
  • Cat's Eye Apatite
  • Cat's Eye Aquamarine
  • Cat's Eye Moonstone
  • Cat's Eye Opal
  • Cat's Eye Scapolite
  • Quartz Cat's Eye
  • Sillimanite Cat's Eye
  • Tiger's Eye

Much more rare examples can also be found such as:

  • Cat's Eye Demantoid
  • Cat's Eye Emerald
  • Cat's Eye Tourmaline

The Cat's Eye effect arises when needle-like or fibrous inclusions develop in parallel contours within the gemstones. Skilled cutting and polishing is needed to create the phenomenon whereby a band of light seems to move across the surface of the stone as the gem is moved back and forth.

What are the spiritual benefits of Cat's Eye?

Cat's Eyes will have all the spiritual strengths possessed by the individual gemstones such as quartz and apatite as well as their color symbolism.

In addition Cat's Eye gemstones are traditionally used to ward off the evil eye.

Other attributes of all Cat's Eye gemstones include:

  • Stimulates Intuition
  • Enhances Mental Awareness
  • Gives Protection Against Unseen Dangers
  • Boosts Psychic Abilities

See our detailed article on gemstone meaning and uses

Cat's Eye and the Chakras

The Chakras are various energy centers located in specific spots around the body. Each Chakra has a designated color and gemstones of the same or similar color can be used to unblock and realign the Chakra if it falls out of balance.

Cat's Eye gemstones can be used to help Chakras according to their color:

  • Brown Colored Cat's Eyes - Help the Root Chakra
  • Orange Colored Cat's Eyes - Help the Sacral Chakra
  • Yellow Colored Cat's Eyes - Help the Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Green Colored Cat's Eyes - Help the Heart Chakra
  • Clear Colored Cat's Eyes - Help the Third Eye and Crown Chakra

Find more details on Chakra gemstones here

Cat's Eye Price

Cat's Eye gemstones will vary in price according the following criteria:

  • The variety of the gemstone
  • The sharpness or definition of the 'pupil' or 'eye'
  • A smooth movement of the eye as the gemstone is turned
  • The brightness and evenness of the color

Very rare ruby, emerald and chrysoberyl Cat's Eyes will be hundreds if not thousands of dollars per carat for brightly colored examples.

Cat's Eye varieties such as apatite, aquamarine and opal can be considerably less and good quality specimens will cost between $5 and $30 per carat.

Cat's Eye Moonstones, Quartz Cat's Eyes, Cat's Eye Scapolites, Actinolite Cat's Eyes and Sillimanite Cat's Eyes can all be bought from just $1 - $5 in most cases and only rise to $10 per carat for exceptional stones.

Carat Weight

Cat's Eye gemstones come in a wide range of sizes although they tend not to be too small as the cat's eye effect is not as impressive with such a limited surface area.

The price of Cat's Eyes is based on what we mentioned earlier, the gem type, the movement and definition of the eye, and the color, not really the carat weight of the gemstone - except perhaps in the case of emeralds and chrysoberyl.

The total price will rise for larger gemstones but the price per carat for most varieties of Cat's Eyes will remain the same.


Generally, Cat's Eye gemstones are not enhanced with any treatments other than the skilled selection, cutting and polishing of cabochons to show off the cat's eye effect.

There are stories of some stones being heated or radiated but heating will often destroy the inclusions that create the optical phenomenon in cat's eyes.

We will always disclose any treatments our gemstones receive clearly on our product pages.

Cat's Eye History

The original Cat's Eye, chrysoberyl, was discovered in 1789 by Abraham Werner, who is often called the founder of mineralogy, while Quartz Cat's Eyes were known as far back as the time of the early Roman Empire.

Cat's Eye chrysoberyl has been a very important part of Vedic astrology for centuries where it is known as lehsunia or vaidurya and is the gemstones for the planet Ketu.

See our Jyotish Gemstone article here

Where are Cat's Eyes found?

Sri Lanka, Brazil, Tanzania and Madagascar are the main sources of fine quality chrysoberyl cat's eyes and they are also the locations to find several other cat's eye gemstone types too, along with India, the USA and Kenya.

What jewelry is Cat's Eye suitable for?

Gemstones are rated on Mohs hardness scale for their suitability for use in jewelry with diamonds at the top with a score of 10. Anything above 7 is perfectly fine for most jewelry items including daily wear pieces while gemstones under this rating should have protective settings.

All gemstones will be fine for pendants, necklaces, earrings and brooches as they are less likely to receive any knocks or bumps.

The hardness of various gem types that are often found as Cat's Eyes include:

  • Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl - Rated 8.5
  • Actinolite Cat's Eye - Rated 5.5 - 6
  • Cat's Eye Apatite - Rated 5
  • Cat's Eye Aquamarine - Rated 7.5 - 8
  • Cat's Eye Moonstone - Rated 6 - 6.5
  • Cat's Eye Opal - Rated 5.5 - 6.5
  • Cat's Eye Scapolite - Rated 5.5 - 6.5
  • Cat's Eye Tourmaline - Rated 7 - 7.5
  • Quartz Cat's Eye - Rated 7
  • Sillimanite Cat's Eye - Rated 6.5 - 7.5

Birthstones and Anniversaries

Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl is not a birthstone but the other varieties can be. For example, Opal and Tourmaline are birthstones for October, Moonstone is a birthstone for June and Aquamarine is the birthstone for March.

Cat's Eye gemstones are also the traditional gift for the 18th wedding anniversary.

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Posted By Jake in January, 2021
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I just bought this beautiful pink opal and strawberry quartz from Gem select. I was pleasantly surprised that they had little print outs with all the details and color pictures of the actual stones! If you have been thinking of buying gemstones I highly recommend checking out Gem Select! They have great selection and variety! Top notch!
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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

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