The rare gemstones Cat’s Eye and Alexandrite together form the Chrysoberyl family.
Birthstone Month :
Alexandrite is the birthstone for the month of June.
Cat’s Eye is not associated with any particular birthstone month.
Alexandrite is associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio.
Cat’s eye is associated with the zodiac signs of Gemini and Leo.
Chemical Symbol :
Chemical Make-up :
Chrysoberyl is a Beryllium Aluminum Oxide.
History & Lore :
The name Chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek words “Beryl”, meaning green and “Chryso”, meaning golden. The two words combined mean “gold colored beryl”. In spite what the name implies, Chrysoberyl is not actually a Beryl at all.
Chrysoberyl was very popular in Victorian and Edwardian times, when it was often inaccurately referred to as Chrysolite.
Chrysoberyl’s have long been considered a good luck charm in numerous cultures.
Chrysoberyl’s are known to be associated with discipline and self-control. They are said to promote concentration and the ability to learn and to help the wearer with striving for excellence. In addition to this, they bring peace of mind, clearer thinking, and increased self-confidence helping one become more understanding of the fact that they have everything they already need to succeed.
Both Alexandrite and Cat’s Eye have their own unique history and metaphysical properties. Please refer to their respective educational content for further information.
Alexandrite is extremely rare and very expensive. Finding stones that are over five carats is incredibly rare. Because of this, Alexandrite is hardly ever used in modern jewelery, although there has of late been a large upsurge in demand, particularly within the Far Eastern marketplaces.
Cat’s Eye is both a popular and extremely valuable gemstone that is genuinely rare, being found only in a few deposits in the world. Expect to pay high premiums for Cat’s Eye of good color with a finely marked / pronounced eye-line.
The original source of Alexandrite in the Ural Mountains of Russia has long since dried up. Today they have been re-opened, but only produce a few carats each year. Today Brazil and Sri Lanka (Ceylon), are the two major producers of the stone. However it is also found in Myanmar (Burma), India, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, none of these locations produce as rich and vivid colors as the original gemstones mined in Russia.
Deposits of Cat’s Eye can be found in Brazil, East Africa, and Sri Lanka.
Please refer to the Cat’s Eye and Alexandrite’s respective educational content for information regarding evaluation.
Common Cuts :
Alexandrite is most commonly cut into Cushion and Oval shapes, but Emerald and Round cuts are also quite common.
Cat’s Eye gemstones are always cut as cabochons for it is the only cut that will allow the spectacular cat’s eye effect to be displayed. Chrysoberyl’s exhibiting weak chatoyancy are commonly faceted.
Routine Enhancements :
Cat’s Eyes are sometimes irradiated in order to improve color and chatoyancy whereas Alexandrite is not known to be enhanced.
Care & Cleaning :
Chrysoberyl’s are hard, durable gemstone that are difficult to scratch and chip. That being said, because of their high value and rarity, caution should be taken so as to keep the stone in its original condition. Cat’s Eye is best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Prolonged exposure to excessive amounts of heat, household chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, and steam cleaners should be avoided. Always store your Chrysoberyl jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid scratching. Please refer to Alexandrite and Cat’s Eyes respective educational content for further information regarding care & cleaning.