Skip to main content
Select Source:

cat's-eye

cat's-eye, gemstone that displays a thin band of reflected light on its surface when cut as a cabochon. Its name is derived from its supposed resemblance to the eye of a cat. The optical effect, known as chatoyancy, is caused by the reflection of light from very thin, closely spaced filaments in parallel arrangement within the stone. True cat's-eye, a variety of chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka and Brazil, is the most valuable, but some quartz, tourmaline, and a few other minerals that display chatoyancy are also used as gems. A golden-yellow species called tiger's-eye is a form of quartz that contains crocidolite asbestos.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cat's-eye." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cat's-eye." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cats-eye

"cat's-eye." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cats-eye

cats-eye

cat's-eye • n. a semiprecious stone, esp. chalcedony or chrysoberyl, with a chatoyant luster.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cats-eye." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cats-eye." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cats-eye

"cats-eye." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cats-eye