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Antique Genuine Natural Russian One and One-Half Carat Lime Green Chrysoberyl (Alexandrite) Cats Eye.

CLASSIFICATION: Cabochon Green Chrysoberyl Oval.

ORIGIN: The Ural Mountains, Russia. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 6mm. Width: 5mm. Depth: 5mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 1.56 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, earring, or pendant.

DETAIL: A gorgeous, richly colored natural green chrysoberyl “cats eye” semi-precious gemstone from the Ural Mountains of Russia. Closely related to alexandrite (which is also a form of chrysoberyl), this gorgeous and much sought after semi-gemstone was hand shaped and polished into this very beautiful oval cabochon. The result is an exquisite and incredibly richly colored precious gemstone with lots of depth and gorgeous tone. The “eye” is very sharply defined, razor sharp, and the color is a very bright lime green with distinct honey-colored undertones, and which truly looks like a feline eye. Green chrysoberyl cats eye was considered for over a century the very best chrysoberyl in the world, but in the past few decades it has become mostly played out. This is a very nice specimen representative of better quality green chrysoberyl. Though it does not change color from green to pink or purple like an alexandrite catseye, the green color and the sharpness of the eye are of the same exquisite quality.

Good quality green cats eye semi-precious gemstones are in high demand, and can be quite costly. In fact, at retail green cats eye chrysoberyl generally costs more than alexandrite cats eye – the main principal differences are less (or no) color change but generally higher quality; chrysoberyl compared to alexandrite. The Southern Ural Mountains of Russia have been producing high value, naturally colored green and honey colored chrysoberyl cats eye for well over a century. Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. In fact most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and to the eye is essentially without blemish, but it is not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". However magnified 500%, as it is here, you can see very slight imperfections (included material) within the gemstone and occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY: Cat's eye (and tiger's eye) gemstones are a form of quartz, one of mankind's most ancient gemstones. Rock crystal, the clear form of quartz, was used in ancient times to make crystal balls and bowls. Since ancient times colorless quartz crystals have always been popular in jewelry due to mystical legends concerning the "power" of quartz crystals. Quartz crystals exhibit a property called the piezoelectric effect; they produce an electric voltage. This was noticed by ancient cultures, and consequentially since ancient times many mystical properties have been attributed to quartz crystals of various varieties.

Cat's-eye chrysoberyl, a close cousin of color-changing alexandrite, is a variety of chrysoberyl which has a distinct band of light across its face which sweeps from side to side. Known as a chatoyancy, since ancient times man recognized how closely this attribute resembled the feline eye. Ancient European and Mediterranean cultures believed it to provide protection against the adverse influences of the "evil eye". The color ranges from a honey-yellow to yellow-green to an apple green to brown. Generally the yellow and green specimens are considered the most valued, the least valued being the brown. However whatever the color, the most important value factor is the strength and sharpness of the eye. Though the largest deposits of this gemstone are in South Africa, with smaller deposits in Australia, Burma, and India; the most valued deposits, almost exhausted, are those from the Ural Mountains in Russia. The gemstone was a very important trade good in ancient India, and was exported to and found enormous popularity in many Asian cultures.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".