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Interesting Facts

For Customers outside of USA

Antique Genuine Natural Russian One and Three-Quarter Carat Lemon-Lime Colored Chrysoberyl (Alexandrite) Cats Eye.

CLASSIFICATION: Cabochon Green Chrysoberyl Oval.

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

SIZE: Length: 6 1/2mm. Width: 5mm. Depth: 5mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 1.70 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 round 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 an absolutely remarkable blending of lemon and lime - a very unusually colored chrysoberyl and with razor sharp chatoyancy 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 richness of the 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.

Cat's-eye chrysoberyl has a distinct band of light across its face which sweeps from side to side. It is the magnetic alignment of tiny included particles which create the catseye. No included material (i.e., a transparent gemstone) would generally preclude a catseye. So while this gemstone has great luster and sparkle, it is not absolutely flawless. There are slight imperfections (included material) within the gemstone and occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. But these characteristics are an inherent feature of cats eye chrysoberyl. As well these characteristics are also expected of hand-finished gemstones. One must mention however that there is a rather unique, reddish-orange inclusion within this particular gemstone. Although it is not visible from some angles, from other angles it turns most of the gemstone a reddish-orange color. Quite unique - it almost looks like a blood-colored, jagged wound within the gemstone.

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 is a close cousin of color-changing alexandrite. Since ancient times man recognized how closely the property of chatoyancy 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.

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".