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19thC 1 1/2ct Chrysoberyl Cats Eye Ancient Amulet Evil Eye Gemstone #37964

Cost: $ 169.99


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:  6 1/2mm.  Width:  6mm.  Depth:  4mm.  All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT:  1.46 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings.

DETAIL:
Ancient European and Mediterranean cultures believed cat’s-eye gemstones able to provide protection against the adverse influences of the "evil eye". There was an ancient belief that some evil sorcerers or witches had the ability to transmit evil with just the glance of an eye. Certain items of adornment such as this cat’s-eye gemstone were thought to protect the wearer from the "evil eye" by the proviso of always watchful open eyes. Cat’s-eye gemstones in particular were believed to be very powerful. Here's 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 pastel lime green with distinct citrus 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 to the eye is essentially without blemish, but it is not flawless. As you can see in the accompanying 500% photo enlargements, there are a number of seams of colorless crystalline material running through the gemstone. Of course it is the alignment of colorless crystals within the gemstone which creates the cat's-eye effect, so it is not unusual to find more prominent crystalline features within the gemstone; and this gemstone, like most chrysoberyl, does display visible colorless crystalline material. However to the cursory inspection of the casual admirer, the gemstone does appear without discernible blemish. And of course if inspected intently, one can see these very slight imperfections within the gemstone, as well as 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 minute blemishes 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.
 
 

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5/18/2017 12:00:00 AM
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