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 Post subject: Synthetic or Imitation tiger's eye
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:25 pm 
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My question is in regards to tiger's eye.

1. Is there such a thing as synthetic tiger's eye? If so, what is it made of?I have seen this description on a men's ring advertised by a large jeweler. The material is gray and looks more like a hawk's eye. It is my understanding that only imitation tiger's eye exists, and this is fiber-optic glass.

2. Are there any other materials used to imitate tiger's eye besides the fiber optic glass? If so, what are they and how well do they imitate genuine tiger's eye.

3. Can you tell genuine tiger's eye apart from synthetic or imitation tiger's eye just by visual appearance and/or by hardness?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:14 pm 
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There is no synthetic tiger eye. Just like you, I have seen imitation fiber optic glass that can look similar.

I am not aware of anything else that can imitate tigereye, with the exception of some natural stones that would be far more expensive than tigereye, like chrysoberyl.

Tigereye is quite abundant and relatively inexpensive.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:18 pm 
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Hi vtrocknut,

I have never heard of a synthetic tigers eye. Fiber optic glass is a common chatoyant imitation cats eye. Never seen any that really looked like tigers eye. There may be some plastic chatoyant imitations as well.

I haven't seen any of these imitations that couldn't be easily separated with magnification.

Would this jewelry store have a website with an example of this material? Maybe an incorrect description on their part.

Tigers eye is common and cheap enough that I don't know why it would be synthesized. Of course they synthesized opal and turquoise, so who knows.

Oop's, think we were typing at the same time. :)


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 Post subject: website
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:07 am 
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the website is:

http://www.zales.com/product/index.jsp? ... 5700326184

I emailed customer service and asked them if this was glass. All they said was that this was synthetic and that synthetic stones are typically harder than the real thing. I find this kind of strange.


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 Post subject: p.s.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:12 am 
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Barbra, does any of the imitation stuff look like natural tiger's eye, or is it very artificial looking?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:14 am 
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In talking with some of the behind-the-counter sales people, I've found that many of them do not disinguish between synthetic and simulant. It may be that the person you spoke with didn't have the definitions clear. In looking at that somewhat blurry image online, I suspect it's one of the glass simulants.

The bit about hardnesses in synthetic vs. natural sounds like a behind-the-counter nonsense some sales people feed potential clients in hopes of making synthetics/simulants sound more appealing. e.g. "yes, it's synthetic, but that makes it better than the real thing!"

peter

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:44 am 
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Look, by definition a synthetic is a lab created stone that has the same chemical, physical and optical qualities as the natural stone. This includes hardness.

The customer rep is obviously not a gemologist, just a customer liason that directs or misdirects the customers question to a simple explaination, right or wrong.

By the stores descriptions, they are wrong on at least two points. One that it is synthetic and two that it is tiger's eye by visual apperance.
I think the trade generally accepts the brownish, yellowish chatoyant variety as tiger's eye and the grayish colored as hawk's eye or falcon's eye.

If you want to make a third point where they are wrong, just look at the price tag. :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:21 am 
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I have a call in to Zales. They are supposed to contact me after researching exactly what this stone is. I'll let you know.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:50 am 
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While we're waiting, here's a page on this subject that discusses trade names and descriptions.

http://www.cst.cmich.edu/users/dietr1rv/hawkseye.htm


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:45 pm 
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Here is the reply from Zales:
Quote:
Thank you for contacting Customer Care at www.zales.com

We have researched your inquiry and found that the stone is actually
Hawks Eye and not Tiger Eye. We are in the process of making the change
to our website.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you, and
thank you again for contacting Customer Care at www.zales.com


Sincerely,

Courtney H.
Customer Service Representative
www.zales.com

If you have additional questions, please visit our online Help Desk.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:57 pm 
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Thanks Barbra. I wonder if they will go to the trouble of changing the "synthetic" description as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:06 pm 
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We'll see... :smt102


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:34 pm 
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Synthetic hawks eye? Hmmm. What was the question she was answering?

Neil

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Hi Neil.
She was answering the question: "Exactly what is the material you are referring to as synthetic tigereye?"


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:45 pm 
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On the subject of fiber optic imitations, an easy way to observe the construction is to close the iris diaphragm of your scope down to the approximate size of the bead or cab with your darkfield lighting on.

With the stone directly over the opening you should be able to see the straight parallel bands of glass and observe their staggered terminations as they meet the outer circumference of the bead.

This example below shows the brushed look of the glass strands standing out in high relief against the lighter body color. You should be able to see a slight chatoyancy vertically down the middle.

Approx. 15X

Image


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