Tiger Eye Treatment?

Hello all. I was just curious as to how tiger eye may be treated. I
though it was heat, but now am curious. I bought some various
different types of slabs on eBay, and they are all very nice. One of
them was listed as Australian Tiger Eye, and is neat looking, but I
noticed that it was dyeing my fingers yellow when I was holding it.
I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it at first, since I could still
smell the oil on all of the slabs while unpacking them. On closer
examination, I noticed part of the matrix (if that is what this
would be considered) seemed softer than the rest of the slab, and
when I put a dab of water on it, a more yellow came off on my hands.
I put it in the kitchen sink under running water, and couldn’t
believe how much yellow was running everywhere. It was like they
soaked it in some kind of dye. When I pressed on the part it was
coming from, the rock started crumbling off in pretty decent sized
pieces, like chalk. I am hoping that it was just a somewhat small
area of softer rock, as I was wanting to use part of that area for a
cab. The actual tiger eye looking part has seemed to become a little
more dull after rinsing it off really good, as well. The auction url
if anyone wants to see the picture they have posted on it is:

eBay URL removed

I am also becoming curious as to what localities tiger eye is
normally found in. I have seen many people list the origin of where
the other type of rocks they are selling came from, but don’t recall
ever seeing anyone say where their tiger eye was found.

Thanks for any help you may be able to give. It is much appreciated.

Heather Plessner

–In WA state, where the weather can’t make up it’s mind what it
wants to do.

There are a few varieties that are found in Australia, the best of
which (IMHO) is called Mara Mamba, and is quite expensive. You may
have a variety called Tiger Iron. It’s matrix is complicated and it
can be quite hard, but the stone is primarily Golden Tiger’s Eye,
Red Jasper and Hematite. Outside parts of the matrix can also be
very soft, too. Yours may or may not be dyed. It would be
difficult/impossible to tell from a photo.

Tiger’s Eye (or Tigereye, Tiger Eye, etc.) is sometimes dyed or
bleached for different results. It is also heated to get the red
color and that can actually be done by anybody with a toaster oven
that can reach 400F. However, never try it with a piece you can’t
afford to lose. If you do decide to try, I’ve had some fun results
by surrounding a piece with sand in a pan and ramping the
temperature up to 400 over a period of 3 hours, holding for 2 hours,
and ramping back down for another 3. I’ve had varying results with
doing this. Tiger’s Eye sometimes comes out of the ground red in
color, but theories abound as to how the phenomenon occurred.
Whether from a natural geologic event, or as a result of burning the
local brush before mining, heat is generally considered the reason.

    I am also becoming curious as to what localities tiger eye is
normally found in. 

Sources include India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Myanmar and, of
course, Western Australia. There is also a very interesting
chatoyant quartz from Arizona in the US that many refer to as
Arizona Tiger’s Eye. Blue varieties of Tiger’s Eye are often called
Bull’s Eye, or Falcon’s Eye. Some pieces are interspersed with gold
and blue, and are sometimes called Zebra Tiger’s Eye. My favorite
variety is Pietersite, which occurs as a sort of broken-up, or
brecchiated version in the familiar yellow/golden, red and/or blue.
Pietersite is sometimes referred to as Eagle’s Eye. Get yourself
some of this (if you can find some good quality) for a real treat!

James in SoFl

I hadn’t heard about this problem with tigereye, but unfortunately
it doesn’t surprise me, as the good African material is getting more
expensive, since they don’t want to ship unfinished rough any more.
However, you might have a problem of a different sort here.
Tigereye, as I understand it, is formed either by replacement of, or
concurrent growth with, asbestos. It sounds like what you have is
not completely silicified, which may mean it’s still mostly
asbestos. Get thee to a geologist quickly, BEFORE cabbing, and get
an opinion as to whether there is free asbestos coming out along
with the dye and fragments. Most colleges have at least one earth
scientist hanging around that would be tickled to feel needed.


Hi Heather and list

Much of the Australian tiger eye is chalky and will dissolve in
water. I have been cutting a lot of Brockman (Australian tiger eye)
this last year as well as the marra mamba.

Tiger eye is a quartz replacement of crocidolite and stained yellow
gold by iron. The yellow stain you’re describing is crocidolite that
never turned hard, you might say from lack of quartz and/or perhaps
it never completed the morphing process. This is probably what is
turning your hands yellow. I have seen quite a bit of rough like you
aredescribing and none I have worked with was dyed. It might be able
to be treated some way, perhaps with opticon. I have never tried it
and really doubt you would have anything if it did treatexcept a lot
of work and money wasted and no chatoyance. My best advice is ask the
sellers if it is solid andwhether it willpolish if you’re buying

Many times a piece of rough will have a few small soft areas but
still have plenty of good areas that will cut. And if you are cutting
a stone and a tiny spot or two come up that isthe soft stuff, you
could clean and dry the stone and then put a drop of super glue on
the small areas and finish the stone.

I have been working on a web page just for tiger eye, the types and
some treatments. I have a little more work to go on it yet but you
might find it interesting? I hope it helps some.



Tiger eye is no longer considered to be pseudomorph. The quartz and
the crocidolite co-exist in the material.

See the full reference in the archives at:

cathy gaber

Hi, Steve, I really enjoyed your info page on tigereye, and your site
in general. I tried to use your feedback feature to suggest you
include a link to yout auctions, but there are two unlabeled spaces.
I didn’t know what to put in them, and the feature wouldn’t accept
my comment with them empty… Good looking stuff, though, and I plan
to visit more.


Hi Noel

There is a glitch in the feedback form, it should say ‘name’ and
‘email address’ next to the two blank boxes. I’m sorry and I’ll work
on it today. In the meantime you can email me if you like through
the email links on any page.

Cathy, Thank you very much for the update on the pseudomorph issue!
Colored Stone is a great resource of just as this forum
is. I don’t post much but I’m very happy to be a part of this great
group. I will update my tiger’s eye page with this new
update, THANK YOU!


Tiger eye is no longer considered to be pseudomorph. The quartz
and the crocidolite co-exist in the material.

I know - they are thought to actually grow concurrently. That
doesn’t mean that the asbestos can’t be relased if there is a poorly
silicified area. I’d personally be a bit nervous working with
friable material known to contain something that dangerous. They
close down schools for less.