Despite sameness in properties, the Ox Eye, better known as Red Tiger’s Eye stands out from other varieties of Tiger’s eye with its rippling band of earthy red hues and stripe pattern. When held under a light, it produces an awesome gentle flash. The glassy and silky luster of this stone makes this effect more grandiose and attractive. The fibers are sometimes curved and this adds to the beauty of the light effect emitted when moved towards the light. With a refractive index of 1.544 to 1.553 and birefringence of 0.009, Red Tiger’s Eye boasts of a positive sign and uniaxial optical character. It manifests no pleochroic quality when moved to a different angle or direction.
Found in South Africa, Brazil, India, Namibia and India, Ox Eye belongs to the category of tumbled gemstone. It is a variety of chalcedony quartz. Before forming into quartz, just like other varieties of Tiger’s Eye, crocidolite, an asbestos-like fibrous blue mineral that is comprised of sodium and iron is first formed. Without losing its fibrous nature, the crocidolite slowly metamorphoses into chalcedony quartz. The sodium and iron are dissolved as the crocidolite transforms into quartz. Within the stone, some observable parallel lines which are marks of hydrated oxide from iron are left. It is this trace of remaining hydrated oxide that gives the stone its color. An amount of iron presence determines the color shade of Ox Eye.
Chemically formularized as SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide), Red Tiger’s Eye forms into a trigonal crystal system with a polished surface. It is a gemstone with an impressive Mohs hardness of 7. Its specific gravity ranges from 2.64 to 2.69. The stone has a good toughness and stability with splintery fracture and no cleavage. When it is dyed, the fibrous structure will hold dye concentration.
Reputed as a practical and strong stone, Red Tiger Eye has been used both in the past and present to make decorative ornaments, boxes, jewelry, pyramids, spheres, obelisks and various kinds of items. Sculptors of the old world used it as the eyes of sculpted or carved images.
Many believe that this stone imbues courage and removes fear from the possessor. Many people keep it in order to build up their muscular and skeletal systems. It also has some aphrodisiac effect. It is an energy booster and thus a good stone to possess when weighed down by lethargic feelings and tiredness. Associated with the root Chakra and astrological signs of Aries, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, many people wear this stone as an amulet for protection against ill-wishes. Possessing this stone is believed to be a veritable means of accelerating the metabolic and immune functions of the body.