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Focus On A Piece: Cosmic Tiger’s Eye Bracelet

The Cosmic Tiger’s Eye Bracelet is made of lustrous tiger’s eye gemstone, and 925 silver, which had been painted gold colour through a process of electrophoresis.

Tiger’s eye is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that comes with a silky, red-brown to golden luster. The stone has similar characteristics to those of quartz.  The tiger’s eye differs from many artificially modified honey-coloured rocks, as it has natural dark lines that look like eyes of a tiger. Sometimes the stones go through a light heat treatment especially if they are dark red in colour. The very dark rocks are lightened by the use of nitric acid treatments to give them a honey-like appearance.

To enhance its appearance, the gemstone is usually cut en cabochon. This means it is shaped and polished in the ovular way as opposed to faceting. The result of this procedure is a rounded highly polished, drop-shaped stone. In case of this particular bracelet, the stone was made into round beads.

It takes a lot of care and skill to create a gold painted silver pieces.  The most common procedure used to obtain such effect is called electrophoresis.

Electrophoresis is the method by which some particles move relative to the fluid under the influence of some electric field around them. In the application, the silver particles are suspended in a liquid medium. The particles are then migrated to onto the electrode by an electric charge. The resulting plated material is stable and uniformly all through the electrode. This is the reason why the colour is more lasting and does not come off easily with friction and use.

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