Exploring Cat Eye Beads
The cat eye bead is the perfect way to make a lasting impression whether worn or in a jewelry design. This unique and quirky bead is created from glass consisting of fiber optics. Like their name sake suggests, cat eye beads produce a sliver of reflected light through the fibers that reside in the bead. This effect is referred to as chatoyancy and is considered an optical reflectance effect that is only seen in certain gemstones. This effect arises from the fibrous structure of a material and gives the impression of looking into the eyes of a cat at night, hence the name of the bead. The streak of reflected light runs perpendicular to the direction of the fibers. This effect is generally attained when the glass is cut en cabochon, with the fibers running parallel to the base of the cut glass.
One of the many singular, unique features of the cat eye bead is the way that the center of the bead captures and reflects light outward causing the color to change within the depths of the bead.Given the exclusive look of the cat eye bead, they draw attention to themselves and can be a fascinating conversation starter when worn. With all of these qualities retained in a cat eye bead, along with the textures and shapes they come in, the bead makes for an interesting choice to use when creating jewelry designs.
Cat eye beads also come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. The circular beads retain their popularity because the light effect that gives the bead its name is much more evident in this shape. Given their exotic nature, cat eye beads make for a regal choice in any jewelry configuration, whether worn in a bracelet or necklace. Given the arduous process of creating fiber optic glass, it is more expensive than regular glass but well worth it.