Tiger Iron, also known as Mugglestone, is found primarily in Australia and South Africa. It is a banded stone containing layers of golden tiger’s eye, red (and sometimes yellow) jasper and hematite.
The tiger’s eye quartz in this gemstone demonstrates chatoyancy, an optical effect which creates a luminous sheen reminiscent of a cat’s eye. Indeed, that is where the effect gets its name, from the French œil de chat (cat’s eye). The arrangement of fibres in tiger’s eye is responsible for this chatoyancy.
Jasper, a blend of chalcedony and opaque quartz, comes in several colours such as red, yellow, brown, green and blue and can have spots, blotches or stripes. In fact, the name jasper, handed down through the millennia from Asian and Middle-eastern languages, means “spotted or speckled stone”. The red jasper in tiger iron is caused by iron inclusions.
Hematite is an iron oxide which can be black, steel grey, silver, or a dark reddish-brown. Its main use is as ore for iron, and the deep red varieties make a pigment. Powdered rouge (used in paint and cosmetics), red or yellow ochre clay and the red drawing chalk, sanguine, all contain various amounts of hematite.
So why is Tiger Iron sometimes called Mugglestone? Some believe that tiger iron is a protective stone which deflects harmful energy caused by the judgments of others. We first saw the term muggle in Harry Potter, of course, referring to non-magickal folk, or to those who don’t believe in magick or consider it evil. How appropriate, then, that this grounding stone, which contains the strength of iron, is often used to repel negativity and provide power, stamina and positive energy in the face of adversity!