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chatoyant

[shuh-toi-uh nt] /ʃəˈtɔɪ ənt/
adjective
1.
changing in luster or color:
chatoyant silk.
2.
Jewelry. reflecting a single streak of light when cut in a cabochon.
noun
3.
Jewelry. a cabochon-cut gemstone having this reflected streak, as a chrysoberyl cat's-eye.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800; < French, special use of present participle of chatoyer to change luster like a cat's eye, equivalent to chat cat1 + -oy- v. suffix + -ant -ant
Related forms
chatoyance, chatoyancy, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for chatoyance

chatoyant

/ʃəˈtɔɪənt/
adjective
1.
having changeable lustre; twinkling
2.
(of a gem, esp a cabochon) displaying a band of light reflected off inclusions of other minerals
noun
3.
a gemstone with a changeable lustre, such as a cat's eye
Derived Forms
chatoyancy, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French, from chatoyer to gleam like a cat's eyes, from chatcat1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for chatoyance

the property of some minerals to exhibit a wavy, luminous band with a silky lustre, reminiscent of the eye of a cat, in the centre of a cabochon-cut (polished, with a rounded, unfaceted convex surface) stone. The effect, caused by parallel fibres or by oriented imperfections or inclusions within the stone, is typical of cat's-eye, tigereye, satin spar, and bronzite. The fibres, imperfections, or inclusions are oriented along a crystallographic axis; it is this same kind of orientation, but along three axes, that accounts for the asterism of star sapphire and ruby.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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