This paper shows that optical observations of circular polarization produced by aligned interstellar grains could yield valuable information about the grain material. The interstellar medium is known to be linearly dichroic from observations of interstellar linear polarization; many different grain models using a large variety of compositions can be found to reproduce these observations. Since the same aligned grains make the medium linearly birefringent, a small component of circular polarization can result from incident linearly polarized light if the position angle of the linear polarization does not coincide with either principal axis of the medium. Here calculations are presented to demonstrate that the wavelength of the circular polarization is sensitive to the imaginary part of the complex refractive index of the grain material. This provides an opportunity of investigating whether the grains are characteristically dielectric or metallic. Some possible observations are suggested.