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Beryl Stone Properties Facts and Photos

green beryl mineral variety emerald in a museum display cabinet

Blue Beryl is Aquamarine Green is Emerald

Beryl stone is a natural mineral that comes in many different varieties.  As a gemstone in its own right it's relatively unknown.

In its purest form beryl is colourless.  With the presence of impurities that occur during the crystal's formation shades of red, green, yellow and blue can be introduced.

Although often described as blue beryl, the colour of aquamarine can vary from blue to greenish blue to almost green.  Green beryl with a deep saturated colour and darker tone is known as emerald.  Where the shade of green is not intense enough or the shade is too light, the stone will just be known as green beryl.

Strict guidelines are in place to ensure a green beryl stone meets all the necessary requirements before being classified as emerald.

Pink beryl is known as morganite although the stone is rarely distinctively pink.  Stones with a greenish yellow or golden yellow colour are known as heliodor.  Colourless beryl mainly when cut as a gemstone is known as goshenite.

Red beryl one of the world's rarest minerals was originally named bixbite.  The name was later removed due to possible confusion with another mineral with a similar name discovered by the same mineralogist.

blue beryl mineral variety aquamarine

Prior to 1969 beryl was the primary ore of the rare chemical element beryllium.  Since then this exceptionally lightweight metal has mostly been extracted from the mineral bertrandite.  Although it can also be found in a number of other minerals, most are extremely rare.

Gemstones cut from beryl are highly sought after.  Many of the world's largest and flawless stones are housed in museum collections around the world.

Beryl which grades 7.5 to 8 on Mohs scale of hardness is believed to have been one of the gemstones in the high priest breastplate.  This biblical garment was worn by the first Jewish high priest.

Although aquamarine is the traditional birthstone for the month of October, beryl can be used as an alternative because it's basically the same stone. The same applies for emerald which is the birthstone for May.

Beryl is mined primarily in Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and the United States.

Article Pictures

The green beryl in our first picture is from Colombia. This piece is on display in the Natural History Museum Los Angeles. The second picture is blue beryl or aquamarine from Afghanistan. Both photographs are courtesy of Stan Celestian.

Images are clickable are redirect to the original non-compressed photo.

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