Beryl Stone | Meaning and Properties



green beryl mineral on display in a museum cabinet



About the Mineral Beryl

Beryl is a natural mineral that comes in many different varieties but as a gemstone in its own right it's relatively unknown.  In its purest form beryl is colourless but with the presence of various impurities which occur during its formation shades of red, green, yellow and blue are introduced.  Blue beryl is known as aquamarine whilst green is emerald but with that said, not all green beryl has the right to be called emerald.  Strict guidelines are in place to check a stone's eligibility, if colour is not evenly spread, intense enough or the shade of green is too light it will simply be known as green beryl.

When pink beryl is cut as a gemstone it's known as morganite having been named after the American banker J.P Morgan.  The greenish to yellow coloured stone is heliodor and colourless gemstones are known as goshenite.  Red beryl which is by far the rarest variety was originally named bixbite but the name was later removed due to possible confusion with another mineral with a similar name that was discovered by the same mineralogist.  The colour of red beryl is caused by trace amounts of manganese and it's one of the world's rarest minerals which can only be found in a few locations worldwide.



red beryl crystal on rock matrix


Red Beryl - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles - Photo Courtesty of Stan Celestian - Flickr




Prior to 1969 beryl was the primary ore of the rare chemical element beryllium but since then this exceptionally light weight steely grey coloured metal has mostly been extracted from bertrandite. Although it can also be found in a number of other minerals most are extremely rare.

Gemstones cut from the mineral beryl are highly sought after and many of the world's largest and flawless specimens can be found in museum collections around the world.

Beryl which grades 7½ to 8 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness is believed to have been one of the gemstones in high priest breastplate.  This religious garment is spoken about in the bible and was worn by the Jewish high priest.

Although aquamarine is the traditional birthstone for the month of October beryl is also considered to be acceptable because it's basically the same stone. 

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

The green beryl in our photo is from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil and is currently on display in London's Natural History Museum. Photo by Stone Mania ©.



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Further Reading

Information from Wikipedia