BerylThe Word "brilliance" is possibly derived from the ancient greek word for beryl, "berullos", which means crystal. We all admire the green fire of an emerald and the aqua blue magnetism of aquamarine, but not many realize that they are different colors of the same mineral - beryl.
Other, much less known members of the beryl family are colorless beryl, or goshenite, which shows off the brilliance of this gem family, pink and peach morganite, heliodor, also known as golden beryl; rare red beryl, and pale green beryl, which is a green version of aquamarine.
The most popular of the other beryls is probably Morganite, which is pastel pink to peach or lavender. It was first discovered in California in the Pala pegmatites in 1905, and later in Madagascar. There are also deposits in Russia, Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia and Afghanistan.
Morganite is relatively rare, which stands in the way of it becoming a jewelry stone. The largest faceted morganite is a cushion-shape, about 600.00-carat from Madagascar in the collection of the British Museum.
Heliodor, or golden beryl, is named after the greek words for sun "helios" and gift "doron". The sunny yellow color of this beryl lives up to its name.
Heliodor was discovered in Namibia in 1910 in a pegmatite that also produced aquamarine, which is also colored by iron.
Heliodore is also found in Brazil and Madagascar. The largest faceted heliodor, 2,054 carats, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Red beryl is the rarest member of the beryl family. It is mined in only one place: the Wah Wah Mountains in Utah. The color is stoplight red. This deposit produces very small quantities of this gem, and most of the gems produced are under a carat in size, and many have inclusions. Clean specimens over a carat are very rare and are very expensive.
Colorless beryl, or goshenite, is also relatively rare. It is named after a deposit where it was found in Goshen, Massachusetts. Because of their brilliance and durability, all the gemstones in the beryl family are perfect for jewelry use.
|Beryl - Main Characteristics|
|Hardness (Mohs Scale)||Eight (8)|
|Composition||Beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate.|
|Crystal Shape||Grained minerals.|
|Color/Spectrum||Pink, peach, yellow, red, green, etc.|
|Atomic (Crystal )Structure||Hexagon.|
|Index of Refraction||1.57 -1.60|
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