Three varieties of beryl: Morganite, Aquamarine, and Heliodor
|Category||Silicate Mineral species|
|Molecular Weight||537.50 gm|
|Color||Green, Blue, Yellow, Colorless, Pink etc...|
|Crystal habit||Massive to well Crystalline|
|Crystal system||Hexagonal - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal|
|Cleavage||Imperfect on the |
|Mohs Scale hardness||7.5-8|
|Optical Properties||Uniaxial (-)|
|Birefringence||δ = 0.004 - 0.007|
|Diaphaneity||Transparent to opaque|
The mineral beryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. The hexagonal crystals of beryl may be very small or range to several meters in size. Terminated crystals are relatively rare. Beryl exhibits conchoidal fracture, has a hardness of 7.5–8, a specific gravity of 2.63–2.80. It has a vitreous luster and can be transparent or translucent. Its cleavage is poor basal and its habit is dihexagonal bipyramidal. Pure beryl is colorless, but it is frequently tinted by impurities; possible colors are green, blue, yellow, red, and white. The name comes from the Greek beryllos which refered to a precious blue-green color of sea water stone. The term was later adopted for the mineral Beryl more exclusivly.
Varieties of beryl have been considered gemstones since prehistoric times. Recognized for its beauty, in the Bible, in Ezekiel 1:16, the wheels of God's throne are described as having the appearance of "gleaming beryl". Green beryl is called emerald, red beryl is bixbite or red emerald or scarlet emerald, blue beryl is aquamarine, pink beryl is morganite, colorless beryl is goshenite, and a clear bright yellow beryl is called golden beryl. Other shades such as yellow-green for heliodor and honey yellow are common. Red beryl is extremely rare and is not used in jewelry as the crystals it forms are very small. It is mined primarily in Utah. Blue beryl (aquamarine) when exposed to sunlight will not fade in color. Maxixe type beryl is a deep blue stone that fades to white when exposed to sunlight or is subjected to heat treatment, though the color returns with irradiation.
Beryl is found most commonly in granitic pegmatites, but also occurs in mica schists in the Ural Mountains and is often associated with tin and tungsten orebodies. Beryl is found in certain European countries such as Austria, Germany, and Ireland. It also occurs in Madagascar (especially morganite).
The most famous source of emeralds in the world is at Muzo and Chivor, Boyacá, Colombia, where they make a unique appearance in limestone. Emeralds are also found in the Transvaal, South Africa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and near Mursinka in Urals. In the United States emeralds are found in North Carolina. New England's pegmatites have produced some of the largest beryls found, including one massive crystal with dimensions 5.5 m by 1.2 m (18 ft by 4 ft) with a mass of around 18 metric tons. It is New Hampshire's State Mineral. Other beryl locations include South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and California.
As of 1999, the largest known crystal of any mineral in the world is a crystal of beryl from Madagascar, 18 metres long and 3.5 metres in diameter.
The druids used beryl for scrying, while the Scottish called them “stones of power”. The earliest crystal balls were made from beryl, later being replaced by rock crystal.
- Emerald rough 300x422.jpg
Beryl var. emerald.
Beryl var. aquamarine, Brazil
- Beryl made in Tajikistan.jpg
Synthetic beryl made in Tajikistan
- Pierre-img 0591.jpg
- Pierre-img 0592.jpg
A 9.76-carat faceted morganite
- Emerald specimen with matrix.jpg
Emerald with host rock
- Sinkankas, John, 1994, Emerald & Other Beryls, Geoscience Press, ISBN 0-8019-7114-4
- Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., John Wiley and Sons, New York ISBN 0-471-80580-7
- Gems Explained
- Mineral Galleries
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