The beryl family are one of the most popular gemstones, and include prized jewels such as gorgeous emerald, vivacious aquamarine and pretty morganite.
Whether you’re looking for a stunning pair of emerald earrings, an outstanding aquamarine necklace or a refreshing original heliodor ring, the following guide will explore some interesting facts about beryl gems.
Introduction to Beryl Gems
The defining structure of the mineral beryl is aluminium and beryllium silicates, with specific trace elements giving different varieties their lovely individual colours.
Few other gemstones have so many known varieties specifically distinguished by their colour, while each type can also differ in transparency and clarity. Beryl is naturally transparent, but inclusions (inherent fractures) tend to make beryl’s crystal opaque, so this is more common than the transparent variety. Precious beryl is the term used to distinguish the transparent range from the opaque type.
The most popular of the beryl family is the precious gemstone emerald, famous for its deep sparkle and rich green colour. Aquamarine, a blue to blue-green variety of beryl, is also highly sought after. Then there is morganite, highly popular with ladies, which varies from a pretty pink hue to light-purple in colour.
Lesser well known examples of beryl, yet nonetheless exquisite, include heliodor, a yellow to greenish-yellow and brown variety, and Golden beryl which is a rich golden yellow to orange-yellow in colour. These two are often confused by ordinary people, but gemmologists find them to have specific differences.
Green beryl is distinguished from emerald because the latter features a deeper green. Meanwhile, many authorities don’t recognise Green beryl as a variety on its own and prefer to simply include it as a form of heliodor.
Another type of beryl which is well worth mentioning is Red beryl, otherwise known as bixbite. This gorgeously fiery variety is extremely rare and difficult to obtain in the high quality needed for use in jewellery, since it only comes from two localities in Utah, US.
Main Sources of Beryl
Beryl gemstones are found in many localities worldwide, though of course the different types vary in source and abundance.
Columbia is arguably the most famous source of emerald, but important deposits are also found in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The traditional source for aquamarine is Brazil, but recently some very fine Mozambique beryl has come onto the market.
Golden beryl is primarily found in Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, while morganite, is found in Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and California plus Utah in the US.
Beryl Buyers Tips
- Surprisingly, the most expensive beryl, emerald, tends to have the most inclusions and the least transparency. Nevertheless, emerald has long been highly prized for its incomparable green colour.
- Emeralds are commonly oiled in the jewellery industry to hide their flaws and inclusions, while aquamarine and morganite are often heat treated to intensify their colours. Green beryl from certain deposits is sometimes also heat treated to produce sky-blue aquamarine.
- Transparent Precious beryl is sensitive to pressure and is affected by household chemicals, so do be careful to remove jewellery featuring this variety when performing cleaning tasks.
- Beryl measures 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness – this means that the gem is reasonably durable (ten being the highest rating) and therefore suitable for use in rings and bracelets which tend to bear the biggest brunt of daily wear and tear.
Zodiac & Health Benefits
In ancient times, beryl was thought to be effective in warding off demons and evil spirits. It was also used as a talisman to protect the wearer from dangers whilst travelling and to promote good luck.
The healing properties of this gemstone, believed by many, include its ability to cure a number of intestinal and stomach related illness as well as aiding in the treatment of disorders of the heart and spine.
Any colour beryl is thought to strengthen the magnetism of the wearer, giving him or her sex appeal and charm. Morganite in particular is believed to act as an aphrodisiac.
Another interesting fact is that the ancient Greeks used the refracting properties of beryl (the white variety) to create the first spectacles known to man.
From alluring morganite pendants to dazzling emerald earrings, the beryl family of gemstones offers a range of varieties to captivate the eye and make any jewellery item stand out.
Author Bio: Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers.
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