Everyone admires the green fire of emerald and the watery blue charm of aquamarine, but not many realize that they are different colors of the same mineral: beryl. There are other members of the beryl family much less known then their famous cousins. Pink and peach morganite, named after gem collector extraordinaire J.P. Morgan; heliodor, also known as golden beryl; rare red beryl, which is as red as emerald is green; pale green beryl, which is a green version of aquamarine; and colorless beryl, or goshenite, which shows off the brilliance of this gem family.
All the gemstones in the beryl family are brilliant and durable and perfect for jewelry use.
The name beryl is derived (via Latin: beryllus, Old French: beryl, and Middle English: beril) from Greek beryllos which referred to a "precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone" and originated from Prakrit veruliya and Pali veḷuriya ; veḷiru ; from Sanskrit vaidurya-, which is ultimately of Dravidian origin, maybe from the name of Belur or "Velur" in southern India. The term was later adopted for the mineral beryl more exclusively.The Late Latin word berillus was abbreviated as brill- which produced the Italian word brillare meaning "shine", the French word brille meaning "shine", the Spanish word brillo, also meaning "shine", and the English word brilliance. Beryl of various colors is found most commonly in granitic pegmatites, but also occurs in mica schists in the Ural Mountains, and limestone in Colombia. Beryl is often associated with tin and tungsten ore bodies. Beryl is found in Europe in Norway, Austria, Germany, Sweden (especially morganite), Ireland and Russia, as well as Brazil, Colombia, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, the United States, and Zambia. U.S. beryl locations are in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
New England's pegmatites have produced some of the largest beryls found, including one massive crystal from the Bumpus Quarry in Albany, Maine 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. As of 1999, the world's largest known naturally occurring crystal of any mineral is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 meters long and 3.5 meters in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kilogrammes.
The Beryl family of gemstones are quite popular, not only for their range of color, but also for their high brilliance and excellent hardness of 7.5, making them quite suitable for everyday wear.
The ancient Greeks used the refracting properties of beryl to create the first spectacles known to man. At the time of Nero white or clear beryl was found on the Island of Elba and it was often cut to create eyeglasses.
Beryl originates from Mesopatamia and was worshiped as a magic stone by the ancient Hebrews, as it was believed to strengthen ones belief in God. The modern bible states that one day it will take it's place in the walls of the New Jerusalem.
See particular gemstone pages for more specific healing information:
In the next five days I will be posting aquamarine, bixbite, Goshenite, heliodor and Morganite separately.
I hope you enjoyed reading the wonderful world of gemstones. Come back and see me tomorrow for a new gemstone