Beryl is a most alluring and popular mineral. It occurs in a diversity of colors, and has several important gemstone varieties. Beryl contains a very rare element called beryllium, which is only found in about 100 minerals.
The first recorded use of beryl was in Egyptian times, although it is suspected that it was used even further back. It has always been considered a precious stone and is often found in decorative jewelry, weapons and clothing.
Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is like a cool plunge into a refreshing pool. Few people have ever heard of the name beryl, but almost everyone knows Emerald and Aquamarine, the most common variety. The stone priced for its beautiful seawater blue shades, the birthstone for March, aquamarine is one of the most popular members of the beryl family, a sibling to emerald, morganite, bixbite, heliodor, and goshenite. The color ranges, depending on the relative concentrations and location of iron within the beryl crystal structure. Aquamarine's tranquil color and crystalline clarity capture the beauty of the sea, which is fitting as its name is formed from the Latin words "aqua," meaning water, and "mare," meaning sea. Found universally in cavities in pegmatites or in alluvial deposits and forms larger and clearer crystals than emeralds. A favorite among gemstone lapidaries, rough aquamarine is relatively easy to fashion, so lapidaries often create imaginative aquamarine cuts and shapes.
Chrysoberyl is a beryllium-aluminum oxide mineral with a chemical composition of BeAl2O4. It is distinctly different from the beryllium-aluminum silicate (Be3Al2(SiO3)6 mineral known as "beryl," although the similar names can cause confusion. Chrysoberyl is best known for its use as a gem. There are multiple varieties of gem chrysoberyl, each with its own name and unique physical properties.Ordinary chrysoberyl is a yellow to yellow-green to green gemstone with a translucent to transparent diaphaneity. Transparent specimens are usually cut into faceted stones. Specimens that are translucent or with silk are usually cut into cabochons. A photo of ordinary chrysoberyl is shown at the top of this page. The name chrysoberyl comes from the Greek words chrysos, meaning golden, and beryllos, which refers to its beryllium content. Chrysoberyl has been a prized stone for thousands of years in Asia, as it is believed to provide the wearer with protection from the evil eye. There are three different gem varieties of chrysoberyl. Each of these stones is chemically alike, but optically very different, each one having a unique and beautiful feature of its own. The pale yellow green variety of chrysoberyl came from Brazil, and was known as chrysolite. Today however, the most popular varieties of chrysoberyl are cat’s eye and alexandrite. Alexandrite, which is a very durable and rare stone, displays a beautiful color change. In the daylight, it is green, but under incandescent light, it changes to a red, mauve, or brown color. It has been said that alexandrite was named after czar Alexander II, as it was discovered on the czar’s birthday in 1830, in the Ural Mountains.
Green variety of beryl, the name is originated from the Greek word smaragdos, which is given to number of green colored stones besides emerald.
The Lore of emerald, to the Egyptians, emeralds were a symbol of fertility and life.
Morganite is the pink to orange-pink variety of beryl, After morganite’s discovery in Madagascar in 1910, Tiffany & Co introduced this gem to the American market. They named it in honor of the financier J. P. Morgan, who was himself reputed to be an avid gem collector. Morganite is a translucent to transparent beryl, with traces of manganese producing its magnificent rose, magnolia and peach tints. Morganites are mining is currently taking place mainly in Afghanistan, Brazil and Madagascar.