The Different Beryl Varieties
|The Different Beryl Varieties |
Beryl: The Gem Mineral of Emerald, Aquamarine, MorganiteBeryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6 Beryl is a single mineral with many varieties that are distinguished by their color. Well-known varieties of beryl include emerald and aquamarine.
There are six well known types of beryl. Each type is known because of its distinctive color. The six different types of beryl include aquamarine, bixbite, emerald, goshenite, heliodor, and morganite. Of all of the varieties, emerald and aquamarine are the most sought after for their great beauty as gemstones (Beryl).
|Excellent Aquamarine from Shigar, Pakistan |
(specimen: Marcus Budil, photography: Malte Sickinger)
Aquamarine is a light bluish green form of beryl. Its specific color comes from impurities of iron that lie within the beryl. The exact color of the aquamarine itself is dependent on where the impurities are located in the beryl. Aquamarine can be a very expensive gemstone. The most sought after color is pure blue.
The pale blue color of aquamarine is attributed to Fe2+. Fe3+ ions produce golden-yellow color, and when both Fe3+ and Fe2+ are present, the color is a darker blue as in maxixe. Decoloration of maxixe by light or heat thus may be due to the charge transfer between Fe3+ and Fe2+.
|Natural Maxixe Blue Beryl|
Bixbite (Red beryl)
|Red Beryl Cystal-Gemstone, from Wah Wah Mountains Beaver|
Red beryl is very rare and has been reported only from a handful of locations: Wah Wah Mountains, Beaver County, Utah; Paramount Canyon and Round Mountain, Sierra County, New Mexico, although the latter locality does not often produce gem grade stones; and Juab County, Utah.
|Amazing Emerald from Pakistan.|
|Emerald Trapiche from Muzo Mine, Colombia|
Emeralds can be transparent and gemmy, in which case they are extremely valuable, or they can be in opaque or semi-opaque forms which are much more common and not as valuable.
|Rare trapiche emerald from Muzo Mine, Colombia.|
Credit: Luciana Barbosa
A rare type of emerald known as a Trapiche emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern; it has raylike spokes of dark carbon impurities that give the emerald a six-pointed radial pattern.
|Goshenite Beryl Pakistan.Colorless beryl is called goshenite.|
The name originates from Goshen,
Colorless beryl is called goshenite. The name originates from Goshen, Massachusetts, where it was originally discovered. Since all these color varieties are caused by impurities and pure beryl is colorless, it might be tempting to assume that goshenite is the purest variety of beryl. However, there are several elements that can act as inhibitors to color in beryl and so this assumption may not always be true.
The gem value of goshenite is relatively low. However, goshenite can be colored yellow, green, pink, blue and in intermediate colors by irradiating it with high-energy particles. The resulting color depends on the content of Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Fe, and Co impurities.
Golden Beryl and Heliodor
|Dramatic twin GOLDEN Beryl with rich color. From Zelatoya Vada Mine, Tajikistan|
Credit: Matthew Potts
Golden beryl can range in colors from pale yellow to a brilliant gold. The term Heliodor may also be used to describe light green, orange, and brown Beryl, and can be interchangeable with Golden Beryl.
|Gorgeous shining Heliodor from Volodarsk-Volynskii,, Ukraine|
Credit: © DI Anton Watzl
|This is large specimen of Morganite|
|Varieties of Beryl: Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite, Bixbite, and Heliodorl. Jeff Scovil photo|
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