Beryl

Mineralspecies comprising the varieties Emerald, Aquamarine, Golden Beryl (Heliodor), Morganite (pink), Bixbite (red) and Goshenite.

Originally the term "Heliodor" was coined as a trade name for greenish yello Beryls from Namibia. Today it is widely used to describe all yellow or greenish yellow Beryls.

Beryl shop

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Two gems in original Heliodor colour, from Orissa, India

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Golden Beryl from India

In the gem trade only greenish-yellow and green beryls (which are not coloured by chromium and thus are no emeralds) are called "Beryl".
For all other Beryls the names of the specific varieties are used e.g. Golden Beryl, Morganite, Goshenite etc.

Origin of name: the term „Beryl“ is a loanword from Latin beryllus, berillus and derives via Greek βήρυλλος, béryllos, Sytrian berulo, chaldean birula, and Prakrit veruliya वॆरुलिय from Sanskrit vaidurya वैडूर्य. Vaidur most probably was the Dravidian name of the South-Indian town of Belur.

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Bluish-green Beryl in milleniums- or concave cut

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Heliodor from the Ukraine

Synonyms and trade names: Golden Beryll und Heliodor for yellow and greenish-yellow stones, Vanadium Beryl for stones coloured green by Vanadium (but not Chromium).

Can be confused with: almost all other yellow and greenish-yello gems like e.g. Citrine, Tourmaline, Chrysoberyl, Grossular Garnet, Sapphire etc.

Handling: Beryl is heat-sensitive. Be careful during soldering. Avoid abrupt temperature changes.

Worth knowing: the German word "Brille", meaning spectacles, derives from the Latin beryllus

Beryl shop

Gemmological Properties of Beryl

Formula:
Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Crystal system:
hexagonal
Mohs hardness:
7.5-8
Specific gravity:
2.67-2.71
Refractive index:
birefringent 1.577-1.583
Max. Birefringence:
0.006
Dispersion:
0.014
Pleochroism:
weak, yellow /greenish yellow or greenish yellow /colourless
Luminiscence:
inert
Lustre:
vitreous
Cleavage:
none to imperfect
Fracture:
uneven, conchoidal
Colour:
yellow, greenish yellow, light green, light bluish green