Beryl is a term, which is representing a group of gemstones of different colors. Thus, under this term is meant such gems as: Emerald (Deep-Green Beryl), Aquamarine (Bluish-Green Beryl), Heliodor (Golden Beryl), Goshenite (Colorless Beryl), Morganite (Rose Beryl) and Red Beryl, whereas the Chrysoberyl is an absolutely different gemstone and has no relation to the Beryl.
In spite of the different color, all these gemstones possess the same qualities, such as hardness (7,5 – 8/10, according to the Mohs Scale), optical properties, physical & chemical properties, etc.
It is known, that our ancestors were acquainted with Beryl, they obtained it from India, Middle East and Russia (Siberia). The evidences, preserved to our days, illustrate that the Beryl has been used in the Ancient Greece more than 2000 years ago. The Greeks used the Beryl for engraving. Furthermore, the Beryl was the only gemstone, that has been cut with the facets by the Roman ancient jewelers.
Particularities of Beryl
The crystals of Beryl possess dichroism, that means, that they are capable to demonstrate different colors under the different angle. This is one of the main virtues, that distinguish the genuine Beryl from the inferior imitations.
The specimens of Beryl don’t possess such brilliancy as the diamond, due to weak double refraction and dispersion, however the brilliancy of Beryl is more visible under the artificial light, hence the Beryls are chiefly so-called “evening gems.”
Value of Beryl
Common Beryl is not a valuable gemstone, except such its variety as Emerald, thus it is usually classified as semi-precious stone, however, the Emerald, in turn, on the contrary, classified as the precious stone which is ranked next to the Diamond. Moreover, as we know, the flawless Emerald is estimated more valuable, than the Diamond.
The common Beryl, which occurs in the deposit, is usually too clouded and fractured, and, therefore, is not suitable for the jewelry purposes. That’s why, some particularly noticeable varieties of Beryl have been isolated from the common Beryls into the separate group of precious and semi-precious stones.
The Emerald is chiefly obtained from Muzo, in Boyacá Department, Colombia, 75 miles north-northwest of Bogota. This mine was known even in XVI century, and was owned by the Colombian government. The mines, located in this spot, have been developed since 1558, and since that time has been a chief source of the Emeralds of the Middle Ages.
Another spot has been located at 45 miles east of Ekaterinburg in Russia. The specimens of Emerald, obtained here, were much larger than the South America specimens.
The third location of the Emerald deposits was discovered in the Upper Egypt and has been known to the ancients many centuries ago.
Aquamarine & Common Beryl Mines
The deposits of Aquamarine and the common Beryl were discovered in India, Brazil, United States and Russia. Many Beryls of immense size have been obtained in these mines. Numerous of giant Beryls are stored now in the several museums of the world. For instance, one specimen of Beryl was obtained in Brazil and weighs 225 ounces troy, whereas, another remarkable specimen of Beryl, which is stored in the Field Columbian Museum weighs 331 carats.
Golden Beryl, Rose Beryl, Colorless Beryl Mines
The principal deposits of Golden Beryl chiefly located in the United States, Sri Lanka and Russia.
Beryl of pale rose color is quite rare, but when it is found, it is often used for jewelry purposes as rare gemstone.
Magical properties, attributed to Beryl
In the Middle Ages, the Beryl was called “the pleasant stone.” There was a belief that Beryl helps its wearer to acquire such talents as clairvoyance, foreknowledge as well as afflatus.