They say beryl is the stone of faithful love and good relations. It is one of the most beautiful minerals on the planet which admires people for thousands of years for its excellent color and perfect clarity.

beryl crystal

There are different suggestions about the derivation of the name of this mineral. In one version of the word “beryl” translated from the ancient Indian means "stone that glitters." On the other - the name of the stone comes from the Latin word "Berillus" – meaning “shine”. Author of the term is Pliny the Elder, first mentioning this mineral in his famous "Natural History» (I century AD).

beryl yellow
pink beryl crystal

Beryl is quite common in nature. There are just a few of its precious colored species with which this mineral is usually associated. But it also has industrial importance as a major source of super-light metal - beryllium.

There are many colour gemstone varieties of this mineral the most popular of which are the emerald and aquamarine. A little less known is greenish yellow heliodor - very beautiful gem which name comes from the Greek god of the Sun - Helios and the French word “D'Or" - "gold." Its golden-yellow variety is known by the trade name "golden beryl." Quite popular is also the pink colored beryl known as morganite.

There are some other, more rare (or less known) varieties of beryl:

Noble beryl

These are considered all kinds of green shades of this mineral which differ from the emerald due to the absence of chromium and vanadium. Depending on the content of iron the green color of the stones may have a blue, yellow or brown tint.

noble beryl crystals
pink beryl monocrystal

Red beryl

Also known as "red emerald" or bixbite. This term is nowadays considered to be incorrect as there is a mineral with a very similar name - bixbyite (bixbyite). It is a rare oxide of manganese and iron having nothing to do with beryl. 

Curiously, both minerals have been named for the same man - the American mineralogist M. Bixby. Red beryl is similar to morganite but the crystals have very unusual shade of red berries. Moreover, the content of lithium and cesium in bixbite is several times less than in morganite Crystals of "red emerald" are usually translucent and their size rarely exceed 5 cm. The color of bixbite is stable on heating or irradiation.

Blue beryl 

It was first discovered in 1972 in the mine Maxix in Brazil. Hence come synonyms maxix aquamarine or beryl-mashishe. The colour og this stone is stone very unstable. In the light it turns to yellowish-brown. It is believed that this feature of the Brazilian blue beryl is associated with the presence of impurities in the forest. In 1988 in Austria was found similar patterns. Just their highly unstable colour is due to the presence in the crystal structure of the free ions of carbon trioxide (CO3) which are destroyed by light.

blue beryl monocrystal
goshenite - colourless beryl


This variant is usually colourless, sometimes with a light pink hue. The stone was named after the opening small town Goshen in Massachusetts, USA where is has been discovered. This stone remains colourless on heating of irradiation because it does not contain iron. In the past this type of beryl is often used as diamond imitation.


It is also colorless or has a pale pink color. The mineral is named for a scientist G. Roster who first described it. It differs from other similar species by the color of its lamellar crystals and the high content of sodium and lithium.

rosterite - pink beryl

Black beryl 

It is a very rare mineral. The unusual coloring is caused by numerous microscopic inclusions of black spinel. Moreover these particles are located in planes perpendicular to the main axis of the crystal, so opaque black beryl looks like parallel elongated prism. When viewed from different angles it is gray to colorless. The black color is usually apparent only in the central part of the crystals and is closer to the faces they often have a bluish color of aquamarine. Due to this unusual structure a black beryl cabochon frequently is observed star effect. Findings of this rare species are known in Brazil, Madagascar and Mozambique.

beryl different colours


Pale blue Scandium beryl, first described Italy. Occurs in the form of elongated columnar crystals and is interesting due to the presence of scandium. It is is almost never used in jewelry. The mineral is named in honor of its discoverer - mining engineer Alessandro E. Bazzi.


It is a very "young" purple-red cesium-lithium variety of beryl discovered in 2003. Named after the Italian geologist Federico Pezzotta. First discovered in Madagascar, often occurs as tabular crystals up to 8 cm. The minerals is recently found also in Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Beryl is used in jewelry since ancient times. During excavations on the banks of the Nile were found beryl beads, made in the IV millennium BC. In ancient times it found application not only in jewelry, but in glyptics.

beryl intaglio


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