Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Beryl - Mineral

Last updated date: 20th May 2024
Total views: 338.7k
Views today: 10.38k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon

What is Beryl?

Beryl is the most common and important topic of the earth science branch. In this article, we have covered all the important points about the beryl. Let us discuss the beryl meaning, Beryl is a silicate mineral with the chemical formula Be3Al2Si6O18. It is a very rare mineral. It can be found in both igneous and metamorphic rocks all over the world.

Beryl has long been used as a minor beryllium ore, and colour varieties of the mineral are among the most common beryl gemstones in the world.

The most common beryl varieties are emerald, aquamarine, heliodor, and morganite. The chemical formula for beryl minerals is Be3Al2Si6O18, which stands for beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. Emerald and aquamarine are two well-known beryl varieties. Hexagonal beryl crystals can grow to be several metres in length in nature, but terminated crystals are uncommon. Green beryl, blue beryl, yellow beryl, and red beryl are some of the potential colours; pure beryl is colourless, although it is often tinted by impurities (the rarest). Beryl comes in a variety of colours, including black. It is a beryllium ore source.

Properties of Beryl

The physical properties of beryl that decide its value as a gem are the most significant. By far the most significant factor is colour. The gem's colour decides if it's an emerald, aquamarine, morganite, and so on. The quality and saturation of a gem's colour can have a significant effect on its value.

The importance of clarity cannot be overstated. The most desirable gems are transparent gems with absolute transparency, no inclusions, cracks, or other internal characteristics. It can be difficult to find these in large enough quantities to make large gems.

The longevity of beryl varies from average to excellent. It has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8, making it scratch-resistant when used in jewellery. It is one of the most difficult gem materials to work with.

Beryl, on the other hand, is brittle and splits through cleavage. Many emerald specimens, in particular, are fragmented or heavily included.

Because of these flaws, beryl may be damaged by impact, heat, or temperature changes.

It's not always easy to spot Beryl. Its prismatic, hexagonal shape with flat terminations and lack of striations is a good aid in recognition when it occurs as a well-formed crystal. The high hardness of beryl and its low specific gravity help to distinguish it from other gem materials.

Types of Beryl Stones

Today, the most common economic use of beryl is in the form of beryl stones, also known as gemstones. It comes in a variety of colours that cater to a wide range of customers. Let us discuss the different types of beryl stones one by one. 

Emerald Beryl

Emeralds are gem-quality beryl specimens distinguished by their green hue. A stone must have a rich, distinct colour in the bluish-green to green to the yellowish-green range to be classified as an emerald. If the stone isn't a deep, saturated green, it should be referred to as a green beryl rather than an emerald.

Some people still claim that the term "emerald" can only be used for stones that are green due to chromium rather than vanadium. Iron-coloured material is almost always too light to be called emerald and lacks the distinctive green colour that emerald is known for.

The most common and valuable beryl variety is emerald. It is the only birthstone associated with the month of May. An alternative birthstone was not named because it is the world's most common green gemstone.

The gemstones emerald, sapphire, and ruby are known as the "big three." In the United States, more money is expended on these than on all other coloured stones combined. In recent years, the United States has imported more emerald than ruby and sapphire combined. Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe are all major emerald producers. In the United States, a small amount of emerald is mined sporadically near Hiddenite, North Carolina.

Emerald is a lovely gemstone, but it is often broken or heavily included. The majority of emeralds sold in stores have been handled in some way.

Glass or resins are often impregnated into fractures to strengthen the stone and hide the fractures. To mask cracks and surface-reaching inclusions, stones are often waxed or oiled. Inclusions are often reduced in visibility by heating and drilling.

Even after these procedures, a person with a little experience can normally look into a display case at a standard mall jewellery store and recognise natural and lab-created stones by their clarity with fair success. The lab-created stones are translucent and have a bright green hue. The majority of natural stones are transparent or have obvious inclusions and fractures. Natural stones that don't have these characteristics are extremely rare and expensive.

Natural stones, with their obvious defects, are preferred by many people. Others favour lab-created stones for their clarity and colour, as well as their lower price. In several department stores and mall jewellery stores, lab-created emeralds make up a large portion of the stones on display and for sale.

Aquamarine Beryl

Blue beryl is another name for aquamarine. It is the birthstone for the month of March and is the second most common gem beryl. Its colour, like that of an emerald, defines its identity. Aquamarine's colour ranges from greenish blue to blue. Light-coloured stones in this colour spectrum, unlike emerald, are still called aquamarine. The most attractive stones are those with a deep colour, while stones with light colour are used to make affordable jewellery.

Another way aquamarine differs from emerald is that it typically has fewer inclusions and fractures. The majority of aquamarine in mall jewellery stores is eye clean and free of noticeable fractures.

Heating will normally enhance the colour of the aquamarine. The majority of stones in the retail sector have been heated. Until treatment, many of the greenish-blue beryl stones for sale were clearly bluish-green or even yellow beryl.

Morganite Beryl

Morganite, also known as pink beryl and rose beryl, is a mineral found in the United States. It's a rare beryl variety that comes in a variety of colours, including yellowish orange, orange, pink, and lilac. The terms "rose," "salmon," and "peach" have all been used to identify the colours of morganite. In most morganites, trace amounts of manganese are responsible for the colour.

Morganite is the third most popular beryl variety found in jewellery stores, but the range is often small, and top-colour stones are extremely difficult to come by. To enhance its colour, most morganite sold in jewellery has been heat treated. Heating the stone eliminates any signs of yellow and turns orange or yellowish stones into a more attractive pink colour. Irradiation has been used to darken the colour of some morganite. Synthetic morganite has been produced, but it has not been widely distributed because consumers are unfamiliar with the mineral.

Morganite's popularity was severely limited until around 2010, due to three factors:

1. The majority of the specimens were pale in colour.

2. Since there was no reliable source of supply, jewellery manufacturers were reluctant to make a significant investment in the stone.

3. Morganite had never been heavily marketed, so consumers were unfamiliar with it.

However, beginning around 2010, morganite discoveries in Brazil and improved heat treatment methods increased the availability of morganite and improved the colour of the material with a poor saturation. Since then, morganite jewellery has become increasingly common in shops.

Heliodor Beryl

Yellow beryl is a yellow to greenish-yellow beryl that is also known as golden beryl or heliodor. Yellow beryl is a hard stone with lovely yellow colour and a low price. Since the general public is unfamiliar with the stone, demand is poor, and the price is low. People who like yellow gems and want to wear yellow beryl jewellery will have a difficult time finding it in most jewellery stores. It's usually found in the inventory of a jeweller who specialises in custom designs.

It's also known as yellow emerald by some vendors. This name is incorrect because "emerald" refers to green beryl by definition. The Federal Trade Commission has suggested revising its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries to claim that using varietal names incorrectly is unfair and deceptive. Their plan specifically mentions yellow emerald as an example of a deceptive name.

The Commission recommends introducing a new clause that specifies that labelling or describing a commodity with an incorrect varietal name is misleading or deceptive. the fourteenth Varietal names denote a division of a gem species or genus based on colour, optical phenomenon, or any other distinguishing feature of appearance (e.g., crystal structure). This proposed section offers two examples of potentially deceptive markings or explanations based on customer perception evidence:

1. The word "yellow emerald" is used to refer to golden beryl or heliodor.

2. The word "green amethyst" is used to describe prasiolite.

The colour of yellow beryl is believed to be caused by small quantities of iron, which can be altered by heating or irradiation. Despite the fact that many yellow beryl specimens depreciate when exposed to less valuable colours, some specimens can be heated to a greenish-blue colour identical to aquamarine, while others can be irradiated to a more attractive yellow colour. Treatment effectiveness is variable, so those planning to treat yellow beryl should experiment.

Green Beryl

Green beryl is the name given to light green beryl specimens that do not have a dark enough tone and saturation to be called emerald. Any of this light green beryl is iron-coloured, but it doesn't have the distinctive green colour of emerald. Some are chromium or vanadium coloured and lack the correct hue, pitch, and saturation to be classified as emerald.

Since there is a substantial price gap between green beryl and emerald, some buyers or sellers expect to have specimens judged in their favour. This can trigger issues because there is no industry-wide consensus on a precise colour boundary between emerald and green beryl. While green beryl is a beautiful gem, it is rarely used in jewellery.

Natural Bixbite Red Beryl

In Utah's Wah Wah Mountains and Thomas Range, small quantities of gem-quality content large enough to facet have been discovered. Red beryl has been discovered in the Black Range of New Mexico, but the crystals are just a few millimetres in length and are too small to facet.

The colour of red beryl is typically bright and appealing. It has a high saturation level, so even small gems have a vibrant hue. This is lucky because most red beryl gems are very small and only suitable for melee cutting. Gems larger than one carat are extremely rare and fetch thousands of dollars per carat. The inclusions and fractures are common, and these characteristics are accepted in the same way that they are in emerald.

Rhyolitic lava flows are the host rocks of red beryl in Utah. Long after the rhyolite crystallised, red beryl crystals formed in tiny vugs and shrinkage cracks.

The geochemical environment required for the formation of red beryl is thought to have been created when ascending beryllium-rich gases collided with descending mineral-rich groundwater. The colour is believed to be caused by trace amounts of manganese.

Since beryllium is rarely found in large enough amounts to form minerals, beryl is a relatively rare mineral. Since the conditions required to supply the colour-producing manganese to a beryl-forming environment at the right time are unlikely, red beryl is extremely rare. As a result, the creation of red beryl necessitates the almost impossible coincidence of two improbable occurrences.

Maynard Bixby, the first person to discover red beryl, gave it the name "bixbite." Since it was sometimes confused with bixbyite, a manganese iron oxide mineral named after Mr. Bixby, the name was mostly dropped. Some call it red emerald, but many in the trade dislike that name because it conjures up images of another beryl variety called emerald.


colourless beryl is referred to as goshenite. colour in beryl is caused by small amounts of certain metals that impart a colour in most cases. This is often the case with goshenite, but colour-inhibiting elements can also render the mineral colourless.

Large hexagonal crystals of goshenite with exceptional clarity and transparency are common. These crystals were cut and polished into lenses for hand magnifiers, telescopes, and some of the first eyeglasses in the Middle Ages. These were some of the first scratch-resistant lenses, with a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8.0.

Goshenite is used to make beryl gemstones. Collectors may be interested in these gems. Since they lack colour and have a less appealing look than other colourless gems like diamond and white sapphire, they are rarely used in jewellery.


A very dark blue substance known as maxixe is another unusual beryl. Exposure to natural radiation is believed to have produced a dark blue colour in the ground. Maxixe has an unfortunate flaw: in daylight, the wonderful blue colour fades to a pale brownish yellow colour. Additional irradiation may restore the colour, but the colour is easily lost when exposed to light. Maxixe was discovered in a mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1917. It's been discovered in tiny quantities in a few other places since then.

Cat's-Eye Beryl

This yellow heliodor is crafted from rough mined in Madagascar and cut into a chatoyant oval measuring 10 x 8 millimetres. It's a lovely transparent colour with a faint brow.

Chatoyant Beryl

Beryl produces a fine silk that allows it to be cut into chatoyant gems on rare occasions. The most common beryls with chatoyance are aquamarine, golden beryl, and emerald. These gems typically produce a weak cat's eye when properly focused and cut en cabochon, but they may also produce a strong cat's eye.

Chatoyant beryls with a highly desirable colour and a clear, thin eye that perfectly bisects the gem are the most valuable.

Lab-created Emerald

Synthetic Emeralds: Synthetic emeralds can be made in a lab, and the clarity and colour of these stones are typically superior to natural emeralds. Chatham Created Gems created the emeralds in this picture. 

Identifying Synthetic Beryl: The hydrothermal growth process produces a lot of synthetic beryl, and all of it will show signs of its synthetic origin. The existence of chevron-type growth zoning, as seen here in a synthetic emerald, is the most common indicator.

Synthetic Beryl

Since the 1930s, synthetic beryl has been commercially produced for use as a gemstone. Synthetic beryls are identical to natural beryl in terms of chemical composition and physical properties. They can be fashioned into beryl gemstones that are as beautiful as natural gems but cost a fraction of the price. Many people choose a synthetic emerald over a natural gem because it can have better colour, clarity, and longevity while still being far less expensive.

These emerald jewellery sets made of synthetic emeralds are extremely common. They allow customers to purchase a lovely synthetic emerald set in a low-karat gold setting for a reasonable price. Many fine jewellery stores sell rings with a pleasant synthetic emerald as the centre stone, surrounded by small natural diamonds and set in 18-karat gold. Without a question, synthetic emeralds account for a large portion of the emeralds sold today.

By looking for signs of the hydrothermal growth process under reflected light and darkfield illumination at magnifications between 10x and 40x, synthetic beryl can also be distinguished from natural beryl using a microscope. The most popular and easiest to find evidence of synthetic growth is Chevron growth features. Synthetic beryls can also have distinctive inclusions or a refractive index that differs from that of natural beryl.

Did you know that?

  • The hydrothermal growth process produces a large portion of today's synthetic beryl.

  • Red beryl is one of the rarest gem materials on the planet.

FAQs on Beryl - Mineral

Question: What are the Properties of Beryl?

Answer: The properties of beryl are given below:


The physical characteristics of beryl that determine its gem value are the most important. Colour is by far the most important element. The colour of the gem determines if it is an emerald, aquamarine, morganite, and so on. The colour quality and saturation of a gem can have a big impact on its value.


The physical characteristics of beryl that determine its gem value are the most important. colour is by far the most important element. The colour of the gem determines if it is an emerald, aquamarine, morganite, and so on. The colour quality and saturation of a gem can have a big impact on its value.


Beryl has a range of durability from average to exceptional. As used in jewellery, it has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8, making it scratch-resistant. One of the most difficult gem materials to deal with is emerald.


Beryl, on the other hand, is fragile and cleaves easily. The majority of emerald specimens are scattered or strongly included.


Beryl may be affected by impact, heat, or temperature changes because of these flaws.


Beryl isn't always easy to find. As it occurs as a well-formed crystal, its prismatic, hexagonal shape with smooth terminations and lack of striations is a good aid in identification. Beryl is distinguished from other gem products by its high hardness and low specific gravity.

Question: What is Green Beryl?

Answer: Medium green beryl specimens that do not have a dark enough tone and saturation to be called emerald are called green beryl. This light green beryl is iron-coloured, but it lacks the emerald's distinctive green hue. Some are chromium or vanadium-coloured, just don't have the right hue, pitch, or saturation to be known as emerald.

Question: What is Maxixe?

Answer: Another rare beryl is maxixe, a very dark blue material. The dark blue colour in the ground is thought to have been caused by natural radiation. The wonderful blue colour of Maxixe fades to a pale brownish yellow colour in daylight, which is an unfortunate mistake.