Rare and valuable minerals

Is Beryl the same as Emerald?

Due to their varied and beautiful colors, transparency and brilliance, beryl group minerals have long been very popular.


Beryl is the most common mineral of the chemical element beryllium. It is found in various post-magmatic formations associated with granites – pegmatites, greisens and hydrothermal deposits. All the largest and most perfect crystals of jewelry beryl come from chamber pegmatites of Brazil, Madagascar, Ukraine, South Africa, Namibia, Sri Lanka, as well as from the limestones of Colombia. In Russia, the main sources of jewelry beryl are deposits of different nature in the Urals, Transbaikalia, and the Far East. Unfortunately, many of them have now been exhausted.

Composition and varieties of beryl

Beryl is composed of elements such as beryllium, aluminum, silicon and oxygen. The variety of colors of the beryl group is due to the different content of impurity elements, which is individual not only for each deposit, but also for each type of ore bodies that contain these valuable crystals. The color of beryl covers almost all the colors of the spectrum and almost every color subgroup has its own name. Emerald is the most valuable variety of beryl. The green color of emerald is due to the presence of coloring elements such as chromium or vanadium. By their nature, almost all emerald crystals have a rich “inner life”. These can be mineral or gas-liquid inclusions, various cracks, bubbles or feathers. Aquamarine is a blue or greenish-blue transparent beryl, the color of which can be compared to the color of tropical sea water. The color is due to the presence of iron in the mineral as an impurity element. Unlike emeralds, aquamarines are characterized by a higher degree of transparency and purity. Heliodor is a “golden” beryl that ranges in color from pale yellow to deep yellow, sometimes with a greenish tint. This palette is caused by the presence of ferric iron ions in the composition. For this color variety of beryl, as for aquamarine, the formation of fairly large pure crystals under free growth conditions is typical. Morganite is primarily known for its pastel range of pinks, peach and lilac tones. This range of colors is due to the presence of magnesium in its structure. Large examples without visible defects are rare and highly prized on the market. Bixbyite – the rarest variety of beryl has a red color that occurs due to a small amount of manganese. Today there is only one deposit of bixbyite. It is located in Utah, USA. Goshenite is a colorless beryl that is not often found on the jewelry market. This is due to its low popularity and the large number of other colorless minerals. It contains several elements that can act as color inhibitors during irradiation enhancement.

Beryl synthesis

Many beryls can be successfully synthesized using various methods, but today the vast majority are grown using the hydrothermal method (copying natural processes). The result is very impressive stones, often even with inclusions characteristic of natural samples. Saturated emeralds (including the most expensive variety – Colombian emeralds), rare bixbyites, juicy morganites and promising neon blue beryls, which can rightfully be a worthy replacement for Paraiba tourmaline. Since not a single company in the world is engaged in the synthesis of tourmaline due to the high complexity of the process.

Applications of beryl

Opaque beryls, which are not used in jewelry, are the main ore for obtaining beryllium metal. In turn, beryllium salts are used in various industries. Due to the variety of beautiful colors, transparency and good hardness, beryls are a beneficial cutting material that has long been very popular. The shapes and types of cuts are quite diverse, but step cutting prevails, especially for emeralds. Opaque stones or individuals with asterism or a “cat’s eye” effect are processed in cabochon form.


Nature never ceases to amaze us with its bright colors and unusual combinations of chemical elements in natural stones. The beryl group minerals are clear evidence of this. And with the development of technology, man only reproduces the natural conditions for the growth of crystals so that anyone, even the most sophisticated buyer, can please himself with a worthy copy of the stone he likes. Emerald is a green colored gemstone that is a type of beryl. It is found quite rarely, and therefore has a high cost. However, the value of a stone is expressed not only in its cost, but also in the properties it possesses. Chromium-colored beryl or deep green emerald are among the most expensive gemstones in the world. It is distinguished from ordinary green beryl by the rich color created by chromium. The hardness of emerald varies from 7,5 to 8, and it is slightly softer than other varieties of beryl. Inside the stone you can often notice small inclusions that do not have any effect on its final cost. An emerald of a beautiful rich green color that has inclusions is worth much more than a pale green beryl without inclusions. Artificial emeralds of hydrothermal origin often contain gaseous or liquid inclusions. But natural stones have inclusions in the form of pyrite crystals, as well as plates or microplates of mica, but even this does not prevent natural stone from costing much more than its synthetic counterpart. At all times, emerald has been and continues to be considered the most beautiful jewelry stone. This mineral was known back in Babylon and Ancient Egypt. For many years, emerald deposits were developed in Colombia. Residents of European countries learned about this precious stone in the 180th century in connection with the conquering campaigns of the Spanish conquistadors in South America. Nowadays, over 55 deposits have been discovered in Colombia, which provide 90% – XNUMX% of the world’s production of these precious stones. Brazil also has fairly large emerald deposits, accounting for approximately ¼ of the world’s total production. Since ancient times, it has been known about emerald deposits located in India, but at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, they, unfortunately, lost their significance. Gem-quality emeralds are typically small in size and range in color from light green to deep green. The cost of this precious stone depends not so much on the size, presence of defects and transparency of the emeralds, but on the intensity of the color, and the richer the color of the stone, the more expensive its price. Emeralds mined from different deposits vary in shades of green. For example, North American and Ural emeralds have a slightly bluish or yellowish tint, while Colombian emeralds have a bluish tint. The hue of emerald can be partly affected by the admixture of vanadium. Emeralds with zonal coloring are quite common. Crystals may have an intensely colored central part and a weakly colored peripheral part, or vice versa. There is another type of such coloring, when the intensity of the color changes along the long axis of the stone and at the same time stripes with different intensities are visible. There are also emerald crystals that are unevenly colored. It is important to note that the color of emeralds is resistant to heat and light. The only thing is that when heated to a temperature of 700-800 degrees, the crystal may turn a little pale. Large emeralds are most often opaque and cloudy; in addition, they contain inclusions of small needles of black tourmaline or small flakes of mica. This is precisely what distinguishes this gemstone. Emerald is a unique mineral, when rotated you can observe a play of colors. If you look along the axis of the crystal, you can see a characteristic emerald blue, and if across the crystal, you will see a warm yellowish-green tint. This property is called pleochroism; almost all emeralds have it, with the exception of pale-colored beryls, in which the change in shades is very faintly noticeable. In jewelry, emeralds are processed using rectangular emerald, step and sometimes diamond cuts. Translucent crystals are often used to make stones with a smooth convex surface called cabochons. It is important to note that emeralds are rarely processed in the countries where they were mined. When making jewelry, emeralds are combined with diamonds, this is done in order to emphasize the beauty and richness of the green stone. Analogs of emeralds include inexpensive green minerals such as dioptase, tourmaline, chrysolite, jadeite, chrysoprase, corundum, giddenite, fluorite, grossular, chrome diopside and zircon. In the CIS countries and Indian Burma, chrome diopside is common, colored emerald green, which is often passed off as emerald. There are also large crystals of demantoid, uvarovite and Ural alexandrite, the cost of which is no different from the cost of a natural precious emerald. But small uvarovite, due to its size, is very rarely cut. There are known cases when emeralds with defects in the form of cracks were refined using dyes and oils, impregnating the crystals in them. Such stones can be identified by immersing them in water with dishwashing liquid or washing powder diluted in it. After removing the oil from the cracks, it is recommended to slightly warm up the suspicious stone, but doing this at home is dangerous; it is better to wash it in a household solution.

About diamonds

Diamond color
The most important characteristic that affects its appearance. Diamond clarity
Read about inclusions in diamonds and their purity, characteristics that affect their value. Diamond weight
Measured in carats, a small unit of measurement that corresponds to 0,2 grams. Cut quality
Cut quality is one of the most important characteristics of a diamond. Certificates
Our company can use diamonds with GIA, HRD and IGI certificates. Cut shape
The shape of a diamond determines its unique properties.

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