Geological classification

What is the difference between green beryl and emerald?

I thought that classifying a stone as an emerald, which has a fairly green color, or just green beryl, which “doesn’t reach” in color, is a subjective matter and depends on who is appraising, the seller or the buyer But here it says that there is an objective criterion: . For cases where the light green emerald is too similar to beryl, a special Chelsea lens and a powerful flashlight are used. Emerald under the light of a flashlight changes its hue when viewed through a lens, but beryl remains the same. Mr. Ametistov, please enlighten me Amethysts, 27.04.2016 Alexander, there really is no great science and subtleties of gemology here. One, you know, story. History of commercial competition. Now, in order. Emeralds were originally found in Egypt. Then in India. Then in Latin America and South Africa. Egyptian and then Colombian emeralds were a good, rich green color. Indian and South African stones have always had either a color bordering on saturated or very light, as they say at our exhibitions, “the fifth color.” Naturally, prices on the market for Egyptian and then Colombian green varieties became increasingly higher, but emeralds from other sources interfered. When the Egyptian stones had practically run out, in the suburbs of London in the mid-30s of the last century, gemologists Anderson and Payne invented a generally useless (at that time, of course) device. It was not a lens, as another amateur writes, who has never seen a “device” and generally does not understand what we are talking about, but. (at that time) A SET OF CLEAR GLASSES OF DIFFERENT COLOR. Then Chelsea filters began to be made from one or two SPECIALLY PAINTED glasses. The essence of the device is that it SELECTIVELY transmits rays of some shades and does not transmit rays of others. That’s actually the whole device. Payne and Anderson selected a set of colored glasses in such a way that when observing emeralds in them, only red (Russia), pink (Columbia) or maroon and brown (Afghanistan) were visible. Gemologists A and P rightly believed that they had found an express device for separating emeralds from other green stones – after all, the widespread use of refractometers in gemology was still far away, and refractometers were the size of half a room. Now, of course, you can get clever, saying that many green stones have a red reaction in the Chelsea filter. But . all these stones were. discovered after 1934 or had not yet found application in jewelry. The Chelsea device was “picked up, praised and implemented everywhere, where it was needed and where it was not needed. businessmen – sellers of Colombian, Egyptian, and some other emeralds. This selective filter was used for commercial purposes, ostensibly to distinguish real emeralds from all sorts of “cheap” beryls. It is interesting that even very green, very high-quality emeralds, both in purity and color, if they did not give a “red reaction in the Chelsea filter,” were called . noble beryl. Now let’s write a key phrase that refers to all scientific rules and theories that owe their origin not to science, but rather to commercial and other human interests. EVERYTHING IS NOT AS WE THOUGHT. That is, it’s not that EVERYTHING is completely wrong. It’s just that the reasons are different, so the conclusions are either not correct at all or only slightly correct, that is, again incorrect. The Chelsea filter only detects the presence of a certain line in the optical transmission spectrum of the stone. This line appears in beryls if there is chromium in the stone, and chromium is the center of that very green color in beryls. All these facts, confirmed later than the day the Chelsea filter was invented, seem to be consistent with the definition of a real emerald. Like, if there is chrome, then there is a red reaction of the Chelsea filter, so let’s call this emerald real. However, everything is not as they thought. In other much greener, but later discovered emeralds from the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, the reddish color was sometimes present in the Chelsea filter, and sometimes it was not. And both stones are from the same deposit. And here is the final nail in the lid of the incorrect definition of emeralds: many Brazilian emeralds from Minas Gerais, and especially from the state of Bahia (Capoeiran region) in the Chelsea filter are POLYCHROMIC. That is, part of the stone in the Chelsea filter is red, and part is green. Moreover, the green color of such stones (without the Chelsea filter) is uniform throughout the entire volume. Well, smart people are amateurs. What is beryl or emerald? Maybe it’s a beryl emerald? What other nonsense can you come up with? It is interesting that later, at the “new” Colombian Cuescos deposit, located very close to the two old Musso and Chivor, many of the same “Chelsea polychrome emeralds” began to be found. We’ve come across it more than once. But that’s not all. The collapse of the chrome emerald advocates did not end there. Nowadays, the “chrome base” of the Colombian emeralds themselves has been greatly undermined. With the introduction of high-resolution spectrometers into solid-state physics (EXAFS and other even more accurate instruments for determining the exact chemical composition), heretical details of the mechanism for the formation of a rich, bright green color in Colombian emeralds became known. It turns out that this color is formed not only due to chromium (as in the Malysheva mine in Russia) and not due to vanadium (like the emeralds of South Africa, Minas Gerais, Zimbabwe and most stones from Zambia), but due to both CHROME and VANADIUM and. attention (.) something still unknown. It is also possible that it is this very unknown thing, either in complexes with chromium and/or vanadium atoms, or by itself that determines that unique BRIGHT PINK color of Colombian emeralds, which allows an experienced gemologist and amateur to easily establish the Colombian origin of these MULTI-IMPURITY stones. Now let’s move on to the amateurs and laymen from the Ural stones (meaning the phrase you cited about a “powerful flashlight”, a “special lens” and the fact that “the emerald changes its hue, but the beryl remains the same.” Everywhere there is blatant illiteracy and PROFANITY . The flashlight doesn’t have to be powerful, just that the Chelsea filter should say Chelsea and not Jadeite Filter. The lantern must have an INCLAND LAMP (Chelsea was invented in 1934, remember? What kind of lamps were there then, you know? If the lamp changes to a fluorescent or LED one, you need to select other colored glasses. Now, right?). A lens is when you need to zoom out – zoom in or zoom out – zoom out. This is not the case in Chelsea. Emerald in Chelsea does not change shade. From the total spectrum of the emerald, only a small interval of wavelengths of the visible part of the light spectrum is cut out, which is perceived by the human eye as red. If there is no red in the spectrum (chrome in beryl), then the emerald in the Chelsea filter looks like that very pale fifth color of emerald, that is, light light green. All other beryls that do not contain chromium look exactly the same. Namely AQUAMARINE, HELIODOR, GOSHENITE, MORGANITE, YELLOW-GREEN BERYL, LILAC BERYL and other varieties of beryl. This allows you to determine whether it is beryl or quartz, corundum, etc. of the same color. The reasons for such profanation of Internet correspondents are still the same. It is necessary to discredit all other stones, except those that are on sale or those that are advertised. That’s where all these lenses, lights, shades come from. Thanks for the interesting question. I wish you success. Alexander, 28.04.2016 Thank you! Expressive, but very accessible Emerald and beryl are minerals of the same group. They have a similar composition, but different colors and values. Such stones are used in various fields, but they are especially popular in jewelry. When choosing, it is important to consider zodiac compatibility.

What is emerald

Emerald is green beryl. He is a gem. According to Fersman’s classification, this is a gem of the first order, like a diamond, sapphire or ruby. The mineral was considered a separate type of stone until 1830. Helpful information The ideal emerald should be transparent, but this is rare. Green color is its main difference from other varieties of beryl. Ideally it should be rich and evenly distributed. The color of the stone is provided by chromium or vanadium oxide. An important difference between emeralds is their fragility, which leads to splits and cracks. Often the stones are covered with a network of cracks and thin veins. Because of this, a natural gem without a defect is rare. The color of the mineral is lost at temperatures above 700°C, but it is not afraid of acids and other reagents.

History of origin

Previously, the gem was called emerald. The origin of the word emerald is associated with a series of borrowings from different languages. The mineral is formed when felsic magma and host ultramafic igneous rocks interact. The gem was mentioned in ancient Egyptian papyri; people have known it for several millennia. He was highly valued in Ancient Egypt and Babylon. Smaragd was Cleopatra’s favorite stone.

How is emerald mined?

  • Colombia (Tunja, Muso) – in different years 50-95% of all emeralds mined in the world;
  • Brazil – compared to Colombian minerals, Brazilian gems are purer and lighter; the world’s largest specimen of Teodora, 57,5 thousand carats, was found here;
  • Zambia – more emeralds are mined only in Colombia, but the quality there is lower;
  • Egypt;
  • New Granada.

The birthplace of lower quality stones is Austria (Salzburg and Habachtal), Ireland (Mourn Mountains), Norway (Lake Mjoesen).

Depending on the depth of occurrence, emeralds are mined by open pit or underground mining. The Egyptians had mines 3 thousand years ago, and they mined the mineral in the dark – according to legend, it did not tolerate light.


Emerald can be natural or synthetic. Artificial stone has a lower density and refractive index, the color is rich and bluish-green. Modern technologies make it possible to produce specimens of higher quality than natural gems and identical colors, but their cost is still tens of times less.

The mineral has many possible shades, including yellow, blue, and blue. The main tone is always green, although its saturation varies.

In nature, the color of stone is often uneven. It is usually brighter at the free end of the crystal. The color intensity can vary longitudinally and transversely, and dichroism occurs.

Areas of use

Emeralds are used primarily in jewelry. The stone has special properties, which is why the emerald cut and cabochon shape are popular. In jewelry, the deep green mineral is more valued.

Another area of ​​use for gems is the production of solid-state lasers. Synthetic stones have several areas of application – jewelry making, quantum electronics.

What is beryl

This mineral is a component of beryllium ores and belongs to the subclass of ring silicates. More often it appears as prismatic crystals. They are single, connected into druses, columnar agates.

There are many color options for beryl. This diversity is provided by various impurities. The stone has a glassy luster.

The chemical composition of beryl is represented by the following elements:

  • silicon dioxide (almost 70% of the composition);
  • aluminium oxide;
  • beryllium oxide.

The gem is used in jewelry and small crafts are made. Opaque stone is an ore mineral. With its help, beryllium oxide is obtained.

History of origin

As with emerald, the name beryllium comes from a series of borrowings from different languages. Translated, it means a sea-green colored gemstone.

The source of the mineral is pegmatite veins formed by the crystallization of acidic magmas. Metamorphic rocks also contain it.

How to mine

Beryl deposits are often complex. It is mined together with rock crystal, smoky quartz, topaz, morion, and feldspar.

There are many deposits of the mineral. They differ in the types of stone extracted and the depth of its occurrence. There are several largest deposits:

  • Madagascar – this is where the largest beryl was found, 18 m long, 3,5 m in diameter and weighing 380 tons;
  • South America (Brazil, Colombia);
  • Russia (Ural).

Mineral deposits are found using the geophysical method – berylometry.


Pure mineral is colorless. The division of the mineral into types is due to differences in color. The shine of the stone is always glassy.

One of the most beautiful varieties of gems is augustite. It was found only in Brazil at the Maxis deposit, which is why it is also called Maxis beryl. The color of the stone is dark blue.

One of the most famous varieties of beryl is aquamarine. It can be blue or greenish-blue in color, reminiscent of sea water. It was the coloring that gave the gem its name.

About a century ago, bazzite was discovered. This variety of beryl can be pale or intense blue, blue-green, or deep blue.

In jewelry there is a type of stone called noble. It has an interesting apple green coloration. There are also noble ordinary gems. It is transparent, the color is pale.

A rare type of mineral is bixbite. It is called red beryl or red emerald. It was discovered at the beginning of the last century. The sizes of gems of this type are not large – up to 10 carats after cutting. Bixbit is popular mainly among collectors.

Another rare type of mineral is sparrowite, also called morganite or pink beryl. Due to the manganese content, it can be pink, violet-pink, reddish, amber.

One of the transparent varieties of the mineral is heliodor. It is also known as Davidsonite. Its color can be yellow, orange or golden yellow.

Another transparent type of gem is goshenite, also called white beryl. It has no color.

Differences between emerald and beryl

The main difference between the gem and other types of beryl is its green color. A greenish color is also inherent in noble beryl, perhaps in aquamarine, but they cannot be confused with emerald.

There are also differences in the chemical composition. In different types of beryl, it differs in impurities, which cause a variety of colors.

You can distinguish a natural emerald from other representatives of the beryl group and a fake using a magnifying glass, a color filter and a refractometer. The following points are important:

  • in ultraviolet light, a natural emerald will be rich red or brown, this is ensured by an admixture of chromium;
  • in natural stone, bubbles, microcracks, and other defects are usually visible through a magnifying glass; synthetic specimens are free of such defects;
  • The refractive index of a natural gem is 1,58, while that of a synthetic stone is slightly lower.

Emerald and beryl products

You can find jewelry made from various types of beryl in any jewelry store. The most expensive options are emerald, morganite and bixbite.

The frame for them is usually 750 gold and platinum. Products with bixbit are made to order.

Jewelry made from aquamarine, goshenite, and heliodor are more accessible. Goshenites are usually combined with silver, while heliodors look better in gold. For aquamarines, the frame is made of white gold or silver.

Beryl jewelry is worn not only by women, but also by men. The frames of products for the stronger sex are often represented by silver, white gold, and platinum. The men’s assortment consists mainly of cufflinks, signet rings, bracelets, and pendants.

Product prices

The cost of beryl products depends on the type of stone, its size, setting, and cut. A silver ring with aquamarine can cost about 3500 rubles, a gold ring with heliodor – 11000 rubles, and with bixbite – 15000 rubles. Jewelry made to order reaches the maximum value.

One of the most expensive jewelry in the world is a tiara with emeralds and diamonds. Its cost is almost 13 million dollars.


When choosing beryl, it is worth considering whether the stone matches your zodiac sign. Products with such a gem can be worn by people of any gender and age.

Gems of the beryl group go well with signs of the element of water. They are especially suitable for Cancers and Pisces.

This stone is not recommended for Aries, Leo, Virgo and Capricorn, although compatibility should be considered individually. It depends on the gender of the person, his name, date of birth.

Beryls are several varieties of the mineral with different colors. Such gems are used mainly in jewelry. They are used to make jewelry with a frame made of precious metals. Some beryls are valuable collector’s items.

In my personal blog, I will introduce you to the characteristics of different gemstones, the influence of zodiac stones in relation to each zodiac sign, as well as the healing properties of some of them.

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