Minerals & Gemstone 480x104

Advertising Information


The Gemstone Beryl

Beryl is a single mineral with many varieties that are distinguished by their color. Few other minerals have so many known varieties specifically identified by their color. Many of the Beryl varieties are very important gemstones. In fact, all the transparent varieties of Beryl have been used as gemstones, although Emerald and Aquamarine are by far the most important and well-known varieties. 
Chemical Formula Be3Al2Si6O18
Color White, Colorless, Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple
Hardness 7.5 - 8.0
Crystal System Hexagonal
Refractive Index 1.57 - 1.58
SG 2.6 - 2.8
Transparency Transparent to opaque
Double Refraction .006
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 3,1 - basal
Mineral Class Beryl


Pure Beryl is colorless; traces of different impurities are responsible for the color diversity and varieties. The list below describes each color variety, and most have a link for more specific gemstone information for that variety:
  • Emerald, the green variety, is the most popular green gemstone and is one of the most valuable gems.
  • Aquamarine, the blue to blue-green variety, is the most popular light-blue gemstone.
  • Morganite, the pink to light-purple variety, named after the banker J.P. Morgan.
  • Heliodor is yellow to greenish-yellow variety. It can also include light green, orange, and brown Beryl.
  • Golden Beryl has a golden yellow to orange-yellow color. The terms Heliodor and Golden Beryl are often interchangeable.
  • Goshenite is the white to colorless variety of Beryl.
  • Red Beryl, also known as Bixbite, is a rare, deep red variety found only two localities in Utah.
  • Pezzottaite, also known as Raspberry Beryl, is a newly identified gemstone that was originally thought to be Beryl but has been scientifically distinguished as a separate mineral species. It occurs in a raspberry-red color, and its physical properties are almost identical to Beryl.

All Beryl varieties are faceted into various gem cuts, especially Emerald and Aquamarine, which are one of the most popular jewelry gemstones.

Aquamarine and Morganite are often heat treated to intensify their colors, and Emeralds are commonly oiled to hide flaws. The other forms of Beryl are usually not treated or enhanced.

See the individual Beryl gemstones for sources.

See the individual Beryl gemstones for similar gemstones.

Beryl PHOTOS [Click photos for more details]
The images below depict each gem variety of Beryl. (We are lacking a good image of Red Beryl.) See the individual variety pages for more photos.

Beryl IN THE ROUGH PHOTOS [Click photos for more details]
The images below depict each gem variety of Beryl in the rough. See the individual variety pages for more photos.

DISCUSSIONView Forum | Post to Forum
Have a question about Beryl? Visit our Q&A Community and ask the experts!

To sponsor this page, click here.
Let us know how we can update this page
(Click for more details)
We strive for accurate content and locality information. If you feel any of the content is incorrect, or if you feel we are missing vital locality information, please fill out the form below so we can update the site. If you are requesting a locality be added, please only include significant locality occurences for the mineral.