Beryl is a well known mineral, although you most likely know it as one of the many gemstones that is formed from this beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. Aquamarine and emeralds are two of the most popular forms of beryl, although there are several other varieties depending on the chemical inclusions in the stones. Modern uses for beryl tend to focus on jewelry and art applications. The varieties are very beautiful, and there are six in total.
Scientific Uses of Beryl
Beryl contains a very rare element called beryllium, which is only found in about 100 minerals. That makes it very significant to the scientific community, although they have also used beryl in a few other applications. One of the most common is the production of wire, although beryl has also been used on space shuttles.
Historical Uses of Beryl
The first recorded use of beryl was in Egyptian times, although it is suspected that it was used even further back. It has always been considered a precious stone and is often found in decorative jewelry, weapons and clothing.
Like many gemstones, the varieties of beryl have various holistic and magical properties associated with them. Emerald is considered a healing and protection stone, drawing upon the deep green color. Aquamarine is considered a cleansing stone, as well as a way to enhance psychic powers. Morganite, with its lovely pink hue, is used in the pursuit of love and happiness, as well as promoting empathy.
Types of Beryl
While the most well-known beryl is emerald, there are actually six different varieties of this mineral. Beryl is one of the few minerals where impurities are considered a good thing, as they can lead to the spectacular range of colors that the stones show. Emeralds are the green variety, and the rarest beryl of them all is bixbite, which is a beautiful red. Aquamarine is considered a semi-precious stone and has a light blue shade. Less known types of beryl are goshenite, which is colorless, morganite, which is pink and maxixe, which is a much deeper blue.
Where Beryl is Formed
There are three different types of rock that beryl is commonly formed in. The first and most prevalent is granitic pegmatites. You can also find it in mica schists as well as limestone. This type of rock can be found in Colombia, home of the most famous emerald mines, as well as South Africa, Brazil, and the central and western United States.
- wikimedia commons Gery Parent (emerald, morganite, aquamarine), wikimedia commons Alchemist-hp (beryllium)