Beryl is often unknown to the general public, even
the gemstone-buying public. However, it is one of the
most important gem minerals. Beryl is colorless in pure
form; it is the many different impurities that give
beryl its varied coloration. Without these splendid
color varieties, beryl would be a rather ordinary gemstone
with only average fire and brilliance. Emerald is the
green variety and Aquamarine is the blue variety of
Other colors of beryl are also used as gemstones but
are not as well known.
The greenish-yellow variety is called Heliodor .
The pink variety is called Morganite .
The colorless variety is called Goshenite .
The name beryl is used for the red and golden varieties,
which are simply called red beryl and golden beryl,
Emerald is highly prized and is one of the most valued
gemstones. Its green color is peerless and all other
green gemstones are compared to its intensity. Emerald
specimens are often "flawed" with mineral
inclusions and fractures; unlike other gems, these are
considered part of the stones' "character."
These flaws actually help determine natural from synthetically-produced
stones. Uncut emerald specimens are rare on the mineral
markets, probably because even low grade emeralds can
carry a high price when cut as gems. Especially hard
to find are true "in-matrix" specimens. Fakes
are often produced with natural crystals glued into
a "host" rock and then sold as an in-matrix
specimen with a highly inflated price.
Aquamarine is also a popular gem although it does not
command nearly as high a price as its green cousin.
Uncut aquamarines are plentiful but relatively expensive,
as would be expected of crystalline gemstone specimens.
Large crystals of aquamarine are available on the open
market and represent perhaps the largest raw gemstone