What makes Beryl so alluring?

Updated: Feb 17

Beryl is one of my favourites, I find them mysterious & enchanting. This month we will explore the species that gives us such intensely coloured gems like Aquamarine, Emerald, Heliodor. Good quality, with or without inclusions that are affectionately called "jardin", this family of gems is sure to please.


Generously sized gemstones create an alluring piece of jewellery, particularly when offset with colourless Diamonds; an exciting contrast of saturated colour making the loveliest dialogue of light & dark colours that speak volumes & all captured in one glorious jewel.


Precious Beryl has a hexagonal crystal structure & includes a few of our favourite gemstones: Aquamarine, Emerald, Heliodor & Morganite, amongst others.


Two factors define this mineral species: the chemical make-up and crystal habit. Precious Beryl has a chemical formula of (Be3AI2Si6O18), which means each molecule contains 3 Beryllium with other minerals (Aluminium, Silicon & Oxygen). In addition to these minerals, the raw material needs all the right ingredients within the Earths’ crust, trace elements, temperature, pressure, time & space to grow. Variety is the spice of life, thus as a species, its unique intense colours contribute to its appeal. Natural gems quality stones are mined across the globe, with several deposits producing very desirable gems that command significant commercial values. Fine gems are produced from Brazil & Columbia, the Urals, Myanmar, India, China, across Africa, & the US. Mines East of the Aswan, Egypt were mined in ancient times producing fine material, however this is no longer.



Emerald, Heliodor, & Aquamarine with Diamond create an alluring jewel
Created by Peter Minturn

Aquamarine Gems are brittle

Most desirable colours: bright sky blue to dark blues

Has a wonderful property of Pleochroism; appearing to change from blue

to colourless if the gem is viewed from different angles

Commonly occur with few-no inclusions

Usually presented in Emerald step-cut, Brilliant or Fancy-cuts

Colour may be improved with irradiation, but it is not permanent

Colour is improved with heat treating, & is permanent


Emerald Gems are brittle

Most desirable colours: Rich green

Only the finest specimens are transparent

Occurs with inclusions. These are known as "jardin" (garden). Inclusions can

be used to identify the geographic origin

Usually presented in Emerald step-cut, or cabuchon

Commonly cracks or fissures may be hidden with oiling (Cedarwood oil),

which is not permanent


Heliodor Gems are brittle

Most desirable colours: Yellow-green, golden yellow

Commonly occur with few-no inclusions

Usually presented in Brilliant or Fancy-cuts

Morganite Gems are brittle

Most desirable colours: Soft pink – salmon pink, Violet pink

Commonly occur with few-no inclusions

Usually presented in Brilliant or Fancy-cuts

Colour is improved with heat treating, & is permanent


Other Beryl gemstones that are not commonly available in Aotearoa New Zealand are Pale Green Beryl, Goshenite (colourless), & the rare Bixbite (raspberry), all of these exceptional gems are on my wishlist too, (albeit wishful thinking)!


If you are looking for a quality Emerald or Aquamarine, we are able to source these & design a bespoke jewel, especially for you.







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