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other names: /
mineral class: Cyclosilicates
chemical formula: Be3al2Si6O18
Similar minerals: Apatite, chrysoberyl, tourmaline
colour: multi-colored, u.a. red, yellow, blue, green, white
shine: Glass gloss to greasy
crystal structure: hexagonal
mass density: approx. 2.7
Mohs hardness: 7,5 - 8
stroke color: White
use: Jewelery and gemstone
General information about beryl:
beryl describes a rock within the ring silicates, which is unmistakable by its structure of hexagonal crystals and can appear in many different colors depending on the chemical composition. Ordinary beryll arises hydrothermally or from magma and usually has a greenish, whitish or yellow color. The most sought-after variety is the emerald, whose bright deep green color is due to the chrome contained in the rock. Colorless and transparent species are summarized by the term goshenite, translucent light to bright deep blue varieties are known under the name aquamarine. The beryl may also appear in deep raspberry red, in transparent gold tones and in delicate pink as a so-called morganite. All varieties within the Berylle share a high sensitivity to pressure, light and heat. Even low illumination in shop windows and exposure to UV light lead to large color changes or color losses. At the same time, all beryls are extremely insensitive to almost all acids.
The name beryll comes from Latin and was used in the Middle Ages as a name for all clear crystals. The German word glasses comes from Beryll, as the first optical sea-aids were cut from clear crystals.
Occurrence and localities:
Beryl is a widespread mineral found in almost all countries of the world and is mainly produced in acidic intrusive rocks, but also in granites and other types of rocks. Well over 2,400 sites are listed worldwide, with the most economically significant production sites in the United States. Maine, South Dakota and Connecticut, in particular, have huge deposits that often provide crystal columns that are more than one meter across and several meters long. The largest find to date, however, comes from Madagascar and has a length of over eighteen meters and a weight of 380 tons. In addition, large crystals are also found in South Africa, Russia, China, Spain and Norway. Often beryl is associated with accompanying minerals such as feldspars, quartz, mica, topaz, muscovite, lithiophylilite or tantalite. The highly sought-after emeralds from Colombia come from Muzo and are found mainly in slates and limestones in association with quartz, pyrite and calcite.
History and usage:
By far the most important role is played by beryl as a bright green emerald, which was mined by humans in the 13th century BC and used as a precious gem stone. The emerald in ancient Egypt experienced a real golden age. In South America, where the most precious specimens of the Emerald are promoted, this gemstone was an important commodity even in the pre-Columbian period. In the production of jewelery not only emeralds, but also differently colored beryls play, especially red and pink, honey yellow and blue varieties important role. Even in the production of precious statues and statuettes Berylle are used to this day. As the source of beryllium, the second-lightest metal after lithium, the mineral is of particular importance in space technology, aircraft construction and reactor technology. This is due to the property of beryllium to form stable and at the same time extremely light alloys with aluminum and magnesium.