Emerald’s Whole Family is Fun

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Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. Emerald is the vibrant green variety of beryl usually colored by Chromium. In other colors beryl has other names. The blue color for beryl is aquamarine. Pink and peach beryl is Morganite (as shown in the photo above, featuring Morganite in its rough-uncut form, straight from the mine). Yellow and golden beryl is heliodor. Red beryl is Bixbite and so far has only been found in Utah. Colorless beryl is called Goshenite.

Chemically, beryl is a Beryllium-Aluminum Silicate. As mentioned, emerald gets its green color from Chromium. There has been an addition to “emerald” of green gems colored by Vanadium but the classic emerald look comes from Chromium rich beryl. Interestingly, the red in ruby is caused by Chromium as well. Emerald is a type 3 gemstone according to GIA terminology and therefore can be expected to have eye visible inclusions.

To read more about the history of Emerald, click here >


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One of the interesting things about aquamarine is its true rarity—due to the unique trace minerals that have combined with its underlying base mineral, Beryl, to produce its beautiful blue tone…

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