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Beryl

Beryl

Impurities of iron in different chemical states are responsible for the colors in these aquamarines and green beryls from Brazil, ranging in weight from 911 to 2,054 carats. When beryl is a rich blue to blue-green color, the gem is called aquamarine. If the beryl is green, but not an intense rich green to be called emerald, the gem is simply called beryl. The 1,000 carat emerald cut aquamarine (pictured upper left), known as the Most Precious, was a gift of Evyan Perfumes in 1963. The 2,054 carat yellowish-green rectangular step cut beryl and the 914 carat modified round brilliant cut green beryl were cut by John Sinkankas. The other two beryls in the photograph are a deep blue step cut aquamarine weighing 911 carats, and a yellowish-green square step cut beryl weighing 1,363 carats.

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

This art deco, Indian-style necklace is composed of 24 baroque-cut emerald drops of graduated size, adjoined by a smaller emerald bead. All are set in platinum with hundreds of pave-set diamonds. The necklace was designed in 1928-29, by Cartier, Inc. Marjorie Merriweather Post wore it dressed as "Juliette" for the Palm Beach Everglades Ball in 1929. A pendant was later removed and made into a brooch. Mrs. Post donated the necklace to the Smithsonian in 1964.

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

The superb clarity and color of the Chalk Emerald ranks it among the world's finest Colombian emeralds. This outstanding emerald exhibits the deep green color that is highly prized. According to legend, it was once the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace belonging to the Maharani of the former state of Baroda , India. It originally weighed 38.4 carats, but was recut and set in a ring designed by Harry Winston, where it is surrounded by 60 pear-shaped diamonds totaling 15 carats. It was donated to the National Gem Collection by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk in 1972.

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

This enchanting profile of a woman’s head was carved out of emerald, the rich green variety of the mineral beryl, the most valuable beryl gem. The emerald is from Colombia where the finest emeralds are found. Most emeralds are faceted for gemstones to be used in jewelry. However, in some cases stones are cut en cabochon or carved. This emerald carving also highlights the pyrite crystals (known as fools gold) that formed naturally with the beryl. The carver cleverly used the golden pyrite to his advantage by incorporating the crystals into his design as hair and an earring. This intriguing addition to the National Gem Collection was generously gifted by Ashok Kumar Sancheti in 2003.

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

This carved flat emerald is set in a platinum, gold, and diamond pendant necklace. The emerald was discovered in Colombia, possibly by Spanish conquistadors, and found its way to India for cutting. This emerald was most likely carved, rather than faceted, because of the natural inclusions, the shape of the original beryl crystal, or it might also have been the preferred style at the time. The floral motif carving is believed to be of the Indian Mogul style. The Mogul Empire was the imperial power that ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the early-16th to mid-19th centuries. Small drill holes in the sides of the emerald, possibly used to attach the stone to a cloak or turban, also are consistent with a Mogul origin. The emerald is surrounded by round diamonds and is suspended from a double row diamond necklace; the diamonds total approximately 50 carats. A hallmark indicates that the Mogul emerald was set into the pendant and necklace in France around the turn of the 20th century. This historic and remarkable emerald necklace is a wonderful addition to the National Gem Collection.

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Emerald is the rich green variety of the mineral beryl and one of the most precious gemstones. Depth of color and clarity are the most important factors that affect the value. Flawless emeralds, especially stones larger than a few carats, are extremely rare. Many emeralds have cracks and inclusions of fluids and tiny crystals of other minerals. If the emerald is highly included, it is often cut en cabochon (flat bottom, domed top). This 18k yellow gold necklace features 77 cabochon emeralds that dangle from a branch and leaf design. The well-matched Colombian emeralds total approximately 350 carats. The necklace is also accented with small round brilliant cut diamonds that total approximately 7.50 carats. The necklace was made by Julius Cohen in the mid-1960s.

Beryl (variety: Heliodor)

Beryl (variety: Heliodor)

The mineral beryl occurs in many colors. The best known gem varieties are the deep-green emerald and the sea-blue aquamarine. However, beryl also is found in shades of pink (morganite), red, and yellow (heliodor), and in some cases is colorless (goshenite). The heliodor gem shown here is from Tajikistan and exhibits a deeply saturated golden-yellow color. The gem was faceted by award winning gemcutter David Brackna. This 56.62 carat heliodor is a skewed lozenge cut and is a beautiful example of heliodor from a locality not previously represented in the National Gem Collection.

Beryl (variety: Heliodor)

Beryl (variety: Heliodor)

This 216-carat heliodor, the golden yellow variety of the mineral beryl, is from Minas Gerais, Brazil. The yellow color of this gem comes from iron (Fe+3). Heliodor, or golden beryl, gets its name from two Greek words meaning "sun" and "gift." The most important sources of heliodor are Brazil and the Ukraine.


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