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The Beryl Family: Emerald, Aqua marina, Morganite…

by Julie MIALET 16 Jul 2022

Beryl is an aluminosilicate of beryllium that includes aquamarine, emerald, heliodore and morganite.

Known from the Greeks as Bêrullos, colorless beryl was used to make magnifiers.

Beryls have a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale.

The best-known varieties used in jewelry are:

  • aquamarine, blue and green-blue
  • emerald, green because of the presence of chromium
  • heliodor, gold or yellow due to the presence of iron
  • morganite, pink to orange, containing lithium and cesium
  • the Goshenite, colorless
  • red beryl (bixbite), red, rich in manganese.

Green Beryl


The most famous stone of this family is the emerald, intense green, colored by traces of chromium and vanadium. The extreme rarity of transparent emerald is the reason why inclusions are tolerated.


These inclusions, also called “garden” are like a fingerprint, giving each emerald a distinct personality. The more green is intense, the more the stone will be expensive. Colombia is the most famous supplier for the emerald, but there are also large deposits in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania and Russia.

The second most famous known beryl is aquamarine, named after the color of seawater.




The Aquamarine is colored by traces of iron. The deeper color is, the more valuable the stone is. The traditional deposit is Brazil, but recently some very beautiful crystals from Africa, including Mozambique arrived on the market.

The third variety is known as morganite, named in honor of American banker, gem collector, JP Morgan. The Morganite generally has a color ranging from pale pink to salmon pink. The best known deposits of morganite are in Afghanistan.



Rough Morganite


Yellow Beryl, which is called Héliodore varies from lemon yellow to golden yellow. The inclusions are rare in heliodor. It is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.



Finally, the rarest variety of beryl is of raspberry color, known as the bixbite. So far we only know one deposit located in the State of Utah in the United States.


If you are interested in beryl’s family, don’t hesitate to discover what les Pierres de Julie have to offer in the store…

We are also available for any free expertise of your jewelry, for that you can send an email with your photos to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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