Thursday, April 19, 2007


Beryl is a misunderstood crystal. Even it's most famous family members, Emerald and Aquamarine tend to have a confusing past. History was befuddled by the gemstone. Emeralds were not always Emeralds, golden colored or Heliodor Beryls were often mistaken for Topaz or Citrine, sometimes rare Sapphires. Even in modern geology references I have found conflicting statements about what minerals are included in which Beryls and just exactly how many different types of Beryl there are.

To help myself and hopefully you understand the treasure of information that is available on this crystal, I will divide the article into two parts.

In this first halve, we'll dig into general information on Beryl crystals. In the June issue of ORE FEATURES, we'll delve a little deeper into the lesser known members of this crystal family, Helidor, Morganite, Goshenite and Red Beryl or Bixbite. Feature articles on Emerald and Aquamarine are already in the archives.

Beryl are aluminum silicate crystals that include a large amount of a rare mineral, beryllium. Silicon (Quartz) is connected vertically and horizontally by the aluminum and beryllium ions forming a ringed crystal. Most crystals are six sided with flat or basal terminations. Occasionally they will form a pyramidal termination, the most dramatic of which is a 12 sided pyramid point.

Twins are very rare among Beryl crystals. Tabular formations are almost as uncommon, though the Red Beryl tends to be tiny, tabby shaped crystals. With the exception of Emeralds, the majority of gemstones are found in Pegmatites. Emeralds most often grow in Mica-schists or as inclusions in Calcite deposits. As a result of the sedimentary processes that form them, Emerald crystals tend to be softer and more flawed than other Beryl crystals.

Gemstones are also found in alluvial washes below outcrops created by pegmatites, sometimes still in their original crystalline condition. Aluminum makes crystals very strong, most Beryls are resistant to scratches, usually break evenly and are immune to the majority of acids. Tumbling down a mountainside in a watery run-off does little damage to Beryl crystals.
Gigantic Beryl crystals form with an amazing regularity. A 27 foot crystal weighing 25 tons was unearthed in Maine. Another crystal weighing 40 tons was found in Madagascar, and in Brazil a 200 ton Beryl was mined in Minas Gerais. Even the more valuable Aquamarine has been discovered in substantial sizes. In 1910 an almost perfect 520,000 carat Aquamarine was found in Marambaia, which yielded 200,000 carats in cut gems. It's almost sad to think of that beautiful hexagonal crystal being sliced into tiny stones.

Extremely unusual Beryl crystals have been found with asterisms (stars). Normally the stars in gems (Star Sapphire, Star Ruby) come from Rutile inclusions. Beryl stars are created by Hematite and Ilminite which, under great pressures and heat form a "solid solution" and become interwoven in the crystal's lattice.

Emerald and Aquamarine are not the only Beryl with bright histories.

Fifth century Irish speculari (scryer, fortune teller) used spheres carved from giant clear crystals. They believed that Beryl surpassed Quartz as a divining tool. Another practice was to carve the gemstone into flat, round plates. The scryer would hold a plate with a white cloth to create a mirror for gazing. A white cloth was sometimes used with a Beryl ball as well. Ancient traditions recommend only using Beryl for divination during the waxing Moon.

Magicians recommended Beryl for individuals embroiled in disputes. It allowed the bearer to state their case without losing their temper, and would provide insight into the real causes of the disagreement. Beryl animal carvings were carried to bring new, loyal friends or to aid in reconciling old ones.

During the middle ages, it was used for magnifying glasses called beryls, and other eyesight aids. It is believed that the term beryl comes from an ancient Greek word, berylos. Unfortunately, I found conflicting definitions for the word. One reference said that berylos meant any green stone, another simply said its meaning was lost. The German word for spectacles is brille, which was noted as a derivative of the Greek word. Perhaps the meaning relates to sight or eyes . . . ok, I'm only guessing now.

N. L. Vauguelin, a French chemist first separated Beryllium from Beryl in 1798. Crystals can contain up to 14% of the mineral. It is used mainly for making alloys, improving strength, flexibility and fatigue resistance, especially in Copper.

You may find a Beryl crystal helpful in very much the same ways. The stone helps fight fatigue, lending you strength when you become exhausted. Use it to increase your sight and perception of approaching events so that you can flex and bend to accommodate them. As your coping skills improve, your self-confidence grows, giving you the strength to keep going. Even after a failure.

Students may find a Beryl crystal helpful when cramming. You should remember what you are studying with better clarity.

If you find yourself easily sold by salespeople, or talked into bad ideas by friends a Beryl crystal will be beneficial. It protects the wearer from being manipulated by a charismatic speaker. It helps you see the truth.

Beryl crystals can promote a healthy balance, harmonizing all of your body's automatic functions. Heart beat, breathing, blinking - so that your body achieves a perfect energy balance. All parts working together for your healthy body.

Other healing traditions recommend Beryl for improving eyesight and clearing the liver of toxins.

With the all the colors available in the Beryl crystal family, there are dozens of different ways you can utilize this magical gemstone in your life. In the next issue of ORE FEATURES we'll look at four younger sisters in this family:

Goshenite - a pure, clear Beryl
Morganite - pink
Red Beryl (Bixbite) - red
Helidor - a golden or yellow Beryl

You can learn more about the big brothers, Emerald and Aquamarine in back issues of ORE FEATURES. There is a link to the archives at the end of the newsletter, both articles will be in the 2001 archive.

Last month we began to learn about the Beryl crystal. In this issue of ORE FEATURES, we'll finish up our Beryl studies by examining the four lesser known siblings in this crystal family, Goshenite, Heliodor, Morganite and Red Beryl (aka Bixbite).


This clear member of the Beryl family is considered the purest member. It contains only the base elements found in all Beryl crystals, Beryllium, Aluminum and Silicon.
The name Goshenite has only recently (at least in geological terms) been applied to this clear gemstone. Ancient texts that mention Beryl are usually referring to this crystal specifically. At that time, scholars did not know Aquamarine, Emerald and Heliodor had any relation to clear Beryl, or each other.

The crystal's newer name comes from a town in Massachusetts called Goshen, one of the many locations where Beryl is found in the US. It is still used in the manufacturing of eye glasses and lenses. Colored metal foils have been applied to the crystal to reproduce the appearance of Emerald or Aquamarine gemstones.

This clear Beryl was very popular as a divining tool amongst many older traditions in Ireland. It was carved into crystal balls and plates, often used with a white cloth to create a mirror effect for gazing. Some practitioners preferred the Beryl over Quartz as a more receptive tool.

You will also find Goshenite an excellent crystal for meditations, either for tuning your psychic skills, or just clearing your mind to bring calm into your hectic life. It can bring the clarity of truth into your life, so that your words, actions and thoughts are true to your deepest desires and needs. It teaches you to accept the comfort of plenty without guilt, to accept joyfully the gifts the Universe has chosen to bestow on you.

Healers especially will enjoy the long-term healing energies of the Goshenite crystal. It works to restore a healthy flow of energy throughout the entire system, removing blockages caused by either physical injury or emotional pain. Bringing the physical body back into balance with the mental.


This golden colored Beryl was once considered a gift from the Sun, in fact the literal translation of its Greek name is present of the Sun. The crystal's color comes from an Iron/Oxygen charge transfer within the molecular structure. In very rare occurrences, the color can also be produced by Uranium. Crystals with Uranium present will be slightly radioactive.

Even though Heliodor deposits are more sparse than Aquamarine or Emerald, it is not considered as valuable a gemstone. If you are lucky enough to find it in jewelry, you'll discover the prices very reasonable. But first, you'll have to find it.

Heliodor energies are very closely related to Grandfather Sun. This makes it an excellent crystal for lifting you out of the doldrums and adding fire to your efforts. It increases creativity and innovative thought then instills a sense of pride in a job well done. This joyful stone helps you find laughter, on even the most trying days. allowing optimism to flow freely through your heart and mind.

Use the crystal for opening, activating and clearing the Solar Plexus Chakra. This important Chakra point is one of the most easily blocked by disappointment, emotional trials and illness. Keeping this Chakra healthy means a consistent flow of energy throughout the physical body.
Heliodor is also very effective at opening your Crown Chakra, helping you to attain a higher knowledge of life.

This is one of the most protective Beryls. Use it to project a beam of white or golden light to surround the individual needing protection. It can both purify and repel incoming harmful energies.

For healing, Heliodor is recommended for illnesses relating to the liver, spleen and pancreas.


There has been much argument among geologist as to what brings out the rosy pinks in the Morganite crystal. Various papers from a variety of geology scholars would proclaim it was the Cesium, or the Lithium or Manganese. Ultimately it was Manganese that won.

Careful scientific scrutiny has revealed that colors in crystals are produced by the electrons in certain elements becoming "excited" when they absorb the energies from light waves. Elements that are excited by light waves are called a transition metal element. Iron and Manganese are transitional elements, Cesium and Lithium are not.

The crystal is named for John P. Morgan, who was an extensive collector and donated several of the pink Beryl crystals to the American Museum of Natural History. Older names for the crystal include Vorobievite, Worobieffite and Rosterite, though the majority of references use the modern term, Morganite.

Beautiful Brazilian Beryl crystals have been found with zones of Aquamarine and Morganite. Specimens like this are very rare and quite valuable.

Of all the Beryl crystals, Morganite's history is the most obscure. Before geology was a science, the stone was mistaken for pink Sapphires, Alexanderites and other rosey crystals. My research only turned up bits and pieces on Morganite and nothing under the lesser known names. This loving crystal deserves so much more.

The crystal appears to have been very popular with story tellers in our earlier years. It opens communication between you and your guides, plus brings wisdom and ancient memories to the wearer.

Your heart will benefit the most from Morganite's energies. It acts as a cleansing agent for old injuries and hurts that still haunt you. The Lithium will keep you calm in stressful situations, protecting your heart from extra emotional strain. It also promotes equality between the two sexes, or can be used to ease prejudicial environments involving different ethnic or religious groups. If your partner doesn't carry an equal load of the housework, present them with a Morganite (and let me know what happens).

This is a stone of Love. It can help reveal the true power of love that connects us to everything.
In healing, the Morganite can benefit asthma sufferers. It promotes the absorption of oxygen on a cellular level. It may also help clear your lungs, ease symptoms of emphysema and tuberculosis. The crystals is believed to rejuvenate your body by repairing injured cells.

Red Beryl/Bixbite

This Beryl youngster has only been found in the United States. Around the turn of the century (1912), Maynard Bixby first discovered the red crystals in volcanic Rhyolite in the Wah Wah mountains of Utah. Since then, two other locations, the Thomas Range in Utah and the Black Range in New Mexico have also yielded this very rare Beryl.

Once the scientific community recognized this new find as a separate type of Beryl, it was named for it's discoverer, Bixby. However, Bixbite hasn't really stuck and many references use the simple Red Beryl designation to identify the gemstone.

Red Beryl crystals are the tiniest (you may recall that Beryl crystals tend to be large) of the Beryl family. The largest may reach two inches in length, but these are exceptions. Most crystals are under one inch in size, which makes it a difficult gem to find in jewelry. They are often double terminated in pyramidal points.

Oxidized Manganese is responsible for the darker reds in the Bixbite crystal. It also includes traces of Boron, Lithium, Lead, Rubidium, Tin, Titanium, Zinc and Zirconium. It's chemical structure is easily the most complicated of all the Beryls.

To promote it's rareness, dealers have been known to call it a Red Emerald. While it is not completely misleading to make such a statement (after all, they both are Beryl crystals), more reputable members of the gem industry discourage confusing the names of gems in this way.

You'll find Bixbite or Red Beryl to be a powerful Base Chakra stone. It can heal, activate and empower this important Chakra plus stimulate movement of the Kundalini throughout all your Chakra.

This crystal is a task master. If you have been leaving projects laying around for another day to complete, Red Beryl will provide the motivation to finish what you start. Use it to bring a more cooperative attitude to your relationships, so that harmony becomes a natural state.

Victims of violence that have received sexually related injuries will benefit greatly from the healing energies of this crystal. It may also be beneficial in recovering from child birth and surgery performed on reproductive organs.

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