As much as we love diamonds, we’re also in love with colored stones and gems like aquamarines and morganite, which can range from peach to lavender in color, are becoming more and more prevalent in gemstone jewelry.
Beryl is the mineral from which emeralds are created. But beryl comes in a variety of colors, making it a versatile gem. Morganite is probably the most popular of the other beryls. It has a pastel pink to peach or lavender which is similar in intensity to the blue of aquamarine. Morganite has been marketed as “Pink Emerald” and “Pink Aquamarine” to emphasize the kinship to its popular cousins. It was first discovered in California. It was also discovered in 1908 in Madagascar. There are also deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia. However, morganite is relatively rare, which stands in the way of it becoming a jewelry stone.
Heliodor, or golden beryl, is named after the Greek words for sun – helios – and gift – doron. The sunny yellow color of this beryl lives up to its name. Heliodor was discovered in Namibia in 1910 in a pegmatite that also produced aquamarine, which is also colored by iron. Heliodor is also found in Brazil and Madagascar. The largest faceted heliodor, 2,054 carats, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Red beryl is the rarest member of the beryl family. It is mined in only one place: the Wah Wah Mountains in Utah. The color is stoplight red. Unfortunately this deposit produces only a small quantity of this gem. Most of the gems produced are under a carat in size, and many have inclusions. Specimens that are over a carat and clean are fantastically rare and are priced as such.
Colorless beryl, which is also known as goshenite, is also relatively rare. It is named after a deposit where it was found in Goshen, Massachusetts. The Greeks used colorless beryl as lenses; the first spectacles were probably beryl.