The beryl mineral group features several important gemstone varieties. These include aquamarine, emerald, goshenite, heliodor, morganite and the very rare red beryl variety. Beryls are commonly found in pegmatites and other complex geological environments as the element beryllium needs to be present for beryl formation to occur. Beryls are found in a wide variety of countries.
Aquamarines are of a blue to green colour. They are coloured by iron, and form in megmatites and metamorphic-hydrothermal fluid environments. They can be found in Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan, Zambia. They can commonly be treated through low-temperature heat treatment to improve the colour of stones.
Emeralds are the green variety of Beryl containing chromium and/or vanadium as trace elements that serve as colouring agent (chromophores). Emeralds are found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia and Zambia. For more on emeralds see the dedicated Emerald Page.
Goshenite is the variety of colourless beryl, and is considered to be of relatively low value. Goshenites commonly form in pegmatic environments. It is found in Brazil, China, Madagascar, Russia, Pakistan, USA.
Heliodor is the name for the yellow-gold variety of beryl, often also called golden beryl. They are coloured by traces of trivalent iron. They can be found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan. They are found in pegmatites.
Morganites are the pink-orange variety of beryl and are coloured by traces of manganese. They can be found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan. They are found in pegmatites. They can commonly be treated through heat treatment.
Red Beryl ('Bixbite')
Red Beryl, also called Bixbite, is extremely rare. It is only found in one location in the Wah Wah Mountains (Utah, USA), often in small sizes and rarely of gem quality.