Though colorless in a pure state, the mineral beryl forms an exciting variety of colored gemstones. Emerald and aquamarine are the most prized members of the beryl family. Lesser-known varieties include golden beryl, yellow-green heliodor, and purple-pink morganite.


Because beryl is present in nearly every corner of the earth, the variety of a beryl gemstone is determined by the minerals present in its region of origin. For example, South America and Asia are rich in chromium, and tend to yield blue and green gemstones, while the iron-rich deposits of Africa produce yellow-gold gemstones. The rarest stone in this gem family is red beryl, or bixbite, and is found exclusively in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah.


With a hardness of 7.5-8, beryl jewelry is durable enough for everyday wear. For safe cleaning, wash beryl pieces in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, using a soft brush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.


Like all fine jewelry, this gemstone should be removed before sleeping.