The beryl family is a large group of minerals; it includes not only aquamarine and emerald but goshenite, heliodor, morganite, and a lot of gemstone beryls which are just called by their color. Red beryl is extremely rare (more so than emeralds, by some reports), and blue beryl is quite interesting in that its color fades with exposure to sunlight.

Ber"yl (?), n. [F. b'eryl, OF. beril, L. beryllus, Gr. , prob. fr. Skr. vaidrya. Cf. Brilliant.] Min.

A mineral of great hardness, and, when transparent, of much beauty. It occurs in hexagonal prisms, commonly of a green or bluish green color, but also yellow, pink, and white. It is a silicate of aluminium and glucinum (beryllium). The aquamarine is a transparent, sea-green variety used as a gem. The emerald is another variety highly prized in jewelry, and distinguished by its deep color, which is probably due to the presence of a little oxide of chromium.

 

© Webster 1913.

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