When purchasing jewelry, there is a broad range of gems available to the savvy shopper. These gems, geologically, can be grouped into certain mineral families. One such mineral is known as beryl, which encompasses aquamarine, emeralds, golden beryl, goshenite, morganite, and red beryl. Here are just a few brief facts on each of them:
Aquamarine: Blue/turquoise in color, caused by a combination of FE2+ and FE3+ ions. In America, aquamarine has been discovered at mines in both Colorado and Wyoming. The largest cut aquamarine gem is the Dom Pedro aquamarine
Emerald: Green in color, caused by chromium and sometimes vanadium. The brittleness of emeralds is generally poor, and though mined worldwide, they can be found in the US in North Carolina. Emeralds are both rare and very valuable and can actually be developed synthetically.
Golden Beryl: As the name implies, these gems range from pale yellow to a rich gold. They have few flaws, and they achieve their signature color thanks to FE3+. The largest cut golden beryl is 2,054 carats and is on display at the Hall of Gems in Washington, DC.
Goshenite: Originally discovered in Goshen, Massachusetts (hence the name), goshenite is colorless. It’s not a particularly valuable gem, but it can be colored and has been used for making eyeglass lenses.
Morganite: Pink/Rose-colored beryl (due to Mn2+) first discovered in Madagascar in 1910. It has also been found in California and Maine, with the largest specimen ever recovered in 1989 in Buckfield, Maine. Though somewhat orange in hue, the crystal weighed in at a whopping 50 pounds!
Red Beryl: A red variety (due to Mn3+) that is very rare. It has been found in both Utah and New Mexico, with the largest amount being found in Utah. High quality versions of these babies can go for as much as $10k per carat!