Main index --- Minerals list --- Jewelry index Emerald and aquamarine
Name:Emerald, Aquamarine and Beryl
Derivation: From "esmeralde" (French) emerald
From "aqua marina" (Latin) sea water
From "beryllos" (Greek) beryl
Formula: Be3Al2Si6O18
Description: Transparent or translucent crystals. Beryl can be blue, green, yellow or pink. If it is green, then it is called Emerald. If blue, then it is Aquamarine. The photograph on the right shows two Aquamarine on the right, and the rest are (rather poor quality) Emeralds. Below is red Beryl.

Red beryl Beryl is the chief ore of Beryllium, which is used in transistors. The green form of Beryl, Emerald, is a precious stone, and has been valuable for a long time. They were mined and worked in Upper Egypt for the second millennium BC until until 1370. Both India and Europe got all their Emeralds from Egypt in ancient times.

Nero, the violent and tyrannical Roman emperor, was extremely short-sighted. He had an enormous Emerald which he used as a glass to view gladitorial fights. The Romans believed that Emeralds were good for the sight, but Nero's Emerald may have been hollowed out to act as a lens to help him see.

Coleridge describes icebergs "as green as Emerald" in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

The name Aquamarine was not used until the sixteenth century. It was a sailor's talisman in the past.

Larger pictures of Beryl:

Green beryl is Emerald. This is a hexagonal crystal.

Emerald

A (very small) cut emerald.

Emerald

Two crystals of aquamarine (blue beryl).

Beryl Beryl

Two crystals of aquamarine in Quartz.

Beryl

Two crystals of beryl.

Beryl

Beryl

This is a small crystal of pink beryl.

Beryl