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Reynolds Mine (Beryl Hill Mine), Royalston, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USA
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Reynolds Mine, Royalston, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USA

Photo: Rob Lavinsky
A granite pegmatite on Beryl Hill in North Royalston, one of two gem beryl-producing pegmatite localities discovered in the town of Royalston in the nineteenth century. "Several tons of rock" were said to have been removed by A. C. Hamlin and associates in 1871. They found variously colored crystals, including a one-inch perfectly transparent deep sea-green prism (Hamlin, 1873). Owned by C. W. Bowker of Worcester from 1885-1895; later owned by F. H. C. Reynolds of Boston, who worked it for gem beryl ca. 1910-1915.

Beryl Hill is located in the northeastern part of Royalston. There is another, older locality for gem beryl in South Royalston, about four miles away, mentioned in the second edition of Dana's System of Mineralogy as being located on the land of Mr. Clarke near the schoolhouse. (Dana, 1844). This newer locality (Beryl Hill) is first mentioned in Dana's 4th edition (1858).

According to Caswell and Cross (1917): Reynolds "mined hundreds of [aquamarine crystals], and disposed of some of the good sized stones as high as a hundred dollars apiece, and has some in his collection that have been valued by experts as worth three hundred dollars...Mr. Reynolds describes the beryls on his place as being found without exception in what we term 'bunches' that is, they appear generally in groups of crystals. Once during the last summer (1915) he opened probably a hundred crystals in a space not more than three feet square at the most, and he says that it was a wonderful sight. He has many crystals from that find, and they have been greatly admired by some of the most expert mineralogists of this country."

McCaskey (1917) reported: "The Reynolds mine at Beryl Hill, near Royalston, Mass., was again worked by Mr. F. H. Reynolds of Boston, who obtained a large quantity of aquamarine beryl, of good color and clearness. Some of the material of fine quality yielded cut stones nearly 16 carats in weight. Many fine cabinet specimens were also obtained...Among the cut stones also submitted by Mr Reynolds were some very fine ones, of marked brilliancy and beauty of color. A large table cut stone of 15.7 carats, measuring 16 by 13 millimeters, was of an exceptionally fine blue color. Another large stone measuring 18 by 14 millimeters, weighed 14.2 carats. A smaller table-cut stone, 14 by 11 millimeters, weighing 10 carats, was of an exquisite pale blue color. A large round cut stone, measuring 14 millimeters across and weighing 12.6 carats, was very brilliant and of fine color."

Mineral List

var: Aquamarine

var: Heliodor

10 entries listed. 7 valid minerals.

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Hamlin, A. C. (1870): The Gems of the United States in Proceeedings for the Association for the Advancement of Science, Eighteenth Meeting Held at Salem, Massachusetts, August 1869 , p.212.

Hamlin, A. C. (1873): The Emerald. Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11 pp. 143-144.

Hamlin, A. C. (1884): Leisure Hours Among Gems (Boston: James R. Osgood & Company), pp. 311-312.

Caswell, L. and Cross, F. W. (1917). The History of the Town of Royalston, Massachusetts.

McCaskey H. D. (1917). Mineral Resources of the United States 1915, Part II, pp. 846-847.

Billings, Marland P. (1941): Pegmatites of Massachusetts. (Prepared under a cooperative project for geologic investigations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)

Sinkankas, John (1959). Gemstones of North America, Vol. 1, p. 73.

Sinkankas, John (1981). Emerald and Other Beryls (Radnor, PA; Chilton Book Co.)

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