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Beryl

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Formula:
Be3Al2(Si6O18)
System:
Hexagonal
Colour:
Colorless, green, blue, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Sub-Vitreous, Waxy, Greasy
Hardness:
7½ - 8
Member of:
Name:
Possibly from the Greek "beryllos" which referred to a number of blue-green stones in antiquity.
May be confused with apatite.

The largest beryl crystal reported was 18 m long and 3.5 m wide from Malakialina, Madagascar, but in the absence of anything more than a personal communication, the report is doubtful.

Microporous beryl (and cordierite) may contain some molecular N2 (Bebout et al., 2006).

Cordierite and (especially) its HT-polymorph indialite are somewhat structurally similar to beryl.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Beryl.


Classification of Beryl

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.CJ.05

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
61.1.1.1

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
1 : Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
16.6.1

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
6 : Aluminosilicates of Be

Beryl in petrology

Common component of (items highlighted in red)

Occurrences of Beryl

Physical Properties of Beryl

Vitreous, Sub-Vitreous, Waxy, Greasy
Colour:
Colorless, green, blue, yellow, white, pink, etc.
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
7½ - 8
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Imperfect/Fair
{0001}
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
2.63 - 2.92 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Crystallography of Beryl

Crystal System:
Hexagonal
Class (H-M):
6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:
P6/mcc
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.21Å, c = 9.19Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.998
Unit Cell Volume:
V 675.10 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
2

Crystallographic forms of Beryl

Crystal Atlas:
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Beryl no.12 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Beryl no.23 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Beryl no.24 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Beryl no.32 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Beryl no.98 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Beryl - Tabular {001}
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Artioli G Rinaldi R Stahl K Zanazzi P F (1993) Structure refinements of beryl by single-crystal neutron and X-ray diffraction Sample no. 2, aquamarine, probed with neutrons, T = 295 K. American Mineralogist 78:762-768.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
7.98 (90)
4.60 (50)
3.99 (50)
3.25 (100)
3.01 (40)
2.87 (100)
2.52 (30)
1.99 (20)

Optical Data of Beryl

Type:
Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.568 - 1.602 nε = 1.564 - 1.595
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.004 - 0.007
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate

Chemical Properties of Beryl

Formula:
Be3Al2(Si6O18)
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Fe,Mn,Mg,Ca,Cr,Na,Li,Cs,O,H,OH,H2O,K,Rb

Relationship of Beryl to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
BazziteBe3Sc2(Si6O18)
PezzottaiteCs(Be2Li)Al2(Si6O18)
StoppaniiteBe3Fe23+(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.05BazziteBe3Sc2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.05StoppaniiteBe3Fe23+(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.10Cordierite(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.10Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.15aCombeiteNa2Ca2(Si6O18)0.5
9.CJ.15bImandriteNa12Ca3Fe23+(Si6O18)2
9.CJ.15aKazakoviteNa6Mn2+Ti(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15cKoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O
9.CJ.15aLovozeriteNa2Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si6O12)[(OH)4O2] · H2O
9.CJ.15aTisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.15aZirsinaliteNa6(Ca,Mn2+,Fe2+)Zr(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15aLitvinskiteNa2(◻,Na,Mn)ZrSi6O12(OH,O)6
9.CJ.15aKapustiniteNa5(Na,Mn2+)<1Zr(H2Si6O18)
9.CJ.25BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.25KatayamaliteKLi3Ca7Ti2(SiO3)12(OH)2
9.CJ.25AleksandroviteKCa7Sn2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.30DioptaseCuSiO3 · H2O
9.CJ.35KostyleviteK2Zr(Si3O9) · H2O
9.CJ.40PetarasiteNa5Zr2(Si6O18)(Cl,OH) · 2H2O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)(Ca,Na)2(Y,REE)3Si6O18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.50OdintsoviteK2Na4Ca3Ti2Be4Si12O38
9.CJ.55MathewrogersitePb7FeAl3GeSi12O36(OH,H2O)6
9.CJ.60PezzottaiteCs(Be2Li)Al2(Si6O18)
16.6.2EuclaseBeAl(SiO4)(OH)
16.6.3BaveniteCa4Be2Al2Si9O26(OH)2
16.6.4AminoffiteCa2(Be,Al)(Si2O7)(H2O,OH)
16.6.5MilariteK2Ca4Al2Be4Si24O60 · H2O
16.6.6LovdariteK2Na6Be4Si14O36 · 9H2O
16.6.7Surinamite(Mg,Fe)3Al4BeSi3O16
16.6.8Ferrotaaffeite-6N'3S(Be,Zn,Mg)FeAl4O8

Other Names for Beryl

Name in Other Languages:
Basque:Berilo
Bishnupriya Manipuri:বেরিলো
Bosnian (Latin Script):Beril
Bulgarian:Берил
Croatian:Beril
Czech:Beryl
Dutch:Beryl
Finnish:Berylli
French:Béryl
Galician:Berilo
Hebrew:בריל
Hungarian:Berill
Italian:Berillo
Japanese:緑柱石
Latin:Beryllus
Latvian:Berils
Lithuanian:Berilas
Low Saxon:Beryll
Polish:Beryl
Portuguese:Berilo
Romanian:Beril
Russian:Берилл
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Берил
Simplified Chinese:绿柱石
绿色绿宝石
Slovak:Beryl
Swedish:Beryll
Traditional Chinese:綠柱石
Turkish:Beril
Ukrainian:Берил
Wolof:Beril

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Beryl

Reference List:
Gesner, C. (1565) Gemmis, quae erant in veste Aaronis, Liber Graecus, & e regione Latinus, Iola Hierotarantino interprete: cum Corollario Conradi Gesneri. in Sancti Patris Epiphanii Episcopi Cypri ad Diodorum Tyri episcopum, De XII, 1-29.

Vauquelin, L.N. (1798) Sur une nouvelle terre tirée de l'aigue marine, ou beril. Observations sur la Physique, sur l’Histoire Naturelle et sur les Arts: 46: 158-158.

Gibbs, G.V., Breck, D.W., Meagher, E.P. (1968) Structural refinement of hydrous and anhydrous synthetic beryl, Al2(Be3Si6)O18 and emerald, Al1.9Cr0.1(Be3Si6)O18. Lithos: 1: 275-285.

Adams, D.M., Gardner, I.R. (1974) Single-crystal vibrational spectra of beryl and dioptase. Dalton Transactions: 1974: 1502-1505.

Černý, P., Hawthorne, F.C. (1976) Refractive indices versus alkali contents in beryl: General limitations and applications to some pegmatitic types. The Canadian Mineralogist: 14: 491-497.

Hawthorne, F.C., Černý, P. (1977) The alkali-metal positions in Cs-Li beryl. The Canadian Mineralogist: 15: 414-421.

Scandale, E., Scordari, F., Zarka, A. (1979) étude des défauts dans des monocristaux natures de béryl. I. Observations des dislocations. Journal of Applied Crystallography: 12: 70-77.

Scandale, E., Scordari, F., Zarka, A. (1979) étude des défauts dans des monocristaux natures de béryl. II. Etude de croissance. Journal of Applied Crystallography: 12: 78-83.

Hofmeister, A.M., Hoering, T.C., Virgo, D. (1987) Vibrational spectroscopy of beryllium aluminosilicates: heat capacity calculations from band assignments. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 14: 205-224.

Manier-Glavinaz, V., Couty, R., Lagache, M. (1989) The removal of alkalis from beryl: Structural adjustments. The Canadian Mineralogist: 27: 663-671.

Graziani, G., Lucchesi, S., Scandale, E. (1990) General and Specific Growth Marks in Pegmatite Beryls. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 17: 379-384.

Hagemann, H., Lucken, A., Bill, H., Gysler-Sanz, J., Stalder, H.A. (1990) Polarized Raman spectra of beryl and bazzite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 17: 395-401.

Sherriff, B.L., Grundy, H.D., Hartman, J.S., Hawthorne, F.C., Černý, P. (1991) The incorporation of alkalis in beryl: multi-nuclear MAS NMR and crystal-structure study. The Canadian Mineralogist: 29: 271-285.

Taylor, R.P., Fallick, A.E., Breaks, F.W. (1992) Volatile evolution in Archean rare-element granitic pegmatites: evidence from the hydrogen isotopic composition of channel H2O in beryl. The Canadian Mineralogist: 30: 877-893.

Scandale, E., Lucchesi, S., Graziani, G. (1993) Improvements on the growth history reconstruction of a beryl crystal by growth marks. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie Monatshefte: 4: 172-184.

Artioli, G., Rindali, R., Ståhl, K., Zanazzi, P.F. (1993) Structure refinements of beryl by single-crystal neutron and X-ray diffraction. American Mineralogist: 78: 762-768.

Kim, C.C., Bell, M.I., McKeown, D.A. (1995) Vibrational analysis of beryl (Be3Al2Si6O18) and its constituent ring (Si6O18). Physica B: 205: 193-208.

Pilati, T., Demartin, F., Gramaccioli, C.M. (1997) Lattice-dynamical evaluation of thermodynamic properties and atomic displacement parameters for beryl using a transferable empirical force field. American Mineralogist: 82: 1054-1062.

Moroz, I., Roth, M., Boudeulle, M., Panczer, G. (2000) Raman microspectroscopy and fluorescence of emeralds from various deposits. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy: 31: 485-490.

Scandale, E., Lucchesi, S. (2000) Growth and sector zoning in a beryl crystal. European Journal of Mineralogy: 12: 357-366.

Hänni, H.A., Krzemnicki, M.S. (2003) Caesium-rich morganite from Afghanistan and Madagascar. Journal of Gemmology: 28: 417-429.

Kleišmantas, A. (2003): Effects of chemical composition and temperature on the formation of beryl varieties. Geologija 41, 3-13. [http://www.lmaleidykla.lt/publ/1392-110X/2003/1/G-03.pdf]

Simmons, W.S., Staebler, G., Wilson, T., Wise, M. (editors) (2005) Beryl and Its Color Varieties, Extra Lapis English No. 7.

Diego Gatta, G., Nestola, F., Bromiley, G.D., Mattauch, S. (2006) The real topological configuration of the extra-framework content in alkali-poor beryl: a multi-methodological study. American Mineralogist: 91: 29-34.

Adamo, I., Gatta, G.D., Rotiroti, N., Diella, V., Pavese, A. (2008) Gemmological investigation of a synthetic blue beryl: a multi-methodological study. Mineralogical Magazine: 72: 799-808.

Le, T.-T. H. (2008) Microscopic, chemical and spectroscopic investigations on emeralds of various origins. Dissertation, Universität Mainz, Germany, 113 pp. [http://ubm.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2008/1673/pdf/diss.pdf]

Fukuda, J., Shinoda, K., Nakashima, S., Miyoshi, N., Aikawa, N. (2009) Polarized infrared spectroscopic study of diffusion of water molecules along structure channels in beryl. American Mineralogist: 94: 981-985.

Groat, L.A., Rossman, G.R., Dyar, M.D., Turner, D., Piccoli, P.M.B., Schultz, A.J., Ottolini, L. (2010) Crystal chemistry of dark blue aquamarine from the True Blue showing, Yukon Territory, Canada. The Canadian Mineralogist: 48: 597-613.

Huong, L.T.T., Häger, T., Hofmeister, W. (2010) Confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy: a powerful tool to identify natural and synthetic emeralds. Gems & Gemology: 46: 36-41.

Andersson, L.O. (2013) The yellow color center and trapped electrons in beryl. The Canadian Mineralogist: 51: 15-25.

Přikryl, J., Novák, M., Filip, J., Gadas, P., Galiová, M.V. (2014) Iron+magnesium-bearing beryl from granitic pegmatites: an EMPA, LA-ICP-MS, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and powder XRD study. The Canadian Mineralogist: 52: 271-284.

Sardi, F.G., Heimann, A. (2014) Pegmatitic beryl as indicator of melt evolution: example from the Velasco district, Pampeana Pegmatite Province, Argentina, and review of worldwide occurrences. The Canadian Mineralogist: 52: 809-836.

Jana Fridrichová, Peter Bačík, Petra Rusinová, Marcel Miglierini, Valéria Bizovská, Peter Antal (2014): Crystal-chemical effects of heat treatment on aquamarines and yellow beryl from Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. 4th Central European Mineralogical Conference, Skalský Dvůr, Czech Republic, 23-26 April 2014, Abstract Volume, 39. [http://www.mineralogickaspolocnost.sk/data/CEMC-2014/Fridrichova2.pdf]

Ollier, N., Fuchs, Y., Cavani, O., Horn, A.H., Rossano, S. (2015) Influence of impurities on Cr3+ luminescence properties in Brazilian emerald and alexandrite. European Journal of Mineralogy: 27: 783-792.

Bebout, G.E., Lazzeri, K.E., Geiger, C.A. (2016): Pathways for nitrogen cycling in Earth’s crust and upper mantle: A review and new results for microporous beryl and cordierite. American Mineralogist: 101: 7-24

Internet Links for Beryl

mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-819.html
Please feel free to link to this page.
Specimens:
The following Beryl specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Beryl

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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