All About Beryls

The beryl family includes some of the world’s most beloved gemstones. Here, we explore the rich history of beryls and their captivating brilliance.

Both aquamarines and emeralds belong to the beryl family, however, it does not stop there. Below you will find the types of beryls and a bit about each.

Beloved Beryls: Golden Emeralds from Lika Behar

Beryl consists of the elements beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Normally colorless, beryls take on colors from a variety of trace elements such as chromium and iron. Beryls can range from colorless to black, and crystals can range in size from single carats to extremely large and flawless examples found in museums.


Emeralds are perhaps the most widely known variety of beryl. Their rich green color, caused by traces of chromium and vanadium, has made them desirable for centuries. Colombian emeralds are amongst the most sought after.


Literally translating to ‘sea water’, aquamarine is colored by iron and occurs naturally as a pale, bluish-green color. In the 19th century, blue-green aquamarines were preferred but now, stones are usually heat treated to remove the green hue, thus producing a purer blue color. The more intense the blue color, the higher the value.

Heliodor and Golden Beryl

Both heliodor and golden beryl are yellow in color, but the former often has a hint of green while the latter is a saturated yellow to orangey-yellow. Both are colored by iron. 


Named after the 19th century banker and gemstone enthusiast J.P. Morgan, morganite is the pink to orangey-pink member of the beryl family colored by manganese. 


Goshenite is colorless, a beryl in its purest form. It was named after Goshen, Massachusetts where it was first discovered. 

Red Beryl 

So rare that it is more of a collector’s stone than one used in jewelry, red beryl is also known as bixbite. The only place this raspberry to deep rose red stone is found in gem quality is the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah.


Discovered in 2003 and named after gemologist Federico Pezzotta, pezzottaite is a rare pinkish-red to pink gemstone. It does not often appear in jewelry – several of the mines where it has been unearthed are now exhausted.

Explore our selection of beryls online and in store at Santa Fe Dry Goods.

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