Beryl is one of the most important gemstone groups. It is abundant in mineral form, but rarely occurs with transparent gem-quality material. Transparent specimens are referred to as ‘precious beryl’. The most famous member of the beryl family is green emerald, followed secondly by blue aquamarine. Even though beryl is one of the most important mineral groups, golden beryl is not very well-known by the general public. Other popular beryls include pink ‘morganite’ and white, or colorless, ‘goshenite’. Red beryl is the rarest variety of beryl and it is known in the trade as ‘bixbite’.

Golden beryl is sometimes referred to as ‘heliodor’, but many argue that heliodor and golden beryl are not the same gem. Heliodor is typically used to describe lighter, weaker colored greenish-yellow beryl, while ‘golden beryl’ is reserved for vivid and intense lemon-lime like specimens. However, since there is no official distinction, heliodor and golden beryl are usually considered to be one and the same. Nowadays, the trade name of heliodor is rarely used.

Beryl in its purest form is completely colorless (goshenite). Trace impurities and coloring agents within colorless beryl are responsible for the many different colored varieties of beryl. Golden beryl’s color is owed to iron impurities. Without trace elements and impurities, beryl would be rather ordinary and average, except for its superior hardness.


Beryl Color

Precious beryl occurs in a variety of colors. The greenish-yellow colored variety is referred to as heliodor or golden beryl. Golden beryl is the most common gem-quality variety of beryl. Colors range from vivid lemon-lime to pale greenish-yellow to golden in color. Golden beryl, or heliodor, owes its color to iron impurities. Beryl can also display ranging levels of pleochroism.

Beryl Clarity and Luster

Beryl can naturally occur in a range of clarity levels from transparent to opaque. Gemstone-quality beryl is transparent. Inclusions are rare for golden beryl and specimens are almost always eye-clean. When cut and polished, golden beryl has an attractive vitreous to waxy luster.


Beryl Cut and Shape

Golden beryl is usually faceted to display its brilliance. It is not typically cut en cabochon, unless it possesses asterism (star effect) or chatoyancy (cat’s eye effect). Golden beryl is available in a variety of shapes and cutting styles, including Portuguese cuts and checkerboard cuts. Traditional shapes are most common, including ovals, pears, rounds and cushions, and fancy shapes are also readily available, such as trillions, hearts, briolettes and flower cuts. Beryl is an excellent material used frequently for gemstone carvings and ornamental designs.


Beryl Jewelry

Golden beryl is an excellent gemstone for any type of jewelry application. It is considered to be both hard and durable. It also has a good level of fire and brilliance which makes it an ideal gemstone for open settings. It is available in larger sizes and very much affordable compared to other gemstones. Golden beryl is perfect for setting in large gemstone rings or pendants. Since it is almost always free of inclusions and has intense and vivid color, it is best set into designs that allow light to pass through easily.

Golden beryl is an excellent gem for beaded and tumbled jewelry, such as stranded necklaces and bracelets. Golden beryl is often used as an alternative to rare and expensive imperial topaz. Beryl in general is one of the most popular gemstones in the world and it is a favorite among jewelers because of its hardness, durability, affordability and beauty. Unlike many other rarer colored stones, beryl is often available in local jewelry stores (usually sold as emerald or aquamarine). Usually, beryl stones will be preset as earrings, pins, brooches, class rings and other mainstream jewelry designs.

Source: Gem Select