Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick Notes on Beryl

By Steven Marquez

Notes: The Greek name for beryl is beryllos, which means precious blue-green color or seawater stone (Chesterman, 1990). Beryl forms in pegmatites and some metamorphic rocks. Gem quality beryl is known by these colors and names: green beryl is emerald (from presence of chromium and vanadium), light blue beryl is known as aquamarine; colored by manganese, pink to light purple beryl is called morganite; yellow beryl is called golden beryl, colorless beryl is known as goshenite (Hall, 2002).

This beryl crystal was found in Park County, Colorado.
Image by the author.

The gem fields of Mount Antero, Chaffee County, Colorado (USA) produce excellent aquamarine specimens. Beryl specimens can also be found in Park County, Colorado. Beryl is the source of beryllium, a light metal used for many things such as: x-ray tubes, missiles, and space vehicles (Chesterman, 1990).

Composition: Beryllium aluminum silicate
Color:  Green, blue, greenish-blue, yellow, red, pink, white, and colorless
Luster:  Vitreous
Streak: Colorless
Hardness: 7.5-8
Crystals: Hexagonal
Transparency: Transparent to translucent
Specific gravity: 2.7-2.9
Cleavage: Indistinct
Fracture: Uneven to conchoidal

A Beryl Haiku:
Blue like an ocean
Yellow like the sun that shines
Green like a forest

About the Author:
Steven Marquez is an Earth Science Scholar with the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society (Colorado, USA). He is a volunteer in the mineral section of the Cripple Creek District Museum. Steven enjoys studying minerals and field work. He is in 8th grade.

References Cited
Chesterman, C. W. (1990). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Hall, C. (2002). Smithsonian Handbooks: Gemstones. New York: Dorling Kindersley.

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.