Chrysoberyl Facts and Buying Guide

Chrysoberyl Facts and Buying Guide

by Sheweta Dhanuka

It is one among the hardest stone found. It rates 8.5 Mohs on the hardness scale. Thus, it does not need any specific care or precautions. It can be easily be used for daily jewelry items that are used for rough handling. General gemstone precautions are more than sufficient for this stone.

Chrysoberyl was founded way back in 1789. The name is derived from two different Greek words. It can be split up into two words viz. chryso and beryl. The word chyrso is derived from the word chrysos that means “golden” while beryl word from berullos that means gem crystal. Thus, when we join both words we get Chrysoberyl. Similar to its names it possesses twin crystals within its structure. This property makes it an extraordinary gemstone.

Buyer needs to know certain facts about this gemstone before making any sort of purchases. Apart from the usual information with respect to four important Cs, occurrence, uses, precautions etc. it is crucial to know the different varieties of this gemstone. This gemstone is known after its varieties. Thus, we would discuss the same first.

Varieties

This stone is quite unknown in the gem market. However, its varieties are very popular and fetch a high price. The first variety is Alexandrite, which is very rare. This stone needs no introduction, as it is known in the world due to its magnificent colour change property. It displays bright green colour in sunlight while the colour changes automatically to red or violet in artificial incandescent light. It is the most expensive gemstone in world. Only royal families or filthy rich people can afford it.

The second variety is Cat’s eye. It is also called as Cymophane. It consists inclusions as thin as needle within its structure. These inclusions reflect the distinct band along the center of the gem when light rays passes across the crystal. The band keeps sweeping from one side to another when the stone is rotated in different directions. The colour of the band can be silver or golden colours emitted from the center of the crystal that appears like the eyes of a cat, therefore it is named Cat Eye. This cat eye effect is best visible in cabochon cut. This variety is treasured a lot but certainly less than Alexandrite.

And the third variety is simply faceted transparent Chrysoberyl. It occurs in the shades of yellow, green and brown. It was used most in ancient times, precisely in Victorian and Edwardian jewelry. It is a fairly clean and fine gemstone but scores least popularity among all the three forms.

These are the three different varieties, which are important to be known by the buyer. These properties are not at all related to Alexandrite and Cat eye. It is solely related to third variety of Chrysoberyl.

Colour

It is a procured in different shades yellow and green like bluish green, yellowish brown, brownish green, greenish yellow, etc. Shades of brown are also common. Other possible colours are gray and blue. The yellow colour appears due to the presence of iron impurities in the composition. This gemstone displays the unique phenomenon of pleochroism. This means that it emits different colour along the different directions when light rays falls on its different sides/facets. However, the stone displays weak plechroism, it is not very distinctively seen.

Cut

As it a very tough and hard stone, it can be easily cut in all the possible shapes and styles as required by the jewelry designers. It is brilliantly cut gemstone. Round, pear, marquise, octagon, cushion, oval, radiant and cabochon are quite common shapes.

Clarity

This gem has a vitreous luster and is transparent to translucent. It consists of few flaws and inclusions. It consists of white coloured streaks. Many times absolutely clean transparent gem is also produced in few countries.

Carat Weight

It is rarely produced these days but when it occurs the size of the rough is large. The carat weight of rough can go up to 100ctw and more. The stone used as gemstone possess the carat weight between 2-7 ctw. More than 10 ctw, finished gems are rare to obtain and over 20 ctw is further more difficult to find.

Price

Unlike other two varieties, this is quite affordable gem variety. Bright yellow and green shades are most preferred thus are priced more than other available colours. Similarly clean stone costs more than those consisting flaws and inclusions. Altogether, this stone is very friendly to the human pockets.

Occurrence

It is found in granite rocks, pegmatites and mica schists. It is also procured from alluvial deposits and when it comes in contact with metamorphic depsoits. Mainly it is recovered from river sands and gravels. It has one special property of producing the twin crystal. As rough it occurs in twinned crystals that is in thick tabular crystals as well as long prismatic crystals. These are massive and produce hexagonal cyclic twin effect referred as ‘trillings’. These are the result of a triplet of three “twins,” with each “twin” taking up 120 degrees of the cyclic trilling. The presence of twinned crystals can be one of the ways for judging the originality of the gem.

The main sources of this semi precious stone are Ural Mountains of Russia and Brazil. Other countries that produce reasonable quantity are United States, Myanmar (Burma), Tanzania, Zimbabwe, India, Madagascar, Italy and Sri Lanka. It was treasured most in ancient times as was available in huge quantities. But now it is quite limited.

Uses

It is used as gemstone for making jewelries. It is very much durable and hard stone. Thus, most preferred for men’s jewelry. The ideal carat weight for men’s rings is between 4.5 to 7 ctw. For female earring and small ring size gems, the suitable weight is 1.5 to 3 ctw each. In one single jewelry item more than one gemstone can be used. In antique jewelry it used to be paired with other semi precious gemstone – Peridot. Apart from the jewelries it is also used as an ore of Beryllium.

Precautions

It is one among the hardest stone found. It rates 8.5 Mohs on the hardness scale. Thus, it does not need any specific care or precautions. It can be easily be used for daily jewelry items that are used for rough handling. General gemstone precautions are more than sufficient for this stone.

Beliefs

It was believed that people wearing this brilliant stone gain self-confidence and positive characteristics like kindness, compassion, forgiveness etc. It assists in achieving excellence in one’s professional and personal life. It was also said that by wearing this stone people experience peace of mind and positive attitude towards life.

In ancient times it was believed that the people who possess Chrysoberyl would always remain rich and would prosper more in future. Today also most of the people dream to get rich and remain rich forever. Thus, the dream of getting can be realized in real life by acquiring this gemstone. Give it a thought!!

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