Chrysoberyl can be a type of quartz that has been naturally grown in a crystalline form or found as a fossil. It displays an oxide of aluminum or vanadium chemically bonded with its oxygen atoms in the crystal structure. Chrysoberyl may also be described as beryl with a complex chemical composition containing up to 20% chromium and 4% nickel, which does not occur in beryl. When chromium is present in beryl, it is termed a “chrome beryl.”
The ores of chromium and nickel are commonly found in the same geographic regions, and when they are together, they are subject to the natural substitution process. The substitution process involves replacing one element with another while both elements remain chemically bonded to their original oxygen atoms. This forms the basic composition of the gemstone chrysoberyl.
The ores of iron and chromium are usually found in the same geographic areas. As a result, when they are exposed to the natural process of substitution while exposed to the elements, they form an alloy known as “chalcopyrite.” This colorless material is commonly known as “pigeonite” or “pig iron.”
Originally, chrysoberyl was found as an ore mineral in large quantities in many parts of Central America and North America. It was mined for its brilliant gem quality for centuries. Because it was also found in pegmatite vein materials, much chrysoberyl is mined from pegmatites. One of the largest deposits of chrome chrysoberyl occurs heavily in the Ural Mountains in Russia.
Chrysoberyl is a fairly hard gemstone with hardness comparable to beryl. Its specific gravity is approximately 5.5 to 6.5, ranging from 3–to 3.5. Chrysoberyl is brittle and is often fractured longitudinally along its cleavage planes. Thus, most specimens are unheated faceted gems or are polished for this purpose, although a few large single-crystal specimens have been found. Chrysoberyl is usually colorless to pale yellowish-white. In some rare deposits, it occurs in pink or brown colors. It rarely occurs in darker colors ranging from black to dark brown.
Benefits of Chrysoberyl
1. Ancient civilizations valued chrysoberyl as a symbol of royalty.
According to mythology, a god placed a golden crown on the head of a king, which made it blossom into chrysoberyl. Chrysoberyl was also believed to be one of the stones in the breastplate worn by Aaron, brother of Moses. It was said that by seeing this stone, one could tell if the wearer were truthful or not.
2. Chrysoberyl can be used as a gemstone to prevent illness.
Carat weighs 1.2 grams, which is not harmful to the human body. But chrysolite has a toxic effect on the human body, and it is generally used to make jewelry that symbolizes the power and authority of an individual or family. If a size of 50 carats lapis lazuli gemstone, which is more than 45 carats, it can be an expression of wealth.
3. Chrysoberyl can also be used in the manufacturing of electronic components.
In the electronic industry, chrysolite’s hardness and beautiful appearance are preferred above all other minerals. The aluminum and vanadium oxide layer is used to improve the quality of glass and optical lenses, which are also essential for manufacturing electronic components such as radar, laser devices, light sources, etc.
4. Chrysoberyl also has an amazing optical effect, similar to beryl and aquamarine.
As you can see in the picture, chrysoberyl is similar to beryl and aquamarine in refractive index, optical properties, and dispersion properties. Still, the color of chrysoberyl is different from other gems. It has a low dispersion value (D’) of 1.565 and a refractive index of 2.35.
5. The properties of chrysoberyl are also appreciated by some herbalists, as it helps treat conditions related to women’s reproductive system.
There is no information about the temperatures of chrysoberyl that are effective for treating reproductive system diseases. Still, some say that a stone should be worn around the body’s neck for about six months to treat conditions such as infertility, irregular menstruation, and excessive uterine bleeding.
What Makes Chrysoberyl Special?
One of the most attractive qualities of natural chrysoberyl is its hardness and durability. It has a hardness comparable to that of quartz and beryl, which are at a level similar to that of sapphire and ruby. This makes the gemstone durable, meaning it will not easily chip or crack with a minimal outside force. The natural beauty and durability of chrysoberyl make it one of the most valuable gemstones.