Chrysoberyl

History
Chrysoberyl was first discovered in the late 1700s and christened after the Greek word for gold, chrysos. The gem itself was only really prized by true gemstone connoisseurs, probably because it stood in the shadow of its siblings, cat’s eye and alexandrite.

 

Colour
The chrysoberyl’s colour spectrum is restricted to shades of yellow, green and brown. They sparkle in hues of finch yellow to lime green via deep chartreuse (yellowish-green) and olive green to warm, smoky, golden tobacco tones, as expressed in the words of Dr. Eduard Gubelin. He further describes these gems as “perky” and even a little frivolous.

 

Gemmological Properties
The simple, transparent chrysoberyl is a beryllium aluminate; it consists of beryllium and alumina. This chemical combination is colourless and often leads to the formation of prisms, which again grow as trillings, resulting in a star-shaped, six-sided crystal. Iron, chromium and occasional traces of titanium are responsible for the yellow and green shades in which chrysoberyl occurs.

Chrysoberyl is often confused with beryl, due to the similarity in their names. The two do both contain beryllium but are, however, completely separate gemstone species.