Beryl (emerald, aquamarine and more)
The meaning for the Beryl crystal is exuberant energy, vitality and
action ≈♥≈ Metaphysical healing powers of the Beryl help with vision and breath work ≈♥≈ The magic properties of the Beryl gemstone is to own the warrior goddess energy, and to be totally invincible
Lungs – emphysema
Endocrine system – kidneys, liver Heart problems
In choosing the beryl, I’m cheating a little because if I include beryl rather than the individual varieties of this gem then I can squeeze a few more stones onto the list...
Two of the most popular beryls are aquamarine and emeralds. More rare varieties include golden beryl, heliodor, red beryl and pink morganite.
Back in the days of men wearing jewels in Europe, the beryl was used to help ‘against foes in battle or litigation’, the idea being that the wearer becomes ‘unconquerable’, but not in a bombastic kind of way since he was also made more amiable, his intellect was sharpened and he was also cured of laziness. Quite advantageous for an active Renaissance gentlemen considering the political intrigue of the age.
The beryl was also used to awaken the love of married people for each other, so is a very appropriate anniversary gift! When it comes to wedding anniversary stones, according to the accepted list of gems for anniversaries, the aquamarine comes in at no 19 – for the 19th year of marriage, while the emerald is appropriate for the 35th.
The emerald is the best known beryl, and we can nd much legend and folklore around it because it has been so popular across many cultures.
The writings of Hermes Trismegistus, the purported father of alchemists, were inscribed on an emerald tablet found in an Egyptian tomb.
Even though our eyes will normally tire if we gaze intently at an object, Pliny declared that the eye actually gained renewed strength when gazing upon the lush green of the emerald. He was writing in the
early 1st century CE, but the emerald already had a well-developed reputation for resting and relieving the eyes as this same quality was mentioned in Theophrastus’ thesis on gems in 3rd century BCE.
In ancient times eight barleycorns of powdered emerald was recommended as an antidote for poisons. It was also famed from Europe to India as cure for demonical possession. Back then demonical possession may well have been associated with the spasms of epilepsy since, later on, we nd emerald pendant necklaces recommended for alleviating fever and epilepsy.
16th century Spanish physician Michaele Paschali wrote of curing dysentery using one emerald worn in a way that it touched the stomach, while another was placed in the mouth. German physician Wolfgang Gabelchover in 1603 also wrote of his invariable successes when using the stone as a cure for dysentery. It was quite commonly held that the stone worked this effect – we nd Hindu physicians also used it for the same purpose, saying that it diminished secretions of bile and stimulated the appetite.
Emerald is considered a stone both ‘cold and sweet’, which may account for its ability to cool overheated systems, and counteract biliousness. Interestingly, there is a link here in emerald’s common connection with bile-related disorders and the Taoist tradition of associating the colour green with the liver.
These stories suggest some of the reasons emeralds were associated with restoring sight and curing eye diseases, easing stomach and liver problems, as well as being an antidote to poison. It was also used to alleviate pain in childbirth.
It gained a reputation for being associated with good luck and a bright future, which is quite understandable if it was able to effect all the medicinal cures mentioned above.
The colour green is associated with the heart chakra, and as mentioned before, also the liver.
The aquamarine has always carried the symbolism of youthfulness, hope, health and joy.
Its name means ‘sea water’, which makes it a natural sailor’s amulet, its hopeful qualities banishing fear when in dif cult circumstances at sea. It was certainly prescribed as such in a fragment of a Greek Lapidary from around the 3rd or 4th century CE.
A commonly used stone around the Mediterranean, for a time it was the only gem faceted by the Romans who used it for rings and ear drops, while Greeks preferred it for intaglios. Aquamarine beads have also been found in Egyptian tombs.
The stone was used for curing throat ailments, which may well show a link to the blue colour associated with the throat chakra. Rather like its cousin the emerald, legends told of how aquamarines strengthened the will and helped establish happy marriages, having the unique power to reconcile partners after discord. They also shared the tradition of the emerald for healing stomach problems, jaundice and other disorders of the liver. This suggests that these traits were traceable to their beryl-ness rather than to their particular colours.
Aquamarine is now considered the birthstone for March, and is ideally suited to watery Pisces. In ancient times the beryl varieties pretty much had three zodiacal signs wrapped up, with the beryl standing for Gemini, the blue emerald (which may well have been the aquamarine) for Cancer, and the green emerald for Libra. Green stones in general and the emerald in particular are sacred to Venus, who as the goddess of love, and also rules the heart. This links the emerald to the Hindu chakra system where the colour green aligned with the heart.
Even though Greek goddesses might seem half a world away from Hindu metaphysicians, there was actually a good deal of cross- cultural mixing over the millennia so that ideas circulated and were adapted in much the same way as they are today – except of course everything took a much longer!
Now a look at the geology of the beryl:
Beryls are composed of the minerals beryllium aluminium silicate, of which beryllium is the most rare material and only occurs in combination with other minerals. The green colour is created from varying percentages of chromium and sometimes vanadium. The golden colour is from iron, and the red colour from manganese.
While there are trace amounts of beryllium in our bodies, its purpose is unclear because it’s considered toxic. If this is the case, we can only wonder how it could have been an effective gemstone to drink in powdered form! It could well have been the placebo effect in action – or there may be something about beryllium that we don’t yet understand. Fortunately, no harmful effects have been reported from wearing beryl!
Emerald is mostly found in Columbia – Muzo, Chivor and Somondoco where it occurs in veins of white calcite running through blackish metamorphosed limestone. It is also found in Minas Gerais and Salininha (Bahia) and in the Urals and Siberia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The best aquamarine comes from Brazil and the Urals, Madagascar, India, Namibia and Ireland.
Morganite comes from Brazil and Madagascar, as well as Pala and Ramona in California, where it is also associated with exceptionally ne tourmaline.
Heliodor is found in Siberia, Namibia, Madagascar and Brazil.
Red beryl is of cially the rarest of stones because it has only been found in one place – the Wah Wah Mountains in Utah.
Industrial beryllium is used as a light, very strong, alloy for high- speed aircraft, and communication satellites. The salts are used in uorescent lamps and x-ray tubes, because its low density and atomic mass make it transparent to ionising radiation.
Some other fancy facts:
Emerald is one of the most expensive and rarest stones, particularly specimens that are transparent with a ne, clear green colour. Synthetic emeralds are now manufactured with arti cial inclusions making them very similar to the real thing.
It is actually the red beryl which is the rarest stone, and can sell for up to $10 000 a carat.
Giant crystals of heliodors and aquamarines have been cut into huge gems.
Aquamarines are one of the few stones that not only maintain their brilliance under arti cial light; they can even gain in brilliance.
Heliodor and morganite can change colour in ultraviolet light.
Beryls are very hard at 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale, making them excellent for claw-set designs. However, emeralds are often heavily included which can make the larger gems very fragile and vulnerable to stresses like being hit (accidentally) against hard objects.