Beryl

Beryl is a beryllium aluminum silicate mineral that mainly forms hexagonal crystals. Pure beryl is colourless, but impurities in the mineral crystal structure produce a wide variety of colours. There are several different types of beryl, including aquamarine and emerald. Aquamarine gets its blue colour from iron, while emerald gets its distinctive green colour from the presence of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Morganite, also known as pink beryl, contains minor amounts of manganese that colour it. Red beryl, or scarlet beryl, is the rarest kind of beryl. Because of its relative hardness and range of colours beryl is popular amongst jewellers and collectors.

Muscovite is a white mica mineral that forms very thin flakes, which often grow together in “books” many layers thick. Usually quite small, the hexagonal flakes can grow up to a metre across, although this is extremely rare because the flakes are so delicate. Muscovite forms in several different geological environments: in metamorphic rocks, especially schist and gneiss, and in mineral deposits like porphyry deposits, where it occurs in and around veins.

This sample is from the Blue River area east of Wells Grey Provincial Park in central BC. It contains crystals of beryl and flakes of muscovite mica as well as quartz and feldspar and comes from a type of rock called a pegmatite.

Pegmatites are very coarse intrusive rocks that form very late in the evolution of a magma body. They contain large crystals, often of minerals rarely found in other rocks.

Specimen Information

Store:  Association for Mineral Exploration

Collection: 

Accession #: AME 190

Primary Mineral: Beryl 

Secondary Mineral: Muscovite

Site Locality: –

Location: Blue River Park, British Columbia 

Special Features: n/a

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