What is Beryl?

What is Beryl?

Beryl is known mineral variety in gemstones. Beryl is a family name. This is formed of beryllium cyclosilicate with having formula Be₃Al₂(SiO₃)₆.   The popular varieties of Beryl are emerald and aquamarine.

Chemical Composition: – Be-Al-Silicate

Crystals Structure: –         Rectangular etch pits

Crystal system:-  Hexagonal crystal system

Hardness (Mohs hardness scale):  7.5 – 8

Colors :- Green , Blue , Pink , Yellow , White , Rarely Red

S.G :-  2.75 Approx

R.I :-  1.56-1.60

DR :-  0.003-0.009

Luster :-  Vitreous

Transparency :-  Transparent to Translucent

Gem Species :-  Beryl

Cleavage :- 3,1 – basal

Fracture :-  Uneven to conchoidal

Tenacity:- Brittle

Striking Features:-  Crystal form and hardness

Environment:-  Beryl is most well-known from granite pegmatites. It can also be found in metamorphosed mica schists and in igneous rhyolite deposits.

Rock Type: –  Igneous, Metamorphic

About Of Beryl

Beryl is generally colorless. Different impurities of traces cause colour diversification in the stone. Which produces different varieties of Beryl such as green emerald, blue aquamarine, pink morganite, yellow helidor, redy beryl and many others. Here is given detail of some beryl variety with names.

Beryl Varieties: – The Gems Varieties Are written by Following,

1.Rich Green = Emerald-(Chromium/vanadium)  Emerald is the famous variety of beryl. Emerald is known as precious gemstone. This is green variety of Beryl.

Courtesy : The Arkenstone, iRocks.com

2.Light Blue = Aquamarine –Fe (Iron)  Aquamarine, is the blue variety of beryl. It has aqua like blue colour. The aquamarine gemstones are beautiful and used in jewelry.

Courtesy: The Arkenstone, iRocks.com

3.Pink = Morgonite Mn (Magniece)  Morganite is named after the banker J.P. Morgan. This is pink variety of Beryl
4.Yellow = Heliodor  Heliodor include light green, yellow, greenish yellow varieties of beryl.

Courtesy The Arkenstone, iRocks.com

5.Colorless White = Goshenite  Goshenite is  commonly  colorless beryl. Its colour goes from white to colourless.
6.Light Green = Green Beryl – Fe(Iron)  Green Beryl has light green colour which can be turned into blue Aquamarine after heating.
7. Red = Red Beryl – Magniece  Red Beryl, is also called as  Bixbite. This is rare variety of beryl. It has deep red colour and only  variety found in 2 localities Utah.
8. Dark Blue = Maxixe

Common Mineral Association

Quartz, Muscovite, Albite, Orthoclase, Calcite, Pyrite, Spodumene, Tourmaline, Apatite

Distinguish Mineral Assosiation  

Apatite – Significantly softer (5).

Quartz – Softer (7), usually terminated, and crystals striated horizontally (whereas Beryl striated vertically).

Feldspars – Softer (6), have good cleavage.

Topaz – Different crystal forms. (Though difficult to distinguish in massive form).

Tourmaline – Different crystals forms, crystals heavily striated.

Noteworthy Localities

  1. Afghanistan has morgantie, emeralds, aquamarine in the Provinces of Laghman, Konar, Nuristan, and Nangarhar (especially Darra-i-Pech).
  2. Brazil produce finest quality of morgantie, aquamarine.
  3. USA
  4. Russia
  5. Ukraine
  6. Pakistan
  7. Burma
  8. Namibia
  9. Ethopia
  10. Zambia
  11. Columbia
  12. Madagascar
  13. Nigeria
  14. Eygpt
  15. Austria

Author:  Rozina  Gulzar


What is Luster Called in Gemstones?

Luster is referred to the light reflected from the surface of gems. In some gemstones, there is internal light reflections also such as facet stones with transparency. However internal reflection of light is not called luster. It is called brilliance. Luster is the way a mineral either shines or does not shine. Gems and minerals can have metallic and non metallic luster.

Various terminology are used for defining luster for a gemstones. Such as Adamant, Vitreous, Silky, Greasy etc. Normally luster can be defined in two categories:-

  1. Metallic (such as pyrite , hematite)
  2. Non Metallic (all gemstones)

One will get in gemstones most non metallic gemstones. Following are described brief description of each luster type:;-

  1. Adamantine
  2. Sub Adamantine
  3. Vitreous 
  4. Sub Vitreous 
  5. Greasy
  6. Silky
  7. Pearly
  8. Resinous
  9. Waxy
  10. Dull
Non-Metallic Luster Appearance
Adamantine Sparkly
Earthy Dull, clay-like
Pearly Pearl-like
Resinous Like resins, such as tree sap
Silky Soft-looking with long fibers
Vitreous Glassy


Adamantine is highest form of luster just like mirror. Its best example is Diamond.


Some gemstones has luster like diamond but they are not fully adamantine. However they are closed to adamatine. They somes in sub-adamantine category. Their examples are Cubic Zircon.


Some gemstones have glassy like shining on surface such as tourmaline, Quartz, topaz.  The majority of gems show a vitreous luster. Examples are beryl, quartz, topaz, ruby, emerald and others with refractive indices between 1.50 and 1.70.


In sub vitreous, the gemstones are included which have low reflection of light on surface such as flourite.


Gems with greasy surface will have oil like or fat like. The example is serpentine. Another example is garnet or peridot. These luster are characteristic of those polished surfaces that are not perfectly flat but that approach flatness.


The gemstones with silky luster will be based on having some fibrous material such as Gypsum and Malachite. Another example is Ulexite or moonstone. They look like having texture of fabric. Polished tiger’s eye shows a vitreous luster on its surface, overlaying a fibrous body.


Some gemstones have orient luster which is called Pearly. They show an iridescent play of colors on their surfaces.


Amber are consisted of preserved prehistoric plant resign. This gemstone have resinous luster example in best. Sphalerite has also resinous luster. The gem materials that are soft and have low refractive indices, like Amber and Opal.



Some gemstones looks like having kind of a wax on surface. Best example is turquoise and Opals


As this is shown by name that gemstone with having dull luster will be reflect very very low light. Dull will have fine grain like surface.


Some gemstones or minerals have metallic matters in them. Such as Pyrite and Hematite. Though

they are not used as gemstones in general however in some cases, they are.

How to Photograph Gemstones and Minerals?

Photography of gemstones is an art . They have highly reflective surfaces that can reflect light back into the camera lens overexposing the facet and frequently burn into adjacent facets as well. Gemstones also have internal brilliance that act in much the same way as the surface reflections.  They always need specific light and background to make clear the quality of gemstones in such a way that a photo of gemstone can speak all its characteristics. Though it is not difficult to photograph the gemstone. The only method needed is how to deal with gemstones.

List of a Few Equipment you need before photographing a gem?

  • Camera or Mobile Phone – Camera should be capable of shooting images of 16 mega pixels or above.- In Case of Mobile, samsung zoom is good. iphone takes original colour photos. Main thing is needed to focus the object and light.
  • Macro Lens – 60-80 mm macro lens capable of 1:1 magnification enables you to focus on the object from 5 inches distance or more.
  • Tripod – Tripod will help you in movement. It will finish the movement of camera while taking photos.
  • Lighting and setting (A Light box will help )
  • wireless shutter

Camera Macro Lens

Cheap and Easy way to make Light Box

Setting before Beginning

  1. Wash your gemstones so that macro setting of camera may not capture the dust and scratches
  2. Stabilize the Tripod. If it is not available, set your camera in fixed position or set mobile phone
  3. For Mobile devices, use wireless shutter. Touching your mobile screen will not be able to focus on the object.
  4. Clip-on macro lenses are available for smartphones from a variety of manufacturers for Apple and Android devices. ōlloclip macro is a good one and is portable.

Choose your Background Setting

While coshing background, it is very important to crate a dramatic set up. If you want accuracy or focus on the gemstone or mineral, one will chose neutral coloured background. Background depends on gemstone colour or gemstone type. Some mineral specimens loks more clear in natural background. Some faceted stone looks more clear in plain background.  There can be two types of background settings:;-

  1. You can make a light tent out of almost anything that’s translucent.
  2. White Background 
  3. Black Ground
  4. Mix background 

You need to figure out which background is reflecting on stone much better than the other. Quartz will need black back ground. Blue will need white background. Aquamarine with more blue will need both types.


Lightning plays important roles in the photography. In gems world, lightning has key role. Lighting determines the appearance of the gem–how the facets reflect the light–and the color of the gem, via the spectrum of the lighting.  Gems are of different colors which are reflected in different light setup. Some of the them are described here below:-

  1. White LED Day Light 
  2. Reflected Light 
  3. Yellow LED Light 
  4. Sunlight before afternoon 
  5. Sunlight 2 hours before sun set 
  6. Dont use Flash in most of the time especially when you are working with close up shots. 
  7. Adjust the white balance on your camera

Sometime, you have to take photos n white LED light and sometimes yellow light. Some times, you have to mix both. Sunlight in the morning till 1 hour before afternoon is the best time for taking photos. But its not necessary you get the best background always if one is living in cities metropolitan life. So you have to set up artificial day light.

Here are some tips over lightning:-

  • Try to use single colour light
  • Throw direct light on some gemstones like cut or those which has some affects like cat’s eye.

  • Some gems will demand indirect light. For this, light with white parachute can help. Throw light from outside parachute to inside which will throw the reflections.

  • A mix of direct and indirect or diffused lightning can make the picture beautiful by adding shining or dispersion to a transparent gem.

  • A high polished gems can be problematic with some direct lights. So that case, indirect lightning will help.
  • You can take picture in sunny day in a shadow because shadow will be reflecting the light.
  • Faceted stone would not work under sunny day as sunlight will sparkle the facet and you would not be able to catch the individual facet.

Day Light Bulb

Positioning of the gemstones

Positioning of the gemstone plays a vital role int he picture. The angle of gemstones matters a lot in final photo.

  1. If the stone is rough faceted grade like tourmaline to make clear xis view clear, its top surface has to put before light so light reflection can be seen easily.
  2. For stones like which have stars, they should be positioned in such way that through light, the star should appear in center.


Adjusting Focus

Focus is the main factor which plays a role in taking fine picture. In fact, this is the weak point. You have to select the point on stone to focus your camera. People need to know the maximum focal length of their lens. Pictures end up out of focus because they’ve gotten closer than the limit of the lens. They need to know where things go out of focus. If it’s too close, they need to use a different camera or a zoom mechanism.


If one will loss the focus area of mineral specimen, you are going to be out of giving unique detail of the specimen. It is better to take test photos for reviews.


  • One needs to be able to focus on an object from about 6 mm in diameter on up.
  • Optically the rule is that the longer the focal length of the lens the narrower the angle of view; hence the greater the working distance.
  • 105 mm lens is the best one as it will give opportunity to light to throw all around. Minimum length or distance would not allow throw of light. However with adjustment, 60 mm to onward works well.

Composition and Editing of Photo

After taking photos, editing is the final stage. It needs following activities :-

  1. Transfer the image in computer
  2. Cropping
  3. Colour balance
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. Different Aps in mobiles

Make sure that picture quality may not loss during editing.

Here is a tip to get macro photos from phone

Research Paper on the Enantiornithine (Baby Bird caught 99 Milliion years ago in Burmese amber)

A baby bird from Dianosour time was caught in amber dated approximately back to 99 million years ago. The amber is 99 million years old according to scientists writing in the journal Gondwana Research.

Here are pictures of bird from different angles.

Sizes and Measurements:-

Size:  86 mm x 30 mm x 57 mm,

weighs: 78.16 g,

The bird belongs to the group of birds called Enantiornithes which extincted along with other spices of the time i.e. dinosaurs at the end of Cretaceous Period about 65 million years ago. The discovery is very interesting as it is providing wonderful information about the ancient birds in understanding that how they were different than modern birds. This discovery implements the most complete fossil which has been discovered till now in Burmese amber. It is minded in the Hukawng Valley in Northern Myanmar.

The new specimen, HPG-15-1, comes from the Angbamo site, Tanai Township (Myitkyina District, Kachin Province) of northern Myanmar. There has been publication of complete research paper on this fossil

Research Paper on This Amber 

The original specimen is housed and displayed in the Hupoge Amber Museum (=HPG), Tengchong City Amber Association, China; the 3D reconstruction is available to researchers through the Dexu Institute of Palaeontology (=DIP), China.
The two pieces of amber forming HPG-15-1 were examined with a Leica MZ 12.5 dissecting microscope with a drawing tube attachment. Photographs were taken using a Canon digital camera (5D Mark III, MP-E 65MM F/2.8 1-5X) fitted to a macro rail (Cognisys), and were processed using Helicon Focus 5.1 and Adobe Photoshop CS5 software to increase depth of field in the images. These images were supplemented with photos taken under long wavelength UV light, mapping resin flows.

HPG-15-1 was scanned with a MicroXCT 400 (Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy, Inc., Pleasanton, USA) at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. A single scan of the entire piece was not possible due to its large size. The different parts of the bird were scanned separately. The head, neck, wing, and hind limbs, were scanned with a beam strength of 60 KV, and an absorption contrast and a spatial resolution of 18.3298 μm, 18.3298 μm, 3.7795 μm, and 25.5308 μm, respectively.



The following bird parts are discussed in research paper. Unfortunately, the skull was split when the amber was cut (Figs. 1C; 2A-D). The ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT rostrum is preserved in one section and the neck and most of the braincase in the other.

  1. Skull
  2.  Neck
  3. Partial wing
  4. Partial hind limbs
  5. Integumentary structures
  6. Head and neck
  7. Partial wing
  8. Partial hind limbs
  9. Partial tail
  10. Taxonomic Assessment
  11. Ontogenetic assessment

Click here to view complete report on this amber specimen XING + 2017 Enantiornithine hatchling in Burmese amber_ ACCEPTED VERSION

Source: http://terratreasures.com



The World Most Expensive Gemstones SOLD EVER

Pink Star diamond sells for $71.2 million, take a look at the world’s most expensive gemstones

59.60 Carat pink star diamond has broken the world record. It was sold by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in $71.2 million.

The Pink Star Diamond took 2 years to cut after the best gem cutters in the world studied it to reveal the best possible gemstone. It was auctioned last year for $83 Million however the buyer of the gemstone was not able to complete the payment.


Blue Belle Sapphire of Asia – 11.52 million Pound

Sunrise Ruby – 19.6 million Pound

The Sunrise Ruby” was named after a poem by Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, who gave the most powerful description to the beautiful stone of ruby:
“… a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness? It has no resistance to sunlight. The ruby and the sunrise are one…”

White Diamond: Oval Cut D Flawless Type IIa

Colombian Emerald – 43 million Pound

Earlier, the most expensive gemstones were Diamonds, Sapphrie and Rubies. Until recently the magic $1 million per carat mark was only achieved by colored Diamonds. With the sale of the Sunrise Ruby the beautiful red gemstone has joined the exclusive club.

The Most Expensive Gemstones sold

Blue Diamonds

  • Blue Moon Diamond – 12.03cts – $4,028,940.81 per ct
  • Oppenheimer Blue Diamond – 14.62cts – $3,932,968.54
  • Mellon’s fancy vivid blue – 9.75cts – $3,343,589.74 per ct
  • DeBeers Millennium Jewel 4 – 10.10cts – $3,148,514 per ct
  • Winston Blue – 13.22cts – $1,799,952.50 per ct
  • Ocean Dream – 5.5cts – $1,599,752.18 per ct

Red Diamonds

  • Moussaieff – 2.09cts – $2,438,216.27 per ct

Orange Diamonds

  • The Orange – 14.82cts – $2,398,151.89 per ct

Pink Diamonds

  • Unique Pink – 15.38cts -$2,054,616.85
  • Graff Pink – 24.68cts – $1,863,857.37 per ct
  • Pink Star – 59.6cts – $1,194,603.87 per ct


  • Sunrse Ruby – 25.59cts – $1,188,745.60 per ct
  • Graff Ruby – 8.62cts – $994,199.54 per ct
  • Burmese Ruby – 6.04cts – $546,357.62 per ct
  • Burmese Ruby – 32.08cts – $208,852.87 per ct


  • Jewel of Kashmir – 27.68cts – $243,702.60 pre ct
  • Unamed – 35.09cts – $210,844.17 per ct
  • Blue Belle of Asia – 392.52cts – $44,063.48 per ct

Padparchasa Sapphire

  • Unnamed – 14.65cts – $52,965.94 per ct


  • Hope Spinel – 50.13cts – $29,217.26 per ct

Diamonds, and other big three gems, Ruby, Sapphire and Emeralds are breaking the auction records. There are other also which are poplar among buyers. They are Pearls, spinel, jadeite, alexandrite, and other gems are also quite popular among buyers.

What is Aquamarine?

What is Aquamarine?

The name “aquamarine” is derived from two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, meaning “of the sea.”

Aquamarine is variety of a beryl. Its colour is blue to greenish blue or pale blue. It comes in shape of rough and crystal both. Crystals can be big in sizes. The elements in Aquamarine are Beryllium, Aluminum, Silicate. Beryl can be in many varieties of colours. Blue variety is called Aquamarine. The hardness of Aquamarine is 7.5 to 8. Crystals of aquamarine can be larger sizes.

Green aquamarine can be heated at very high temperature in order to get blue colour.

Largest Ever Aquamarine Crystal Mined?

This aquamarine is found as the largest aquamarine crystal. Location is confused between Skardu Pakistan or Afghanistan. However, claim of its location other than Pakistan or Afghanistan is false. It is almost two feet and weight is 60 pound.

Largest Ever Aquamarine Cut?

The gem was designed and cut by gem artist Bernd Munsteiner. It stands 14 inches tall and weighs 10,363 carats — or nearly 5 pounds.


It’s difficult to place a value on the gem, though it was offered to the Smithsonian in the late 1990s for $7 million to $10 million, Forex published

What are Aquamarine Properties?

Chemical Formula Be3Al2Si6O18
Colour Blue, Green Blue, Pale Blue, Deep Sky Blue
Light blue, Fe2+ in the channels of the structure. Darker blue, Fe2+-O-Fe3+ intervalence charge transfer.
Hardness 7.5 to 8
Refractive Index 1.577-1.583  (+0.017, – 0.017)
Streak Colorless
Crystal System Hexagonal
Habit Prismatic
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 3,1 – basal
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Fracture Uneven to conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Group Silicates; Cyclosilicates
Rock Type Igneous

How Aquamarine Get its Colour?

Aquamarine is variety of beryl. The presence of Iron turns the Beryl Blue / Green blue making it Aquamarine.

Locations of Aquamarine in the World

Aquamarine is found mostly in following location of the world.

  •  Brazil
  • Angla, Kenya
  • central Madagascar,
  • Malawi,
  • Nigeria,
  • Mozambique,
  • Pakistan,
  • the Ural Mountains in Russia,
  • Tanzania,
  • Colorado
  • USA
  • Zambia
  • Vietnam

What is history of Aquamarine?

Historically, evidence locates first use of aquamarine by Romans and Greek around the time period 480 to 300 BC. Since 7th century, it had been getting popularity. Usually, ancient sailors used to wear it or keep it with them. They used to believe that it kept them strong, fearless and protected them from forthcoming problems, disasters or wrath of oceans.

The Romans in their period used to believe on aquamarine and fix it in jewelry. They had belief that carving different figures on aquamarine will help them in saving from enemies. They used to give it gift to the bridegrooms, sailors and on many other occasions. During the Medieval era of the Middle Ages, the people believe on love feelings awakening by this gemstone. It was said that it increases young age and intelligence. It gives courage and happiness.

In documents, aquamarine discovery first took place in 1723 in the Adun-Chalon Mountains in Siberia. Though deposits were abundant and later it quickly turned into major mining site. The peak production happened in 1796. It produced almost 70 Killo gram gem quality aquamarine during that year.

What are Geological and Geographic Occurrences of Aquamarine?

What are geological or geographical occurrences of aquamarine? In order to understand aquamarine, one must be aware of beryl that how it is formed and appear. Beryl is usually found in granitic pegmatites. Pegmatites are large structures comprising of interlocking minerals and rocks.

A natural geological process causes the appearance of deposits towards the surface area. From these pegmatites, one can locate the presence of deposits. The presence of iron in beryl will turn beryl to aquamarine during crystallization process. In case of little or other impurities present during the process, gem will appear in other forms such as emerald, Morganite.

How Gemstones Get Their Specific Colours?

Gemstones give very beautiful colour variety which attracts to the eyes of buyers. If people like the particular gemstones, it is because of their colour. Specific colour is known as gem colour. So, how the gemstones get their specific colour and how they turn into that particular colour? Here are some points discussed under below:-

What Causes Gemstone Color?

There are number of gemstones with great variety of colours. Each has its own colour characteristics. The causes of colours in the gemstones are basically from chemical composition of the gemstones. This should be kept in mind that many minerals have coloureless form in their pure form. Inclusion of impurities in their structure leads to their colours.

The transitional metal group have such kind of elements copper, chromium, iron, gold, nickel and so on. Then, there are some rare earth series having elements such as gadolinium, erbium and yttrium. The spectra not adsorbed by the gems is transmitted or reflected back to the viewer. We see the wave lengths of light and process them as colour. The net result of the wavelengths that pass through the gem, gives the final color to the gemstone. In order to see color, we need at least 3 variables:

  • Light
  • A substance
  • Vision (the eye)

White is consisted on spectral colours which can be seen in rainbow normally. The colours of rainbow are red, yellow, orange, gree, indigo, blue and ciolet. Every colour among these rainbow colours travel at particular wavelength. For example, for red colour, it is 700mm and for violet colour, it is 400 mm. Each carries particular amount of energy.

When a substance catches all the spectral “rainbow” colours except red, the residual colour is red. So the result will be in red colour. Similarly, if substance absorbs all except red and blue, the residual colour ( net result) is purple colour. There are approximately 16 million of combination that can produce colour.  Light energy to heat is transformed by the result of absorption of light. White colour does not absorb light. It is good in use to keep heat away.

It is not necessary to have presence of transitional metal for the origin of the colour in gems. There is other factor of absorption of wavelengths of visible light, the transfer of electrons between ions in gemstone structure.  The absence of an ion in a specific location in the structure, or the presence of a foreign non-transition metal ion, can also lead to colouration, as can simple diffraction of light through the crystal’s structure.

Gems with having impurities which causes colour are called allochromatic. In case of having purity, they will be colourless. There is another condition for causing a colour which is called idiohromatic in which gemstones have such elements which are necessary for chemical structure. There are two type of coloring agents as a chemical structure or impurities.

  • Idiochromatic – minerals get colours by an element included in their chemical composition or chemical formula such as Malachite.
  • Allochromatic – Colours happens due to impurities and not part of their chemical compositions such as Emerald green emerald, pink morganite, and blue to blue-green aquamarine

Some elements’s Role in colour variety:-

Titanium Blue
Vanadium Green / Color change
Chromium Red – Green
Manganese Pink
Iron Red – Green – Yellow
Cobalt Blue
Nickel Green
Copper Green – Blue

List of Gemstones with colour reasons


Aquamarine is variety of beryl. The iron in the gem caused pale colour.

Emerald green color due to the presence of both iron and titanium.

Garnet deep colour is from iron.

Peridot is usually found in volcanos. This is form of Olivine.  The yellow-green color comes from iron.

Ruby if form of Corundum. The colour is normally due to Chromium. The colour of ruby is pink to red normally

Turquoise, the opaque mineral, gets its colour from Copper

Sapphire is variety of Corundum . In fact corundum in any colour except red is called sapphire. Here is Purple sapphire is from Kashmir, Pakistan. The blue is from Madagascar. The colour in sapphire is from  iron and titanium.


Lapidary / Types of Gemstone Cutting

Lapidary is a kind of shaping, working, and cutting of stones. The word is related and referred to small gemstones. Lapidary or gem cutting have been used 1000s years old. It is the way to transform rough gems / crystals into splendid gemstones. It unlocks the luster and shining of the stone.

There are following types of gem cutting styles:-

  1. Faceting
  2. Cabbing
  3. Tumbling
  4. Carving

We are giving brief details of gemstones types of cutting here:-


Faceting style of cutting in gemstones is an outstanding way of giving brilliance to the gemstones. If anyone want any wedding jewelry set made of gemstones like emerald, ruby or Diamond. One would like to go with faceted gemstones. It increases the value of gemstones. It gives beautify to the viewers. In faceting cutting style, gems are shaped in geometrical shapes and flat polished faces. The faceted style of cutting is very popular among people.

The brilliant cut round is an easy way to understand and start to learn faceting.

Gemstone faceting is great art or engineering in fact. In the start, one may feel faceting is difficult but it is not so ambiguous actually. There are different types of facet style gemstones.


Tumbling is a very simple form of gemstone cutting. Rough gemstones are put in a tumbler which is based on revolving barrel with abrasives. Progressively finer abrasive are used till polishing of the gem. One have noticed on the beaches and rivers coming from mountain about rocks. Which are in usually nice shapes and forms. They are naturally tumbled by friction of water and rocks.


Cabochon cutting is very popular among people. Cabbing is very popular for of cutting among people. It is an easy and anyone can master on it.

A cab can be of any form and from any stone precious, semi precious, rocks like ceramic, porcelain or wood.  It does not matter where it come from. Its shapes are flat, domed, or rounded inside. The stone cutter first select the stone for cabbing. Mark it with particular shape or template on the stone. One can select the beautiful patterns for exact finishing shape.

After marking, the shape is cut using trim saw and cooling lubricant to keep the saw blade from becoming too hot. Some machines which are used during cabbing process.

After cutting, they are well grinded with basic outlines. Then comes shapes making and finalizing with polishing work.


The more artistic, challenging part in lapidary is carving. It needs really very aesthetic and artistic sense to carve a stone. It needs further expertise along with cutting. In the past, the old civilizations started to carve a gem. The art is called glyptgraphy. Many thousand years before, gemstones have been carved for the members of past Roman nobility. This art can be found in many other civilizations such as Persian, Assyrians and Egyptians.

There are several types of carving. One of the best known forms is cameo. If the design is cut into the top of a cab, it’s called an intaglio or relief carving. If the design is carved on the back, it’s a reverse intaglio.




What is Emerald?

Emerald is widely known as precious gemstone having distinctive green colour. It is one of the mineral Beryl variety OF Beryl family (Be3Al2(SiO3)6). The green colour is due to the presence of chromium and Vandaium. At Mohun Scale, the hardness of beryl is 7.5-8. The quantity of emerald around the world is traced in a small amount. They are found in ingenous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

Chemical Formula Be3Al2Si6O18
Colour Green
Hardness 7.5-8
Refractive Index 1.57 – 1.58
SG 2.6 – 2.8
Crystal System Hexagonal ,  Often as prismatic crystals.
Clarity Almost every natural emerald has eye-visible characteristics that can be inclusions, surface-reaching fractures, or healed fractures.
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 3,1 – basal
Durability Emerald is very hard, but almost all specimens have inclusions and surface-reaching fractures that compromise their durability.
Fracture Uneven to conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Silicates; Cyclosilicates
Rock Type Igneous, Metamorphic

St. Hildegard of Bingen, the noted lithologist, declared,

“All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.”

History of Emerald

Emerald has been used in ancient Egypt and Mediterranean regions. Emerald or green beryl was used to be mined only in Egypt or Egypt was the only source of mining in that era i.e Wadi Sikait and also 15 kilometers from the Valley. Emerald mining was started first in 4th through mid- 1st centuries BC.

Emerald traces are also observed in Austria during the Roman Period though there is no any decisive evidence about it. In ancient Egypt, the usage of stones in different forms was popular and is quite evident from archaeological and geographical researches. They used to build buildings, pyramids, used to create ornamental stones for statues, vessels and precious stones for jewelry. 100 years ago, emerald mines were rediscovered in Upper Egypt which was named as Cleopatra’s mines for her love of the stone.


Many civilizations and cultures used to be fascinated by the beauty of emerald over 6000 years ago? In early 4000 BC, it was marketed in Babylon. Ancient Egypt used to take emerald as symbol of eternal life.

What are Geological and Geographic Occurrences of Emerald?

Emerald is variety of green Beryl. Beryl is a Beryllium Alumino – Silicate Mineral occasionally with some sodium, lithium, and cesium which is a rare mineral on earth. Its chemical formula is Be3Al2(SiO3)6. Beryllium is an element which occurs in very small amounts in the crust of earth.  Normally Beryl is colorless. The inclusion or presence of trace impurities gives colour to gemstones which is a variety of beryl. For example, green emerald, blue aquamarine, goshenite, pink Morganite, yellow to yellowish heliodor. Its hardness at Mohs is 7.5 – 8.

Beryl has variety of colours such as green to green emerald colour, blue to green blue like found in Aquamarine, yellow, pink in Morganite, purple, red, orange, brown, white like in goshenite, yellow to yellow heliodor, colourless, white, gray.

How Emerald Green Colour Formed?

Emerald is variety of Beryl which is colorless in ordinary form. Colorless beryl is called goshenite. Some trace amount of chromium or vanadium cause to grow a green color.




Helium – The crisis that was solved before it took hold

Worldwide, our usage of Helium grows year on year. From MRI scanners in medical facilities, nuclear reactors and even party balloons.

Helium is not a resource we can simply create more of – The gas is formed during the natural radioactive decay of Uranium. It has also not been a focus of exploration for many years, despite looming shortages worldwide.

This is due, in part, to the selling of huge Helium reserves by the United States – Estimated to be about 40 percent of the total market supply. The United States began stockpiling the rare gas in the early 1960’s, as a buffer against future shortfalls. However, in 1996 an act passed (“The Helium Privatization Act”) prevented the Government from increasing the stockpile. In response, the United States started selling off this huge stockpile at below market prices, discouraging exploration and development of new deposits. A new bill has since been passed to maintain the reserves going forward.

Enter Helium one and the East African Rift Valley – One of the marvels of geology

To date, Helium has been discovered accidentally, usually while drilling for oil. The Norwegian company, Helium One, has taken a new approach – Their research shows that the heat created in active volcanic zones is enough to release Helium from rocks that carry this precious gas into trap systems, if present.

Of course, the laws of geology still apply, and things get complicated – The gas has to be trapped in such a way as to form an economically viable deposit, and the source area, if related to intense heat produced by volcanism, needs to be far enough away from the heat source so as not to be contaminated by other volcanic gasses. This is defined by the researchers as the “goldilocks zone” – a term often used in astrophysics to define the planetary orbit around a star that has just the right conditions for life to form. The similarity in goals, although with distinctly different outcomes, is easy to see.

In line with their models, the researchers believe that the Helium located in Tanzania is related to high intensity heating and fracturing of both the Mozambique belt (Proterozoic) and the Tanzanian Craton (Archean), by East African Rift System.

They have further found strong movement of Helium from deep to shallow crustal levels along fault structures (Of the East African Rift System), increasing the chance of good Helium trap systems to be developed.

The East African Rift System can be divided into two branches – The Western Rift, also called the Albertine Rift, extends from the Northern end of Lake Albert to the Southern end of Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the world – a startling 1470 metres!

A volcanic system in the East African Rift Valley, as seen in Ethiopia.

The Eastern Rift, also called the Gregory Rift, lies within the Mozambique Belt. It has been shown that the Eastern Rift is caused by the ongoing separation of the Somali and Nubian plates, driven by a rising thermal plume. Much of the energy required to release Helium from source rocks is related to this system.

All these years of research led to one, amazing achievement – Helium One has started to define a resource of about 54 billion cubic feet, in one small portion of the Rift Valley! Exploration continues to this day, with high hopes of expanding the resource to one that will support us for many generations to come.

Most of us don’t realize how close we were to the cessation of vital equipment requiring Helium, across many industries that impact our daily lives.

Information for this article was sourced from –





African and Arabian Tectonic Plates