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Chemical composition BeAl2O4
Crystal system Orthorombic
Habit Pseudo-hexagonal twins
Cleavage Weak to moderate
Fracture Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness 8.5
Optic nature Biaxial +
Refractive index 1.74-1.75
Birefringence 0.009
Dispersion Low, 0.014
Specific gravity 3.72
Lustre Bright vitreous
Pleochroism Moderate to strong
Photo courtesy of John Huff,

Chrysoberyl image gallery

Chrysoberyl is a beryllium aluminum oxide, not at all related to the mineral beryl, which is a silicate. Chrysoberyl can occur in various shades of green, yellow, brown, red, and occasionally blue. The most valuable varieties of chrysoberyl are alexandrite, and cat's eye. Cat's eye was long admired in the orient for its chatoyant character, but it wasn't popular in the West until the late 1800's. The third and most common variety of chrysoberyl is a transparent greenish yellow stone. It was very popular in Victorian and Edwardian jewelry. Cat's eye is believed to protect one from evil spirits or the evil eye. According to the Hindus, the stone would preserve your health and guard against poverty. In Asia, it was thought that if you pressed a cat's eye between your own eyes it would enhance your foresight.



Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl
Photo courtesty of The Gem Trader

G&G Articles on Chrysoberyl 1934-1980

The GIA has published all the G&G's from 1934 until 1980 online. The organization of the list by subject was done by Joseph Gill.