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Lindsey Vance Maness, Jr.
Consulting Geologist
12875 West 15th Drive
Golden, CO 80401–3501 USA
Tel: 303–237–6590
E–Mail: LManess2@China–
Web–Site: http://China–

$20.00 per copy

Make check payable to Lindsey V. Maness, Jr. and send to address above.



"Lighter than aluminum, harder than steel"

Copyrighted© 2002 by Lindsey V. Maness, Jr.


Beryllium is best known as a component of its namesake mineral, beryl, whose most precious gem variety is Emerald. Beryllium's unique physical and chemical characteristics are propelling it into the forefront of 21st Century indispensable industrial feed-stock chemicals.

Beryllium is, indeed, "Lighter than aluminum, harder than steel," a slogan used by the aerospace industry in the 1950s. The slogan, while catchy, does not tell the entire story of this element whose great promise is limited by great dangers to those reckless of its risks.

As an alloying metal, Be has very useful characteristics. Less than 2% Be in Cu makes an alloy harder than some steels. Differing alloys yield wildly different features, from electrically very conductive to non-conductive and with heat transfer (generally excellent) almost specificable.

References used in this compilation are at the end of this document. Since there is some variation in sources (e.g., prices & terms) and details summarized, readers are strongly encouraged to consult the original references cited.

Beryllium (Be) was named for its chief mineral, beryl (from the Greek: beryllos). Chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin discovered beryllium in its oxide, beryllia, in 1797. Friedrick Wöhler and Alexandre Brutus Bussy both independently isolated the element in 1828. Since the soluble salts of Be have a sweet taste, Be was first named glucinium (or glucinum), after glucose, a common sugar. The taste is still a diagnostic means of identification of Be salts, but is not recommended because of the danger of the procedure to the tester. Non-toxic Be minerals include bertrandite, beryl, chrysoberyl (aka alexandrite, but only if with color change) and phenakite (aka phenacite).
Physical & Chemical Characteristics:
Be is atomic number 4, in group IIa (alkaline earths) of the periodic table of elements. The periodic table column is: Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba and Ra. Electron Configuration is [He]2s2.
  • Atomic Weight = 9.012182
  • Always Be+2 cation in compounds
  • Clarke Number (Relative Abundance) = 0.0006% by weight of earth's crust
  • Color = Silvery–white, lustrous
  • Be salts hydrolyze into acid solutions (amphoteric)
  • BeO is amphoteric (has both acid & base properties)
  • Be(OH)2 is amphoteric
  • Melting Point = ~1,287oC ~2349oF (Very high)
  • Boiling Point = ~2,970oC ~5432 oF (Very high)
  • Unaffected by air or H2O, even at red heat.
  • Specific Gravity = ~1.848 g/cc (almost twice as heavy as water)
  • Hardness = variable (alloys are usually harder than steel). Ultrapure Be is relatively soft.
  • Nonmagnetic
  • Nonsparking (especially in Cu alloys)
  • Conducts electricity
  • Very brittle in pure metallic form
  • Tarnishes to oxide, enabling it to cut glass
  • Compounds generally white
  • Compounds in solution generally colorless
  • Soluble compounds (e.g., BeF2) are generally toxic: the more soluble, the more toxic.
  • Very similar to corresponding aluminum (Al) compounds
    • Equally electronegative as Al, forming covalent bonds
    • Forms protective oxide coating, like Al
  • Difficult to separate Be from Al
  • Most Be–minerals are silicates or phosphates: some of the remaining are borates or sulfides.
  • No simple tests exist to determine Be.
  • Be is usually detected via Atomic Absorption and Atomic Emission spectroscopy.

Isotope (Natural) = 9Be. Atomic mass = 9.0121822. Stable. 100.0000% in nature.
Isotopes (Radionuclides) total less than 10-6 of Be in nature:
  • 6Be 6.01973 5.9x10-21s Half-Life
  • 7Be 7.016929 53.28d
  • 8Be 8.0053051 ~7x10-17s
  • . Decays into 2 4He (alpha particles) with 17.2MeV (energy released) and 0.01862 atomic mass units lost.
  • 10Be 10.013534 1.52x106y
  • 11Be 11.02166 13.8s
  • 12Be 12.02692 0.024s
  • 13Be 13.0428 0.004s

7Be, 8Be and 10Be are produced by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere, or artifically made in nuclear reactors.
To Beneficate Be:
  • Sinter ores with CaF2: leach BeF2 (very toxic) with H2O.
  • Fuse ores and leach BeSO4 with H2SO4.

Note: Be is extracted from Utah's Bertrandite ore concentrate by leaching with H2SO4 at a plant near Delta, UT. After further processing, the end product is Be(OH)2, which is shipped to Brush Wellman's plant in Elmore, OH, where it is converted into beryllium oxide, alloys and metal.
To Make Be Metal:
  • Heat BeF2 with Mg.
  • Electrolyze BeCl2 with NaCl.

Alloys (especially with Cu):
  • Hardener (2% Be with Cu is harder than some steels)
  • Improve casting qualities
  • Better insulating properties
  • Usually have high heat resistance
  • Usually have higher melting point
  • Can be an excellent conductor of heat
  • Improves corrosion resistance

  • Aerospace
    • Lowers Weight
    • Improves Stiffness
    • Improves Dimensional Stability over a wide range of temperatures
    • The new F–22 Air Superiority Fighter and the Comanche Helicopter use significant quantities of Be and will probably stimulate demand for Be.
    • Bushings and Bearings in Landing Gear in Aircraft and Spacecraft
    • Inertial Guidance Systems
    • Brakes in Military Aircraft and on the Space Shuttle
    • Structural Components on the Space Shuttle
    • Optical System Components in Spacecraft
    • Be–Al Alloys are used as Castings

  • Oxidation Inhibitor. Small quantity of Be in Mg alloys inhibits oxidation.

  • Automation & Robotics

  • Automobiles & Heavy–Equipment
    • Airbags use Be–Ni Alloys
    • Brakes, Connectors, Electronics, Radios, etc.
    • Ignition Systems (BeO)

  • Boats

  • Communications & Telecommunications
    • Audio Components
    • Fiber Optics Connectors (Be–Cu rod)
    • Microwave Communications (BeO is transparent to microwaves)
    • Multiplexing (1 wire can carry hundreds of signals)
    • Quantum Mechanics (entanglement)
    • Specialty Components: connectors, switches, etc.

  • Ceramics (e.g., at Coors Ceramics). Be–enriched ceramics can be designed to have a thermal expansion coefficient of less than 1.0; however, it is more common to manufacture them with a null thermal expansion coefficient. In the first case, ceramics will actually shrink upon heating; in the second case, ceramics will retain their original size without regard to ordinarily–encountered temperatures. Most substances increase in size upon heating. Montmorillonite–based Be–clay ceramics can be designed to have especially desirable or unusual characteristics. It is quite likely that high–performance automobile engines will be manufactured routinely in the near future from such ceramics: advantages will include significantly improved mileage, drastically lowered weight and ability to operate at much higher temperatures.

  • Computers
    • Be metal enables high–speed computer components
    • Be–Cu wire is used in small, pluggable sockets to join integrated circuits to printed circuit boards.

  • Control Systems & Instrumentation

  • Electronics
    • BeO is a good electrical insulator
    • BeO dissipates heat readily
    • BeO is unaffected by thermal shock
    • BeO is used in microwave ovens (BeO is transparent to microwaves)
    • BeNi Alloys make miniature electronic connector components that operate at high temperatures

  • Lasers (BeO)

  • Mirrors

  • Molds (Ceramics, Glasses & Metals)

  • Nuclear Reactors
    • Control Rods
    • Neutron Moderator (Be and BeO slow or capture neutrons)
    • Canning Material

  • Nuclear Weapons.
    • Triggering Device

  • Oceanographic instruments

  • Oil & Gas Drilling Equipment
    • Large Diameter Be–Cu Tubing

  • Personal body armor

  • Radar
    • Electronic Counter Measures (BeO)

  • Recreation

  • Sports

  • Television

  • Welding. Be–Cu bar & plate are used in resistance–welding parts

  • X-Ray windows in X–Ray tubes. Be is transparent to X–Rays.

Industrial Materials of Beryllium:
  • Beryllate: BeO2–2. A salt produced by the reaction of a strong alkali (e.g., NaOH) with BeO. Very toxic to the gentically susceptible.

  • Beryllia: See Beryllium Oxide (BeO). Very toxic to the gentically susceptible.

  • Beryllide: A chemical combination of Be with a metal (e.g., Zr or Ta).

  • Beryllium Alloy: Any dilute alloy of base metals containing a few percent of Be.

  • Beryllium Bronze: see Beryllium Copper.

  • Beryllium Copper: An alloy of Cu and Be containing not more than about 3% Be; also an alloy of Cu and Be specifically for addition to metals in a foundry. aka Beryllium Bronze.

  • Beryllium Fluoride: BeF2. A water–soluble, hygroscopic, amorphous solid with a melting point of ~800oC: used in Be metallurgy. Very toxic to the gentically susceptible.

  • Beryllium Monel: A NiCu alloy containing Be.

  • Beryllium Nitrate: [Be(NO3)2]3(H2O). Sweet–tasting, colorless, water–soluble crystals used to introduce BeO into materials used in incandescent mantles. Very toxic to the genetically susceptible.

  • Beryllium Nitride: Be3N2. White refractory crystals with a melting point of ~2,200oC. Used in the manufacture of radioactive 14C. Formerly used in experimental rocket fuels. Very toxic to the genetically susceptible.

  • Beryllium Oxide: As used in industry is an amorphous white powder, insoluble in water. Used as a refractory and to make Be salts. aka known as Beryllia. Very toxic to the genetically susceptible.

Substitutes for Beryllium Since the cost of Be is high, it is used only where its properties are crucial. Substition usually results in substantial lowering of desired qualities.
  • Graphite in some applications

  • Steel in some applications

  • Titanium in some applications

  • Phosphor Bronze for Be-Cu Alloys

  • Aluminum Nitride for BeO

World Value of Beryllium Metal, in 2004
  • US $1,000/lb. (anecdotal)
  • US $1,000/kg. (British Geological Survey, 2005, p. 33.)

Note: The BGS, quoting the USGS, shows a maximum price of $430/lb. and a minimum price of $275/lb. for beryllium metal during the period 1991–2003: the average price shown was about $330/lb.
US Value of Beryllium Metal, Oxide & Alloys in 2000, per pound
  • $421 Metal, vacuum–cast ingot
  • $492 Metal, powder blend
  • $160 Be–Cu master alloy, per pound of contained Be
  • $100 BeO powder

US Value of Beryllium Commodities at year's end 1999, per pound (unless otherwise stated)
  • $75–80 Beryl Ore (per short ton unit of contained BeO)
  • $327 Be vacuum–cast ingot, 98.5% pure
  • $385 Be metal powder, 99% pure
  • $160 Be–Cu master alloy, per pound of contained Be
  • $ 5.52–6.30 Be–Cu casting alloy
  • $ 9.85 Be–Cu in rod, bar, wire
  • $ 8.90 Be–Cu in strip
  • $260 Be–Al alloy, 62% Be, 38%Al
  • $ 77 BeO powder, whose chemical (and trade) name is beryllia, but whose mineral name is bromellite

Some Significant World Occurrences & Sources of Beryllium. Most of the world's Be production (mining of Be minerals) comes from the USA, China and Russia, in that order. In the USA, most Be production is from Bertrandite: in the remainder of the world, most Be production is from Beryl. Several African countries not listed herein have significant unevaluated potential for large Be reserves.
  • Afghanistan. Laghman Province, Nuristan (Beryl, var. Morganite).
  • Antarctica. Zircon Point, Khmara Bay, Enderby Land (Khmaralite).
  • Australia. NW Victoria, Wycheproof, a granite quarry (Selwynite). Found in vugs in pegmatites.
  • Austria. Habachtal (Beryl var. Emerald & Phenakite). Found in pegmatites, hydrothermally–altered rocks and in Alpine fissures.
  • Brazil. Many occurrences, including:
    • Carnaiba deposit (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emeralds)
    • Socoto deposit (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emeralds)
    • Minas Gerais State.
      • Many mines (Beryl var. Emerald).
      • The Jaguaracu Pegmatite, Jose Miranda Mine (aka Ze Pinto Mine & Jose Pinto Mine). (Minasgeraisite–(Y)).
      • Telecio Mine, Linopolis (Beryllonite).
      • NE Minas Gerais. Near Taquaral, Lavra da Ilha pegmatite (Zanazziite). Zanazziite is found in pegmatitic environments.
  • Canada. Geologically speaking, there probably must also be significant beryllium deposits in New Brunswick; it is highly–likely on Prince Edward Island; and possible on Nova Scotia, as well. None of these are known to Maness.
    • British Columbia (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emerald)
    • Labrador
    • Newfoundland (SW)
    • Ontario (Beryl)
    • Quebec
  • China. At least some of China's Be resources are produced from the Zhen–Dan (Zz on Chinese Geological Maps) formation of upper pre–Cambrian age, usually as pegmatitic intrusives through REE–enriched massive iron–ore deposits (e.g., Neimenggu).
    • Gansu Province
    • Heilongjiang Province, greater Khingan area (Hingganite–(Y)). Found in a Be– and REE–bearing granophyre.
    • Hunan Province, Yiaoguanshen Mine (Bertrandite).
    • Neimenggu Zizhiqu (Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region)
    • Sichuan Province, Pingwu (Beryl, var. Goshenite).
    • Xinjiang–Weiwur Zizhiqu (Autonomous Province).
  • Colombia. Many occurrences including:
    • Many mines (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • Chivor. (Beryl var. Emerald & Euclase).
    • Coscuez, Boyaca (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • Muzo, (Beryl var. Emerald).
  • France. Nantes, Loire–Inferieure (Bertrandite).
  • Germany.
    • Breitenbrunn (Helvite).
    • Schwarzenberg (Helvite).
  • Greenland.
    • Ilimaussaq Complex, Tasseq, South Greenland (Semenovite). Semenovite has been found in vugs and fractures in the border zone of an epididymite–eudidymite bearing albitite.
    • Narsarsuk (Leifite). Found in vugs in alkali–pegmatite veins.
  • India.
  • Italy.
    • Lombardy, Cervandone, Val d'Ossola (Asbecasite).
    • Lake Maggiore, pegmatites & alpine–veins (Bazzite).
  • Japan.
    • Gifu Prefecture, Ena, Hirukawa, Tahara area, Iwaguro Sekizai Quarry (Hingganite–(Ce)).
    • Nagano Prefecture, Tadati (Tadachi) Village (Calciogadolinite).
  • Kazakhstan. Kara Oba (Bertrandite).
  • Madagascar. Sahanivotry, Sahatany Vally (Rhodizite).
  • Mozambique
  • Norway, Southern, Langesundfiord District (Leucophanite).
  • Pakistan, Mingora Mines (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emerald), Nagar (Beryl, var. Aquamarine). Major source of gem–quality stones.
  • Portugal
  • Romania. Maramures, Cavnic, Galerie Elisabeth (Helvite). (Questionable locality.)
  • Russia. Has many Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emerald deposits, including: Aulsky, Chitny, Krupsky, Mariinsky, Perwomaisky and Tsheremshansky. Many occurrences, including:
    • Kola Peninsula, Ploskororskaya, Keivy District (Hingganite–(Yb)). "Found in an amazonite pegmatite on plumbomicrolite and violet fluorite as a product of very late–stage replacement reactions."
    • Siberia, Irkutka and Altai Mountains (Bertrandite).
    • Takowaja, Pegmatite dikes (Chrysoberyl).
    • Urals, Southern, Orenburga District (Beryl var. Emerald & Euclase).
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa, Gravelotte Mine (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emerald), Transvaal (Beryl var. Emerald).
  • Spain, Franqueira Mine (Schist–Hosted Beryl var. Emerald).
  • Sweden.
    • Langbanshyttan, Vermland (Bromellite and Hyalotekite).
    • Kopparberg, (Gadolinite–(Y)).
  • Ukraine.
    • Wolodarsk, Wolynsky (Beryl, var. Heliodor).
  • USA World's largest producer of Be.
    • Alaska. Seward Peninsula.
    • Colorado. Numerous occurrences, including:
      • Boulder County. Several now–closed mines (Beryl, var. Aquamarine, var. Goshenite, var. Green).
      • Mount Antero (Beryl var. Aquamarine, var. Green, var. Goshenite; Bazzite, Bertrandite, Phenakite, etc.).
    • Connecticut. Several occurrences, including:
      • Branchville (Beryl var. Emerald).
      • Haddam Neck (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • Maine. Many huge beryls over six feet in length have been mined. Gem Beryls (var. aquamarine, var. gold, var. green, var. morganite, ...), bertrandite, chrysoberyl, etc. have been mined: there are simply too many sites to list. Several occurrences, including:
      • Rumford area (alone) includes:
        • Belleveau Pit (Beryl)
        • Black Mountain (Bertrandite, Beryl, Beryllonite),
        • Tower area (Beryl, var. Aquamarine, var. green & var. "sugar–cane"),
        • Thurston Cole (Gem Beryl), ...
      • Songo Pond Mine (near Bethel), famous for deep–blue Gem–quality Beryl var. Aquamarine.
      • Oxford County. South Paris, Mount Mica Granite Pegmatite (Beryl var. Emerald & Mccrillisite). Many huge beryl crystals: in 1949, for example, in Albany, the Bumpus Quarry produced a beryl 27' long that was 4.5' at one end and 7.5' at the other! Many Gem–quality Beryl var. green & var. golden have been found in Albany.
      • Sagadahoc County. (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • Maryland. Numerous occurrences. (Beryl).
    • New Hampshire. Grafton County. (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • North Carolina. Numerous occurrences. Some extremely fine emeralds (e.g., on display in the Smithsonian) were mined in western North Carolina.
      • Alexander County. (Beryl var. Emerald).
      • Cleveland County. (Beryl var. Emerald).
      • Hiddenite area. (Beryl var. Emerald).
      • Spruce Pine area (Beryl var. Emerald).
    • South Carolina
      • Anderson County (Gem–Quality Beryl).
      • McCormick County (Gem–Quality Beryl, including golden variety).
    • South Dakota. Custer County, Custer (Fransoletite).
    • Utah. Numerous occurrences, some of them world–class:
      • Gold Hill (Bertrandite).
      • Spor Mountain. (Bertrandite). Other huge, low–grade, deposits similar to Spor Mountain exist in the USA.
    • West Texas. (Behoite).
    • Colorado, Maine and North Carolina have previously produced significant quantities of Be and could do so again.
    • Eastern Pegmatite Belt. An essentially unevaluated (huge) "Pegmatite Belt" within the Piedmont Province east of the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia all the way into Canada has produced significant quantities of Be and has excellent potential. Some of the Spodumene mines in this belt have produced substantial Beryl, Chrysoberyl, Phenakite, etc., as valuable by–products.
  • Zambia

Exploration for Beryllium
The Integrated Exploration Approach is clearly superior to any single technique used alone, especially when taking advantage of modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. In the Integrated Exploration Approach, geologists determine and evaluate (starting with a Literature Search for relevant publications and maps) the most likely areas for Be enrichment and delineate specific areas for further data gathering. Such data gathering includes: Geochemical Prospecting, Field Geology (including testing "Prospect Pits" and, perhaps, core drilling, etc.), Geophysical Prospecting and Status of Land Ownership. As the data are gathered, the team of specialists, working together, determine on an ongoing basis where to further focus efforts. When especially promising sites are reasonably firmly confirmed, legal rights to mine the prospects are acquired. As mining commences, the geologist continues to integrate new information as gathered, in cooperation with geophysicists (i.e., Berylometer data–gathering and analysis) and mining engineers, in support of management's goals.
  • Geochemical Exploration
  • Geological Exploration
    • Literature Search for relevant geological publications and maps,
    • Photogeology & Remote Sensing,
    • Field Geology, including sampling, geological mapping (ages & types of rocks and stage of metamorphism; faults, fractures and folds, mineralization zones, etc.), identification of minerals & rocks, etc.,
    • Drilling & Coring
  • Geophysical Exploration
    • Berylometer. The Berylometer enables the direct detection and estimation of quantity of beryllium for any place closely (~1 cm distance) accessible to the instrument. For data acquisition, the Berylometer is usually mounted on a sled–like wagon and pulled or driven over the ground along well–surveyed lines, usually in a grid pattern. Since the Berylometer carries a very "hot" radioactive emitter (124Sb), it must be thickly–encased in lead for safe operation: this makes the sled heavy, awkward and hazardous (in several respects); further, special licenses for handling radioactive materials must be acquired from the US Department of Energy and its radioactive "energy source shield" must be replaced every two months due to the rapid radioactive decay of 124Sb. The Berylometer makes possible prospecting for any and all Be–containing minerals, even in very low concentrations: this device provides unique exploration capabilities for Be and is thereby worthy of separate special mention. The Berylometer is manufactured by John Birmingham, CEO & Owner of Boulder Scientific Company, P.O. Box 548 (598 Third Street), Mead, CO 80542–0548 USA, Tel: 970–535–4494 or 303–442–1199, Fax: 970–535–4584, Web-Site: Originally, all Berylometers were manufactured by the Boulder Scientific Company, but that may have changed. The largest single user of Berylometers in the USA is almost certainly Brush–Wellman and its contractors for its operations in Utah.
      • 124Sb is gamma radiation (hard radiation) source.
      • 9Be, when subjected to (1.67 MeV: near Be's neutron–binding energy) gamma radiation, releases a neutron fast.
        • The 9Be decays into 8Be, with a half–life of ~7x10-17s, which then decays into two 4He (alpha particles), with 17.2MeV of energy released and 0.01862 atomic mass units lost. This part is not relevant to the Berylometer, which ignores all the "daughter products" of the radioactive decay.
      • The Original Berylometer Works as Follows:
        • The neutrons released, after passage through a "neutron moderator" (polyethylene or other plastic [which also stops alpha particles]), are captured by Boron Tetrafluoride, which releases alpha particles, which are detected by an instrument similar in principle to standard Geiger–Mueller type instruments (i.e., Geiger Detectors).
        • Using recordings of the "Geiger Counter" readings, maps are drawn displaying Be concentration in parts–per–thousand (PPT) and contoured to enable planning the most–efficient mining at lowest cost.
      • The Modern Berylometer Works as Follows:
        • The neutrons released, after passage through a "neutron moderator" (polyethylene or other plastic), are counted directly by a far more accurate and far more efficient 3He tube (neutron flux). The data are automatically recorded as gathered.
        • The neutron flux data are used to render maps displaying Be concentration in parts–per–thousand (PPT) and contoured to enable planning the most–efficient mining at lowest cost. Flags are placed around areas of special enrichment as data are gathered to further optimize mining operations.
    • Ground–Penetrating Radar (GPR).
    • Induced Polarization (IP).
    • Magneto–Tellurics. (MT)
    • Seismic.

Some Companies in the Beryllium Business
Brush Wellman, Inc. (Also has Be operations in England, Germany, Japan and Singapore.)
Delta, UT (Producer of Be(OH)2)
Elmore, OH (Producer of finished Be products)
NGK Metals Corp., subsidiary of NGK Insulators, Ltd. of Japan (Purchases BeO from Brush Wellman)
Reading, PA (Producer of Beryllium alloys. Reading operation being moved to Sweetwater, TN)
Sweetwater, TN (Producer of Be rod & bar products.)
Nippon Gaishi Co., Ltd. (Expanding production capacity of Be–Cu cast & forged products by 50% to 300 tons/year.)
Chita Plant
Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Scanburg AG (Invested in upgrading Ulba capabilites & facilities)
Ulba Metallurgica Works (90% owned by Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's national nuclear industry corp.)
Some of Maness' Speculations about Beryllium:
Be (ionic radius 0.31 nm) is very similar to Si (0.41 nm) enabling Be to displace Si. Be is widely disseminated in trace amounts in Si-bearing rocks, which tend to disperse it widely in the earth's rocks, with the consequence that Be is not usually concentrated. Since Be has such profound effects in alloys and is of similar ionic size, might it also have effects out of all proportion in Si used for computer chips? Might the Si chips benefit from either the addition of (dopant) Be or the removal of all Be?
Geobotany. Be has a very significant effect on plant life. The production of higher plants (monocotyledons & dicotyledons) is inhibited by ~50% by only 16 ppm Be! In contrast, certain lower plants (e.g., some algae) can benefit from the presence of Be. The logical question concerns possible geobotanical applications. Using properly-enhanced satellite imagery (Maness' special expertise) to infer degrees of mineralization within a formation should be possible, as should using the same imagery to search for previously unknown Be-mineralized areas. It would also be reasonable to suspect (although presently not adequately researched) that, with such a strong effect on higher plants, Be would be incorporated into (and concentrated in) plant tissues. It has been shown, for example, that Be in Be-mineralized areas is concentrated in the wood of (but not the leaves of) Ash trees. Testing the appropriate plant ashes for Be should be a useful exploration and delineation tool for a variety of geological mineral suites.
Be tends to bind very tightly to montmorillonite but not to kaolinite. Once adsorbed, it will not be displaced even by high concentrations of Mg, Ca or Ba. How does Be act in illite and other clays? Might this peculiarity be turned to practical use? Does the affinity of Be with certain clays explain, at least in part, the high concentration of Be in some ultramafic schistose (phlogopitic) rocks? Might some clays be mineable for Be? (A large proportion of the Be acquired at Spor Mountain, UT, is from Montmorillonitic clays.) Might some bauxite ores (which are clay–rich) have economically–recoverable Be as a by–product of Al production? Could some clays be used to trap Be pollutants (e.g., in flue gases)? Might some clays be usable to beneficate Be ores?
Be is present in some coals and in some oils. Might Be be recovered from coal ash or flue stacks or oil refineries? Should special care be utilized to determine amounts of Be in coal before burning to minimize health risks? In oil refineries, might Be be a catalyst (positive or negative)?
10Be/9Be ratio has been used to calculate rates of sedimentation of fine materials, and may have other, similar uses (e.g., age dating).
In at least one case, a Pb-Zn-Ag smelter (in Kosovo) is claimed to have been expelling a significant quantity of Be in flue-gases, leading Maness to wonder if perhaps unrecognized disseminated(?) Be deposits are associated with some types of massive sulfides. Some of the Be minerals listed herein (e.g., Danalite, Genthelvite & Helvite) are sulfides. Sphalerite (SE USA) and pyrite (various places) have been noted, pre-smelting, with elevated levels of Be, but no records of flue-particulate analyses of Be are known. The cost of modernizing the Kosovo smelter to recover fine particulates might be recovered from selling the Be, and other, flue concentrates. This would clearly be of immense benefit to the impoverished local economy. Of equal importance, the health benefits to the nearby populace of modernizing the smelter to remove Be are obvious. Numerous reports of respiratory distress near the smelter have been made, but none are known to have explicitly stated any confirmed cases of berylliosis. It is unlikely that berylliosis was even considered as a diagnosis: it would be irresponsible not to check. In actual fact, there are just as many reports stating that the air in the proximity of the smelter is within acceptable health limits as claim the opposite: KFOR (Allied Military Forces in Kosovo) have somewhat disingenuously firmly endorsed both opposing sides of this issue to conform with changing political exigencies. The presence of Be associated with the smelter has been presented by environmental groups as proof of the presence of a secret nuclear reactor in the area: such hysterical accusations are, unfortunately, not any surprise considering the biased and uninformed nature of the sources and their extreme (Greens Party) political agendas. A simple comparative test of isotopes of Be present would quickly resolve these allegations about a possible nuclear reactor in the area. And, finally, there is reasonable doubt about whether Be is even being emitted at the alleged levels: the studies quoted (by the Greens) may have been seriously flawed. Truth is what is important.
In Maness' OPINION (and that of several other experts), the reasons for the toxicity of beryllium metal particulates include the greatly increased surface area (by several orders of magnitude) of finely-ground particles vs. solid metal; the great increase in "edge effect," whereby single-molecule thickness along particle edges experience great differences in chemical reactivity (in effect, a catalyst); and the fact that beryllium is, itself, amphoteric, enabling its oxide and hydroxide coatings to be readily either an electron donor or an electron recipient (i.e., properties of either an acid or a base), greatly magnifying its chemical reactivity. These unique characteristics of Be can reasonably be predicted to eventually lead to some highly-beneficial medical advances. Certainly, vigorous medical research should proceed, both to further understand the scourge of berylliosis and the possibly salubrious advantages that Be might offer to medical science. At this point, however, these views and hypotheses are only opinion.
Hazards of Beryllium:
Berylliosis, to the genetically susceptible (~5–10% of the population: approximately 1/2 of whom are asymptomatic and whose reaction to Be can be determined only by use of recently–developed medical tests), is a very severe (usually fatal) respiratory illness caused by the inhalation of extremely toxic beryllium metal particulates or metal oxides or fumes. Berylliosis is treatable, but not curable. The consensus of opinion appears to be that berylliosis is caused by soluble compounds of Be (regardless of means of introduction into the body), and that the more soluble the compound, the greater the toxicity. The latency period can vary, with the first symptoms often appearing years after exposure. While the solid metallic form of Be is considered non-hazardous, probably because it does not solubilize readily into toxic compounds, the safe milling or machining of the metal requires the stringent implementation of precautions preventing exposure to Be dust particles (even within a metal alloy), which are extremely toxic. The exposure of people to Be dust at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Center led to numerous cases of berylliosis in Colorado: in response, National Jewish Hospital (now National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206–2761, Tel: 303–388–4461 or 800–222–LUNG) developed what many consider to be the world's foremost treatment and research facility for berylliosis. To do so, National Jewish built upon its existing first-class competence in treating tuberculosis. U.S. News & World Report ranked National Jewish "the #1 Respiratory Hospital in America four years in a row" (1998-2001). Those who experience several of the following symptoms and have had exposure to Be dust or fumes should seek specialized medical attention to determine whether or not berylliosis is the cause.

    Symptoms of Berylliosis (Beryllium Poisoning)

    aka Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD)
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Shortness of Breath with Physical Exertion
  • Fatigue
  • Chest and Joint Pain
  • Blood in the Sputum
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fevers and Night Sweats

Be is considered to be a borderline carcinogen by some health agencies; however, the effects vary widely by Be compound, conditions of exposure and among the exposed population.
Further, while systemic absorption of Be through the skin is limited, ionic Be can react with tissue causing an immune response. Be materials embedded in skin can prevent the healing of wounds. Only a few percent of exposed populations are susceptible to Be diseases. Different Be compounds differ greatly in toxicity (from none to acute) and there is no apparent relation between the severity of Be diseases and the extent of exposure. Synergistic effects with other dust-borne irritants introduce complications. Less than a day of exposure to Be dust has not been shown to initiate symptoms of an acute Be intoxication.
Beryllium Minerals (NOT Comprehensive):
Approximate weight % of Be follows each formula: the more atomic substitution possible, the more variation in weight percent to be expected. For some of the more complexly varied minerals (those whose atomic weights were not listed in references cited), the atomic weights for the "end–members" were calculated using solely the most common elements (or Be, when a listed substitute, e.g., Semenovite). Such calculated molecular weights and percentages are in [brackets]. For example, the weight percent of Be for Asbecasite was calculated using the end–member formula: Ca3TiBe2As3O6(SiO4)2.
  • Alexandrite: See Chrysoberyl.

  • Aminoffite Ca3Be2Si3O10(OH)2. 4.33% Be. Molecular Weight = 416.52.

  • Asbecasite Ca3(Ti,Fe,Sn)(Be,B,Al)2(As+++,Sb+++)3O6(SiO4)2. [~2.60% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~691.10].

  • Babefphite BaBe(PO4)(F,O). ~3.47% Be. Molecular Weight = 259.56.

  • Barylite BaBe2Si2O7. 5.57% Be. Molecular Weight = 323.52. Since Ba–rich dikes commonly occur near pegmatitic dikes, it is reasonable to believe that Barylite may be more common than generally accepted by the geological community.

  • Bavenite Ca4Be2Al2Si9O26(OH)2. 1.93% Be. Molecular Weight = 935.07.

  • Bazzite Be3(Sc,Al)2(Si03)6. 4.79% Be. Molecular Weight = 564.46. A scandium analogue of beryl. Of potentially great value.

  • Bearsite Be2(AsO4)(OH)(H2O)4. 7.33% Be. Molecular Weight = 246.01.

  • Behoite Be(OH)2. 20.95% Be. Molecular Weight = 43.03. Very toxic. Amphoteric. Formerly mined in West Texas. See Clinobehoite.

  • Berborite Be2(BO3)(OH,F)(H2O). 16.04% Be. Molecular Weight = 112.35.

  • Bergslagite CaBe(AsO4)(OH). 4.40% Be. Molecular Weight = 205.02.

  • Bertrandite (BeO)4(SiO2)2(H2O) or Be4Si2O7(OH)2. 15.13% Be. Molecular Weight = 238.23. Non-toxic. Most important Be ore in the USA. Note the discrepancy in the formulas (for total O) from different sources.

  • Beryl Be3Al2(SiO3)6 [can be (Be, Na, Li, Ce)3Al2Si6O18]. 5.03% Be. Molecular weight = 537.50.
    • Name Origin = Ancient Greek: "Beryllos," for blue–green color of sea water.
    • Locality:
      • Pala Pegmatite District, San Diego Co, CA (Morganite).
      • Colombia (Emeralds).
      • Russia (Heliodor).
    • Geological Environment(s) = Pegmatites, Alaskites, Alkaline rocks, Greisens, Pipes & Schist–Hosted. Often related to sutures or felsic intrusives.
    • Toxicity = Non-toxic
    • Solubility = Insoluble in H2O.
    • Hardness = 7-8
    • Cleavage = 3,1 basal
    • Crystal Form = Hexagonal, generally prismatic
    • DR = 0.006
    • Fracture = Uneven to conchoidal
    • Group = Silicates; cyclosilicates
    • Luster = Vitreous
    • Refractive Index = 1.57 - 1.58
    • Specific Gravity = 2.6 - 2.9
    • Streak = Colorless
    • Tenacity = Brittle
    • Transparency = Transparent to opaque
    • Dana Class = Cyclosilicate: Six–Membered Rings; possible OH and Al substitution.
    • Strunz Class = Beryl Series.

  • Beryllia BeO. Chemical name for the oxide of beryllium. Very toxic. See the mineral, Bromellite, BeO.

  • Beryllite (Be3SiO4(OH)2)(H2O). 15.80% Be. Molecular Weight = 171.15.

  • Beryllonite NaBe(PO4). 7.10% Be. Molecular Weight = 126.97. Colorless to yellow short, prismatic or tabular monoclinic crystals with two good pinacoidal cleavages at right angles. Mohs hardness is 5.5–6.0; Specific Gravity is 2.85.

  • Bityite CaLiAl2(AlBeSi2)O10(OH)2. 2.33% Be. Molecular Weight = 387.16.

  • Bromellite BeO. 36.03% Be. Molecular Weight = 25.01. aka the chemical, Beryllia.

  • Calciogadolinite CaREE(Fe+++)Be2Si2O10. 3.80% Be. Molecular Weight = 474.11.

  • Calcybeborosilite (Y,Ca)2(B,Be)2Si2O8(OH)2. ~1.15% Be. Molecular Weight = 392.30.

  • Chiavennite CaMnBe2Si5O13(OH)2(H2O)2. 3.39% Be. Molecular Weight = 531.51.

  • Chkalovite Na2BeSi2O6. 4.35% Be. Molecular Weight = 207.16.

  • Chrysoberyl (aka Alexandrite) BeAl2O4. 7.10% Be. Molecular Weight = 126.97. The Alexandrite form of Chrysoberyl is a valuable green or red gem, whose color varies with light.

  • Clinobehoite Be(OH)2. 20.95% Be. Molecular Weight = 43.03. Assumed to be very toxic and amphoteric because of its similarity to Behoite.

  • Danalite Fe++4Be3(SiO4)3S. 4.84% Be. Molecular Weight = 558.74.

  • Ehrleite Ca2ZnBe(PO4)2(PO3,OH)(H2O)4. [~1.70% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~529.57].

  • Epididymite NaBeSi3O7(OH). 3.67% Be. Molecular Weight = 245.26.

  • Euclase BeAlSiO4(OH). 6.21% Be. Molecular Weight = 145.08.

  • Eudidymite NaBeSi3O7(OH). 3.67% Be. Molecular Weight = 245.26. Note: same formula as Epididymite.

  • Faheyite (Mn,Mg)Fe+++2Be2(PO4)4(H2O)6. ~2.71% Be. Molecular Weight = 664.98.

  • Fransoletite H2Ca3Be2(PO4)4(H2O)4. 3.04% Be. Molecular Weight = 592.22. See Parafransoletite.

  • Gadolinite–(Ce) (Ce,La,Nd,Y)2Fe++Be2Si2O10. [~2.62% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~688.78].

  • Gadolinite–(Y) Y2Fe++Be2Si2O10. 3.85% Be. Molecular Weight = 467.85.

  • Gainesite NaNa(Be,Li)(Zr,Zn)2(PO4)4(H2O)1–2. [~1.38% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~651.35]. Note: formula is questionable.

  • Genthelvite Zn4Be3(SiO4)3S. 4.53% Be. Molecular Weight = 596.91.

  • Glucine [CaBe4(PO4)2(OH)4]2(H2O). 10.51% Be. Molecular Weight = 343.11.

  • Gugiaite Ca2BeSi2O7. 3.50% Be. Molecular Weight = 257.33.

  • Hambergite Be2BO3(OH). 19.21% Be. Molecular Weight = 93.84.

  • Harstigite Ca6MnBe4(SiO4)2(Si2O7)2(OH)2. 4.07% Be. Molecular Weight = 885.97.

  • Helvite Mn4Be3(SiO4)3S. 4.87% Be. Molecular Weight = 555.10.

  • Herderite CaBe(PO4)F. 5.53% Be. Molecular Weight = 163.06.

  • Hingganite–(Ce) (Ce,Y)2([],Fe++)Be2Si2O8(OH,O)2. ~3.47% Be. Molecular Weight = 518.75.

  • Hingganite–(Y) (aka Yberisilite, Yttroceberite & Yttroceberysilite).Y2([])Be2Si2O8(OH)2. ~4.35% Be. Molecular Weight = 414.02. Found in a Be– and REE–bearing granophyre in Heilongjiang, China.

  • Hingganite–(Yb) (Yb,Y)2([])Be2Si2O8(OH)2. ~3.97% Be. Molecular Weight = 453.70.

  • Hogtuvaite (Ca,Na)2(Fe++,Fe+++,Ti,Mg,Mn)6(Si,Be,Al)6O20. ~1.94% Be. Molecular Weight = 837.17.

  • Hsianghualite Ca3Li2Be3(SiO4)3F2. 5.69% Be. Molecular Weight = 475.40.

  • Hurlbutite CaBe2(PO4)2. 7.27% Be. Molecular Weight = 248.05.

  • Hyalotekite (Ba,Pb,Ca,K)6(B,Si,Al)2(Si,Be)10O28(F,Cl). ~1.41% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,595.98.

  • Hydroxylherderite CaBe(PO4)(OH). 5.60% Be. Molecular Weight = 161.07.

  • Jeffreyite (Ca,Na)2(Be,Al)Si2(O,OH)7. ~2.65% Be. Molecular Weight = 255.30.

  • Joesmithite PbCa2(Mg,Fe++,Fe+++)5Si6Be2O22(OH)2. [~1.84% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~981.55].

  • Khmaralite (Mg,Al,Fe)16(Al,Si,Be)12O40. ~1.03% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,401.96.

  • Leucophanite (Na,Ca)2BeSi2(O,OH,F)7. 3.82% Be. Molecular Weight = 235.92.

  • Leifite Na2(Si,Al,Be)7(O,OH,F)14. ~1.48% Be. Molecular Weight = 425.47.

  • Liberite Li2BeSiO4. 7.84% Be. Molecular Weight = 114.98.

  • Lovdarite K2Na6Be4Si14O36(H2O)9. 2.61% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,383.50.

  • Mccrillisite NaCs(Be,Li)Zr2(PO4)4(H2O)1–2. ~0.90% Be. Molecular Weight = 753.75.

  • Meliphanite (Ca,Na)2Be(Si,Al)2O6(F,OH). 3.74% Be. Molecular Weight = 241.15.

  • Milarite K2Ca4Al2Be4Si24O60(H2O). 1.82% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,980.55.

  • Minasgeraisite–(Y) CaY2Be2Si2O10. 3.99% Be. Molecular Weight = 452.08.

  • Moraesite Be2(PO4)(OH)(H2O)4. 8.92% Be. Molecular Weight = 202.06.

  • Musgravite (Mg,Fe++,Zn)2Al6BeO12. [~2.19% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~411.53].

  • Odintsovite K2Na4Ca3Ti2Be4Si12O38. 2.64% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,367.20.

  • Pahasapaite (Ca,Li,K,Na)27Li16Be48(PO4)48(H2O)76. [~1.34% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~7,217.98].

  • Parafransoletite Ca3Be2(PO4)2(PO3,OH)2(H2O)4. [~3.23% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~558.23]. See Fransoletite.

  • Pehrmanite (Fe++,Zn,Mg)2Al6BeO12. [~1.90% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~474.59].

  • Phenakite (aka Phenacite) Be2SiO4. 16.37% Be. Molecular Weight = 110.11. A white, green, pale blue, brown or pink gem stone.

  • Rhodizite (K,Cs)Al4Be4(B,Be)12O28. 8.10% Be. Molecular Weight = 778.83.

  • Roggianite Ca2[Be(OH)2Al2Si4O13]2–x(H2O)5. ~1.67% Be. Molecular Weight = 540.72.

  • Roscherite Ca(Mn++,Fe++)5Be4(PO4)6(OH)4(H2O)6. 3.28% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,097.90.

  • Samfowlerite Ca14Mn++3Zn2(Be,Zn)2Be6(SiO4)6(Si2O7)4(OH,F)6. [~3.36% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~2,143.74].

  • Selwynite NaK(Be,Al)Zr2(PO4)4(H2O)2. ~1.00% Be. Molecular Weight = 673.96.

  • Semenovite (Ca,Ce,La,Na)10–12(Fe++,Mn)(Si,Be)20(O,OH,F)48. [~12.40% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~1,453.27].

  • Sorensenite Na4SnBe2Si6O18(H2O)2. 2.50% Be. Molecular Weight = 721.23.

  • Stoppaniite (Fe,Al,Mg)4(Na,[])2[Be6Si12O36](H2O)2. 4.54% Be. Molecular Weight = 1,190.00.

  • Surinamite (Mg,Fe++)3Al4BeSi3O16. ~1.63% Be. Molecular Weight = 553.76.

  • Sverigeite NaMnMgSn++++Be2Si3O12(OH). 3.39% Be. Molecular Weight = 532.22.

  • Swedenborgite NaBe4SbO7. 12.31% Be. Molecular Weight = 292.78.

  • Taaffeite Mg3Al8BeO16. 1.63% Be. Molecular Weight = 553.77.

  • Tiptopite K2(Na,Ca)2Li3Be6(PO4)6(OH)2(H2O). ~6.52% Be. Molecular Weight = 829.47.

  • Trimerite CaMn2Be3(SiO4)3. 5.97% Be. Molecular Weight = 453.24.

  • Tugtupite Na4AlBeSi4O12Cl. 1.93% Be. Molecular Weight = 467.74.

  • Tvedalite (Ca,Mn++)4Be3Si6O17(OH)4(H2O)3. 3.54% Be. Molecular Weight = 764.79.

  • unnamed IMA99.014 (CS,K)Al4Be4(B,Be)12O28. 7.64% Be. Molecular Weight = 825.74.

  • Uralolite Ca2Be4(PO4)3(OH)3(H2O)5. 6.65% Be. Molecular Weight = 542.22.

  • Vayrynenite MnBe(PO4)(OH,F). 4.09% Be. Molecular Weight = 220.37.

  • Wawayandaite Ca12Mn4B2Be18Si12O46(OH,Cl)30 [Ortho]. 6.43% Be. Molecular Weight = 2,523.08.

  • Weinebeneite CaBe3(PO4)2(OH)2(H2O)5. 7.45% Be. Molecular Weight = 363.13.

  • Welshite Ca2Sb+++++Mg4Fe+++Si4Be2O20. 2.36% Be. Molecular Weight = 765.25.

  • Zanazziite (Ca,Mn)2(Mg,Fe)(Mg,Fe++,Mn,Fe+++)4Be4(PO4)6(OH)4(H2O)6. [~3.55% Be]. Molecular Weight = [~1,015.32].


Gem Varieties of Beryl:
Aquamarine light to dark blue or blue-green. The largest (~110.3 kg, or ~243 lbs.) known aquamarine crystal in the world was mined in 1910 in the Marambaia, in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Several blue or blue-green gem stones can be confused with (or misrepresented as) aquamarines, including euclase, spinel, topaz, tourmaline and zircon. Some of the fraudulent names for aquamarine include "Brazilian Aquamarine" (blue topaz), "Mass Aqua" (blue glass), "Nerchinsk Aquamarine" (blue topaz), "Siam Aquamarine" (heat-treated blue zircon) and "Synthetic Aquamarine" (synthetic blue spinel).
Bixbite strawberry red. Same as "Red Beryl." Bixbite is easily confused with strawberry red topaz and spinel. The AGI no longer acknowledges "Bixbite" as a valid gem stone name, in part because another (non-Be) mineral, "Bixbyite," was named for the same person and some consider it unfair to have two minerals named after the same person. Sour grapes? The name Bixbite remains in wide, although declining, use.
Blue Beryl Blue. Blue Beryl can be confused with sapphire and tanzanite.
Emerald green to dark green. Emeralds are considered the most valuable type of beryl, with the Trapiche Emerald (star-shaped rays from the center) the most valuable form. Synthetic emeralds are of far lower value and are often identified by the names: "Biron Emerald," "Chatham Emerald," "Gilson Emerald," "Kimberly Emerald," "Lennix Emerald," "Linde Emerald," "Regency Emerald," and "Zerfass Emerald." Fraudulent "emeralds" abound, with colored glass being the most common, including "Broghton Emerald," "Endura Emerald," "Ferrer's Emerald," "Medina Emerald," "Mount St. Helens Emerald," and "Spanish Emerald." Emerald doublets are created by gluing together two pale green stones (or glass) with green glue. Other Fraudulent "emeralds" include "African Emerald" (green fluorite), "Bohemian Emerald" (green fluorite), "Cape Emerald" (prehnite), "Congo Emerald" (dioptase), "Emeraldine" (green-dyed chalcedony), "Emeraldite" (green tourmaline), "Evening Emerald" (peridot), "Indian Emerald" (green-dyed quartz or chalcedony), "Lithia Emerald" (hiddenite), "Mascot Emerald" (emerald doublet), "Night Emerald" (peridot), "Oriental Emerald" (green sapphire), "South African Emerald" (green fluorite), "Tecla Emerald" (emerald doublet), "Transvaal Emerald" (green fluorite), and "Uralian Emerald" (demantoid garnet). In general, several green gem stones resemble emeralds and may be confused with, or misrepresented as emeralds, including: diopside, dioptase, garnet, hiddenite, peridot, tourmaline and zircon.
Golden Beryl golden yellow. Golden beryl can be confused with chrysoberyl and topaz.
Goshenite colorless to white. Goshenite is easily confused with other colorless gem stones, in particular with diamond, rock crystal, sapphire and spinel.
Green Beryl pale green or grass green. Green beryl is easily confused with grass green hiddenite, garnet and zircon.
Heliodor yellow, yellow-green or brown. Heliodor is easily confused with many gem stones, in particular with chrysoberyl, citrine, topaz and zircon.
Morganite pink to light purple. Morganite can be confused with rose quartz.
Peach Beryl orange-pink. Peach beryl is very similar to the padparadschah form of sapphire, and to orange-pink forms of spinel and topaz.
Red Beryl deep red. aka Bixbite, etc. Red beryl is very distinctive, being a deeper red than even ruby and ruby spinel. True Red Beryl is found in only one place, the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver Co., Utah, where it occurs in fractures in a rhyolite around the rim of an extinct volcanic caldera. Numerous names for this extremely rare and highly-desirable gem-quality beryl have been proposed. The new mine owners may choose an unique name that will more adequately describe the beauty of this truly emperor of gems.
Notes about beryl:
1. The original cut emerald gemstones of the Old Testament Era owed their green color to Fe, not to Cr. Those which have been recovered from Middle Eastern archeological sites (e.g., those in the British Museum) were all uniquely characteristic of a now-depleted ancient emerald mine near the Western shore of the Red Sea in Egypt. Its geological equivalent on the Eastern shore of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia has been being mined for "emeralds" since the mid-1980s for the Saudi Royal Family by the French firm, BRGM. It is the very essence of irony that, according to the recently-changed definitions of the AGI, the original biblical "emeralds" would no longer qualify as such, but would be disparagingly dismissed as "green beryls."
2. Beryls are not always perfect hexagonal well-terminated prisms, but can also infrequently occur as short, stubby crystals, tabular crystals, plates, columnar aggregates or in massive form. Beryls are only rarely found in druzy or platy aggregates or as bundles of thin, elongated crystals. Beryl crystals are usually very-finely striated lengthwise, although it is not uncommon to find them with a silky-sheen surface (e.g., North Carolina and Russia).
3. Pure beryl is colorless. Impurities cause the colors of the various gemstones, with Cr (or V) making green emeralds and Fe making blue-green aquamarines.
4. Beryls occasionally fluoresce in yellow, light blue, purple, pink or red.
5. Fine gem-quality emeralds have been mined at Muzo and Chivor in Colombia; from Minas Gerais in Brazil; from the Ural Mountains in Russia; from the Cobra and Somerset Mines in Transvaal, South Africa; from the Habatchal in Austria; from Sagadahoc County and Oxford County, Maine; from Branchville and Haddam Neck, Connecticut; from Grafton County, New Hampshire; and from numerous mines in Alexander County and Cleveland County in North Carolina. There are also many undocumented emerald mines in South Carolina whose production is sold at periodic unadvertised auctions near Spruce Pine, NC. It is Maness' strong professional opinion that a belt of Emerald-prone rocks (beryl-containing pegmatites intruded through Cr-rich rocks) extends along the Eastern flank of the Appalachian Mountains from South Carolina, through North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, etc., into Eastern Canada.
6. Colorado has several proven beryllium deposits (Mount Antero, Badger Flats, etc.) which have yielded magnificent specimens of aquamarine, "green beryl," goshenite, etc. Indeed, for this reason, aquamarine is the Colorado State Stone. Several now-closed mines west of Boulder, CO, yielded huge (up to two feet in diameter!) beryl crystals that were stony, but with significant (recoverable for cutting into gem stones) streaks of gem-quality deep-green or blue-green material. The "gem-quality streaks" alway cut ~90o across the longest dimension (length) of the beryl crystals.
7. Beryls have an alkaline affinity and are commonly mined from (quartz-rich) alaskite or pegmatitic rocks. Beryls historically comprise the largest single source of ore for the production of Be metal, although Utah's bertrandite may have overtaken beryl in yearly worldwide tonnage mined (as it has in the USA). Behoite ore was, for some time, a significant source; however, with the closure (allegedly due to safety-costs and -concerns) of the Texas mine, Behoite is no longer known as an ore source from any locality. Behoite's toxicity is such that miners had to wear "moon suits" at work. Beryls (and bertrandite) are usually found in association with quartz, feldspar, muscovite, cassiterite, spodumene, calcite, pyrite, tourmaline, apatite, barite and dolomite. Some tin, tungsten and spodumene mines have produced substantial quantities of beryls.
8. The conventionally accepted views regarding the geology of the emeralds of Brazil and Colombia are problematic: there are just too many things that do not fit comfortably, and that persist over too large a region to be unique, localized, events. Are the host rocks really schists, or only schistose? Are they really metasomatized sediments of ultramafic composition or might they actually be (as seems likely in some cases!) metasomatized ultramafic intrusives? The distinction is far more than only a useless academic exercise: true understanding of the geology could lead both to new discoveries and to extensions of mines. Equally critical is a more complete knowledge of the structure of these deposits. Is the mineralization fault (gouge) related? Are the deposits along the plane of intraformational (thrust) faults? What were the chemical processes of concentration of Be? What component of the mineralization is due to migrating fluids? Was the Cr and/or Be present from the beginning (remobilized into emeralds) or introduced later? Many of these questions can be answered, or at least limited in scope, by a more precise (absolute, not just relative: younger or older) determination of the time relationships of minerals and geological units.
9. Beryls are frequently treated to increase their value. Green beryls (Fe) are often heated to 450oC (842oF) to form a deep-blue aquamarine. Fractured emeralds are usually treated with an oil to mask imperfections. Irradiation can also remove minute flaws. While such activities are not prima-facie fraudulent, it is desirable for those in the business (and for informed consumers!) to be aware of such processes and their implications (ethical, professional & legal).
10. The chemical formula for beryl given on the Encarta® web-site is wrong.
The Author, Lindsey V. Maness, Jr., learned much that is written herein from the chemist, Dr. Charles Carstens (deceased, Raleigh, NC); from the geologists, Dr. Wallace R. Griffitts (Boulder, CO), Dr. Henry S. Brown (Marion, NC), James Roy Piper (Littleton, CO) and Dr. Bruce Geller (Lakewood, CO); and from the Nuclear Criticality Engineer, Howard C. Bachman (Lakewood, CO). Of course, without the irreplaceable research facilities of the USGS Library in Denver, CO, this document would have been of far less value.
Anonymous, 2001, Beryllium, Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001.
Anonymous, 2001, Aquamarine, Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001.
Anonymous, 1962, Dictionary of Geological Terms, Dolphin Books, Garden City, NY, 545 pp.
Bachman, H.C., 2001, personal communications, Lakewood, CO, USA. Howard Bachman is uniquely knowledgable, from his many years of nuclear–related work, about the properties of Be..
 British Geological Survey, 2005, World Metals & Minerals Review 2005, Natural Environment Research Council, London, England, 313 pp.
Brown, H.S., 2000, personal communications, Marion, NC, USA. Dr. Henry Brown, retired NCSU professor of geology, having been born and reared in Western NC, is uniquely knowledgeable about the gemstone industry, in general, and of Emeralds, in particular, in the Southeastern USA.
Cunningham, L.D., 2001, Beryllium, in U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January, pp. 30–31.
_____, 1999, Beryllium, USGS Minerals Yearbook-1999, pp. 11.1–11.8.
Fleischer, M., 1971, Glossary of Mineral Species, Mineral. Rec., Inc., Bowie, MD, USA, 145 pp.
Geller, B., 2001, personal communications, Lakewood, CO, USA. Dr. Bruce Geller is a noted mineralogist knowledgeable about the occurrence and geological provenance of Be minerals..
Griffitts, W.R., 1973, United States Mineral Resources, USGS Professional Paper 820, US GPO, Washington, DC, pp. 85-93.
_____, and Skilleter, D.N., 1991, Beryllium, pp. 775-787, in Merian, E., Ed., Metals and Their Compounds in the Environment (Occurrence, Analysis and Biological Relevance), Weinheim, New York, 1,438 pp.
IARC Monograph, 1980, Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds, in Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. Some Metals and Metallic Compounds, IARC, Lyon, v. 23, pp. 173-204.
Kelley, K.D., 2001, personal communication, USGS Geologist, Denver Federal Center, Lakewood, CO, USA. Note: Dr. Karen Kelley is an authority on beryllium and its minerals. She and her former co-worker, Dr. W.R. Griffitts, have researched and written much of great practical and scientific value about beryllium mineralogy and occurrence that has not yet been published or otherwise made available to the public by the USGS.
Maness, L.V., Jr., 2001, personal knowledge, Golden, CO, USA.
Piper, J.R., 2001, personal communications, Littleton, CO, USA. Jim Piper is a very experienced field and exploration geologist with special expertise regarding minerals of alkaline affinity.
Reeves, A.L., 1986, Beryllium, in Friberg, L., Nordberg, N.F., and Voux, V.B. (eds.), Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals, 2nd Ed., Elsevier, Amsterdam, v. II, pp. 95-116.
Sackett, C., 2001, Four ions mingle in quantum chorus (beryllium ions in quantum entanglements), Nature, March 16, pp. .
Sienko, M.J., and Plane, R.A., 1966, Chemistry: Principles and Properties, McGraw-Hill, Inc., St. Louis, 623 pp.
Sinkankas, J., 1981, Emerald and other beryls, Chilton Book Co., Radnor, PA, 665 pp.
Addresses of General Interest:
Red Beryl Mine, Attn: Rex Harris, P.O. Box 543, Delta, UT 84624–0543, Tel: 435–864–3991.
Web–Sites of Special Interest: Excellent reference site for minerals.
Boulder Scientific Company (Manufactures "Berylometer" aka "Beryllium Detector") Attn: Howard Carlyle Hein, P.O. Box 548, Mead, CO 80542–0548.
British Columbia Geological Survey
South Carolina Geological Survey
South Carolina Gold Mines, ... Rockhounding
Geological Guide to Newfoundland & Labrador
Scientific Dictionary (arguably the best on the web!)
Columbia Encyclopedia
Electronic Library FOTOFAB makes precision (etched) BeCu and other electrical parts for computers (including mother boards), etc. CuBe alloys supplier. Rocky Flats Beryllium Health web-site. (caster of Be alloys). USGS Commodities (former USBOM) site.
Brush Wellman, Inc., 14710 W. Portage River South Road, Elmore, OH 43416–9502, Tel: 800–862–4118, Web–Site: Delta, UT Tel: 435–864–3688.
National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206–2761, Tel: 303–388–4461 or 800–222–LUNG, Web–Site: Focuses on Berylliosis.
Larry D. Cunningham, Tel: 703-648-4977 Fax: 703-648-7757 E-Mail:
Cyberwall: Rock Collecting Sites in Ontario, Canada (by and for Rockhounds)
Cyberwall: Rock Collecting Sites in Maine, USA (by and for Rockhounds)
Maine Collecting Sites (by and for Rockhounds)
Rockhound Maps & Descriptions of Mineral Sites Along Coastal Maine
Rockhound Maps & Descriptions of Mineral Sites in Northern Maine