The parent mineral of such varieties as aquamarine and emerald, beryl is made up of hexagonal crystals that can range from small deposits to formations several meters in size. Pure beryl is colorless, but natural variances bring out colors like green, blue, yellow, and red.
Found all over the world, pure beryl is rarely prized among collectors, but its many color strains can be much more valuable. Red beryl is the rarest and most sought-after variety.
Green beryl is called emerald, and is one of the most valuable gems. Aquamarine is the blue-turquoise variety, while morganite is pink to light purple. Heliodor is a greenish yellow, and is nearly indistinguishable from the most common variety – golden beryl. Goshenite is uncolored or white beryl, with red beryl also known as bixbite. Innovative cuts and shaping can add brilliance and value to beryl pieces.