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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Beryl (var. heliodor)

Photograph of helidor (NMNH G10066) from the National Gem Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10066-00
Locality Minas Gerais, Brazil
Weight 216 ct

Gift of Mrs. Helene V. Rubin in 1996.

The mineral beryl occurs in many colors. The best known gem varieties are the deep-green emerald and the sea-blue aquamarine. However, beryl also is found in shades of pink (morganite), red, and yellow (heliodor), and in some cases is colorless (goshenite). This 216ct heliodor is from Minas Gerais, Brazil. The deeply saturated golden-yellow color of this gem is due to impurities of iron. Heliodor, or golden beryl, gets its name from two Greek words meaning “sun” and “gift.”

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