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Definition of BERYL
: a mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum of great hardness that occurs in colorless hexagonal prisms when pure and in various colors (as green, blue, yellow, or pink) when not pure, that is valued as a source of gems, and that is the principal source of beryllium
Mineral composed of beryllium aluminum silicate, BeAl(SiO), a commercial source of beryllium. Several varieties are valued as gemstones: aquamarine (pale blue-green); emerald (deep green); heliodor (golden yellow); and morganite (pink). Before 1925 beryl was used only as a gemstone, but since then many important uses have been found for beryllium (e.g., in nuclear reactors, space vehicles, and X-ray tubes). No large deposits have been found, and most production is a by-product of the mining of feldspar and mica. Brazil is a major producer; others include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and the U.S.