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 (such 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
Did You Know?
Several varieties of the mineral beryl are valued as gemstones: aquamarine (pale blue-green); emerald (deep green); heliodor (golden yellow); and morganite (pink). Beryl consists of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum of great hardness, and is a commercial source of beryllium. Before 1925 beryl was used only as a gemstone, but since then many important uses have been found for beryllium (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 producers include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and the USA.
Origin and Etymology of beryl
Middle English, from Middle French beril, from Latin beryllus, from Greek bēryllos, back-formation from bēryllion beryl, of Indo-Aryan origin; akin to Prakrit verulia, veluriya beryl
First Known Use: 13th century
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