beryl

noun
ber·yl | \ˈber-əl, ˈbe-rəl\

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

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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.

Examples of beryl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Among the new creations is the Hopi hummingbird ring in diamonds and yellow sapphires with emerald eyes and a large beryl. Vogue, "Charlotte Chesnais’s Emerald Solitaire, and All the Highlights from the Couture Jewelry Presentations," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beryl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of beryl

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of beryl was in the 13th century

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