The truth about Riesling beryl…
beryl was first discovered by a German geologist in 1840
near a small village in East Germany, but unfortunately
the amount they found was small. The bulk of the material
was cut and given to Royalty as gifts or sold to Private
Collectors at the time. (The majority of the stones are
thought to have stayed in Germany, although some particularly
fine specimens were thought to have gone to the British
Royal family as gifts). This link to royalty is one of 4
key components in the pricing this stone.
stone is actually a pale green colour, with a warm golden
yellow flash. The stone is strongly dichroic, (green yellow)
which is a second key pricing component as this is unusual
also has a Refractive index of 1.59 which is high for Precious
Beryl, which is the third key component in pricing. It makes
an attractive sparkly cut stone. (As with all Beryl it is
a 7.5 on the Mohs Scale, SG 2.66-2.86 and for those who
are chemically minded its magic formula is Al2Be3Si6O18 )
there was so little of the material available, it disappeared
quickly and was not found again until the November of 2002,
so its rarity is the fourth main pricing component.
Everhart family (originally from Germany themselves) found
it in Vale of Jequitinhonha near Arcuaii in Brazil. They
were mining for Morganite, but came across greenish golden
stones that were initially thought to be Hiddenite. Testing
proved them to be Beryl.
only a small pocket of stones, the rough was exhausted and
sent to Italy to sell and exhibit. Remaining rough was sold
in the U.S. for cutting and distribution, and some dealers
still have material available, but they are very hard to
come by. A second pocket, that was larger than the first
Brazilian find, was found in March 2004, but still produces
relatively small amounts of material.
German material – mostly owned by royalty or rich
and famous, can be quite expensive. $7,000 USD per carat
is not unheard of for these rare, collectible and "royal"
gems. The larger and more obviously dichroic stones are
the most sought after.
Material – still beautiful, but not considered anywhere
near as desirable, is generally available around $100 per
carat, more or less, depending on the colour. Dichroic stones
get the premium over the straight yellowish green.
collectors recognise only the German material as true Riesling.
The only way to be sure from an investment perspective,
is to obtain a stone with a known provenance. It is difficult,
but doable. Any good German dealer with a fine reputation
will be able to get you one within a week, but the price
may be even higher.