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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
Riesling Beryl hexagonal 2.66-2.86 7.5-8.9 1.59 none


reisling beryl

Faceted Reisling Beryl courtesy of GemCollections.com

Color:
Pale green color, with a warm golden yellow flash.

Durability:
Quite durable.

Locality:
Germany and arguably Brazil

Contact: Martin Read

 

Riesling Beryl
Al2Be3Si6O18

by
Martin H. Read

The truth about Riesling beryl…

Riesling 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.

The 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 in beryl.

It 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 ) .

As 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.

The 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.

Still 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.

The 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.

Brazilian 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.

Some 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.

Beryl Family
Emerald
Aquamarine
Morganite
Bixbite or Red Beryl
Goshenite
Heliodor
RieslingBeryl
Green Beryl