New Beryl from Madagascar

 Call me picky, but wouldn't a rich, saturated red beryl be
considered bixbite, rather than a variant of morganite? 

Dear Lee,

In the case of this new Madagascan beryl it is very different from
red beryl (bixbite) which is found exclusively in Utah. Explaining
color in words is difficult but I’ll try. I will also describe
further the other differences that I saw:

a… The rich saturated magenta raspberry red of the new material is
not at all like the red beryls from Utah. It is much more fuschia or
magenta. Not a pastel color either. I have seen a couple of XF
morganites which came out of Madagascar pre 1985 which looked like
the very best pink imperial topazes from Ouro Preto Brazil. This new
material is similar to that color except many times more saturated.

b… The size of the new material was larger than any red beryl ever
found in Utah by at least 10x. Some of the pieces I saw were as large
as a walnut in the rough. Approximately 50 grams would be my guess.

c… The crystalization was totally different from hexagonal prisms
of the Utah red beryl with the elongated C-Axis. The new Madagascan
material that I saw was composed of oscillating stacks of tabular
hexagonal crystals with a shorter C-Axis predominantly associated
with moragnite. This shorter C-Axis crystals were bound together
with their center lines offset (oscillating) to look like a stack of
flat hexagonal blocks stacked unevenly along a wavey central axis.
That is about as well as I can explain them from my brief contact
with the new beryl. Seeing this new material would make it
immediately obvious (to anybody) that it is not “red Beryl” in the
classic sense. It is something entirely new and never seen before in
the mainstream gem circles. Stay tuned, I’m sure that it will be
written about in the publications.

Regards, Steve / Rough and Ready Gems, Inc.
Gem briolettes in over 50 materials
Ultrasonic drilling of small round holes & triangular, square,
rectangular & oval holes too.

As a follow-up to Steve Greens excellent comments on the new
Madagascar beryl the following is also known about this new material.

It has an extraordinarily high level of molecular cesium,
sufficiently high that it may in fact be a new species. Work is
underway in a number of labs to try and determine if the new material
is more then simply a “strange” morganite. There is a rare scandium
analog of beryl called bazzite characterized by its intense deep blue
color, far more reminiscent of sapphire then aquamarine. It is the
fairly common presence of cesium and scandium in aquamarine that
prevent it from being universally nuked. Both scandium and cesium
produce very nasty isotopes when exposed to hard radiation. So for
there to be a cesium analog of beryl is not a big surprise, the
cesium atom will fit nicely in the lattice. I agree completely with
Steve that the material is not a red beryl equivalent either in
physical appearance or in crystallographic terms. I would only add
that there were reports of crystals or crystal fragments in the 1/2kg
range at Tucson.

If in fact it is a new species the discovery of a new gem of this
caliber in 2003 is as startling as it is significant.

Chris Johnston
Johnston-Namibia C.C.
PO Box 354 ~ Omaruru ~ Namibia
T/264-64-57-0303 F-264-64-57-0548

I saw some of the new material. The person who showed it to me
called it ‘Morganite’ but it was of a color never before seen for
Morganite. A really bright rich very deep saturated pink color.

I just hope that it is a natural color. Though it will make all of
the other Morganites from Brasil go down in value quite fast.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe,
Lowe Associates - Brasil,
e-mail: (in the USA till 27 March)