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Red Emerald


#1

Red beryl a.k.a. “red emerald” is kind of an interesting story. It’s
mined in Utah, and a couple of years ago a big mining company
optioned the mine and began exploring the possibility of mining red
beryl commercially. They and the owners of the mine decided the stone
would sell better if they called it red emerald – thus unleashing a
torrent of debate about what constitutes an emerald. I think one of
the home shopping channels may have taken a stab at selling the
material as “red emerald” for a bit, but the general consensus agreed
with Cathy, that to be emerald the stone must be green. The market
name of Red Emerald still pops up now and again, though. Whatever you
want to call it, it is a beautiful gem.

Suzanne
Suzanne Wade
writer/editor
Suzanne@rswade.net
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255


#2

Suzanne, The red beryl has been around for many years, I cut a nearly
flawless 0.83 carat stone fifteen years ago (that’s a great rarity ,
BTW). As a trained gemologist it saddens me to see the use of the
term “red emerald”, which flies in the face of acceptable nom
enclature and was created strictly as a marketing ploy. It saddens me
further when I open the pages of the dominant trade journals and see
this incorrect nomenclature repeated. Unknowing and poorly trained
jewelers and their untrained help read these articles and assume
that because they read it in a trade journal, it must be correct
nomenclature. This is not a matter of opinion at all, rather it is
factual. I urge (beg?) you to use your prominent position to do what
you can to abolish this incorrect, and deceptive nomenclature In
fact, red beryl is far more rare than emerald, why use the deceptive
term?

Can we soon expect blue emerald and yellow emerald??

Thank you,
Wayne Emery
Jewelry Design Studio
wmemery11@attbi.com


#3

Greetings All This became a political issue but the general consensus
was never that beryl must be green to be called emerald. Such an
argument simply cannot hold up against the other names long
established for gems. Yellow sapphire is an example - like blue
sapphire, it’s corundum yet no one insists it must be called yellow
corundum!

There is more to the equation than just color. Red beryl is unlike
the other non-emerald beryls in terms of properties but very much
like the good old green emerald itself. The presence of “Jardin”
(the term for the inclusions found in emerald) is one example. Both
colors of this gem are of the same sub-group of the beryl family,
and they are the only two that can be classified in this way.

Red emerald/beryl is found exclusively in Utah, making it one of the
rarest of all gems. It is a gem for connoisseurs, not for the
average HSN buyer, and I can’t imagine that it was ever sold through
that channel. The limited quantity and high price of this material
does not lend itself to the HSN format.

The gem has been mined since the 1950s, if I recall correctly. Until
a few years ago, it was not marketed and has yet to reach the
awareness of the mainstream consumer. Truly an "American Beauty,"
this gem has great potential and hopefully we’ll see more of it in
the display cases of jewellers across the country.

Regards,
Jeanette Kekahbah


#4
  This became a political issue but the general consensus was never
that beryl must be green to be called emerald. 

This is simply not true. The accepted gemological definition of
emerald IS that beryl must be green to be called emerald. Otherwise
we would call aquamarine “blue emerald” since it is also beryl, and
we would call the yellow variety “yellow emerald”. Corundum by
gemological definition is ruby if it is red and sapphire if it is any
other color. This is a common and standardized nomenclature. The
term “red emerald” was developed simply as a marketing gimmick and
has no basis for its use as a term gemologically. Incidentally I
bought my first piece of red beryl almost 20 years ago. It was
called red beryl then and it is still called red beryl. Daniel R.
Spirer, GG Spirer Somes Jewelers 1794 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA
02140 617-491-6000 @spirersomes www.spirersomes.com


#5

based on this logic, why wouldn’t we call green beryl green
aquamarine? most of what is sold as aquamarine is very light,
sometimes with almost no blue and i don’t consider it aquamarine but
that’s what it is sold as. maybe i am prejudice by going to g.i.a.
and having a g.g… emerald is only considered to be such when it is
a substantially saturated green. otherwise to me it is green beryl. i
wonder what the significance of calling a red beryl a red emerald
has. what is the advantage? it is a disadvantage for clarity: if my
wife wants an emerald and i go buy a red stone…i know i am
stretching to make my point, but so is calling a red stone by the
name of a green stone. we don’t have to say blue aqua, green
tavorite. the name implies something that should clarify
what it is.


#6

This is nonsense. What “sub-group”? Minerals are not classified by
the presence or absence of inclusions. The classical definition of
emerald is the medium to dark green variety of beryl. Lighter shades
are properly termed green beryl. The re has been acceptance of the
African vanadium-containing beryls in the “emerald” classification
along with the chromium- scontaining beryls.

Sapphire includes all color varieties of corundum except strong red,
which is properly called ruby. Please explain to us how true emerald
and red beryl are in the “same sub-group”. Maybe I was asleep while
getting my MS in Mineralogy, but there ARE rules of nomenclature
when referring to minerals and varieties, and red beryl is NOT
emerald , regardles of how many times the illiterati call it so.

Wayne Emery


#7

Hey, that’s great! Following that logic, I can sell all my heliodor
as yellow emerald, my morganite as pink emerald, my goshenite as
white emerald, and my aquamarine as blue-green emerald. That ought
to increase their marketability a lot. But it will totally confuse
one of the TV shopping channels that’s already selling goshenite as
"white aqua." Maybe they can change their pitch name to “white aqua
emerald.” The red variety of beryl, by the way, is bixbite.

Seriously, I think you raise an important point. Who should be in
charge of naming gems? The mineralogists have ruled with an iron
fist. We have them to thank for such clinkers as chrome diopside.
Who in bloody hell can romance a stone with that name or some of the
other polysyllabic monickers attached to attractive stones? “Yes,
Ma’am, your skin tone is perfect for a lovely clinohumite…or
perhaps a ravishing jeremjevite.” Yeah, sure. To avoid that dilemma,
gem sellers have invented trade names like “red emerald” which can be
just as confusing as the mineral names. In fact I think we’re losing
all meaning with names like “white aqua” and “pink tanzanite” being
advertised to the public.

Rick Martin
MARTIN DESIGNS


#8
In fact, red beryl is far more rare than emerald, why use the
deceptive term? 

The reason to call it Red Emerald is market recognition. Wrong or
right can be argued til the end of time, but there is no doubt
whatsoever that the term EMERALD is recognized by everyone
worldwide.

Most people have never heard of, don’t know how to spell, nor are
fond of unusual words like “beryl”. (My apologies to all the people
named Beryl out there.)

A name is only a name. Best is to get educated and know what you
are looking at.

Steve Green www.briolettes.com your briolette specialist
(<–shameless plug) Rough and Ready Gems


#9

Hi Wayne, Around 1900, Maynard Bixby discovered red beryl and named
it bixbite. There is another mineral also named after Maynard Bixby,
bixbyite, found in the same deposit. I can’t find bixbite in
Fleischer’s Glossary or Dana’s System. Do you know of any reference
crediting or discrediting the use of the name bixbite for red beryl?
Here is an observation you might find interesting. I was looking at
the inclusions in a Synthetic emerald crystal and focused a high
intensity light with a lens into the area I was studying. To my
amazement, the area within the focused beam inside and on the
surface of the crystal was a ruby red. I suppose there is alexandrite
like effect acting on the Cr++/Cr+++ ions. Green in sunlight but red
in strong incandescent light. (You can create this effect with Cr=E8me
de Mint. Just hold up the bottle of green liquid to a strong
incandescent light, and voila, transmission of red and absorption of
the green.). Regards, Will Estavillo


#10

Hi Wayne, Around 1900, Maynard Bixby discovered red beryl and named
it bixbite. There is another mineral also named after Maynard Bixby,
bixbyite, found in the same deposit.

I have visited the deposit about 25 years ago. At the time I met a
collector called Sprunger. I have forgotten his first name. He
showed me how to collect the site by using an icepick to probe for
cavities in the ryolite. He also wrote some articles for Lapidary
Journal and Gems and Mineral mmagazines. He made the trip a great
success.

He called the beryl, red tabular beryl, after its tabular shape.
The bibyite was black cubic crystals that were very small. There
was lots of small Topaz at the site. Most had been bleached clear
by the sun.

If you are looking to find a specimen, look for red beryl or red
tabular beryl from Utah. Some of his articles had nice pictures of
specimens. Steve Ramsdell


#11

Hi Will, I found one reference that credits the name bixbite to red
beryl. The reference is the FIFTH EDITION GEMS THEIR SOURCES,
DESCRIPTIONS AND IDENTIFICATION. Author- R Webster. Publisher
Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxfortd and Woburn, MA. page 128

Diane Sadel
http://www.sweetgemstones.com


#12
        Hi Wayne, Around 1900, Maynard Bixby discovered red beryl
and named it bixbite. There is another mineral also named after
Maynard Bixby, bixbyite, found in the same deposit. I can't find
bixbite in Fleischer's Glossary or Dana's System. Do you know of
any reference crediting or discrediting the use of the name bixbite
for red beryl? Here is an observation you might find interesting. I
was looking at the inclusions in a Synthetic emerald crystal and
focused a high intensity light with a lens into the area I was
studying. To my amazement, the area within the focused beam inside
and on the surface of the crystal was a ruby red. I suppose there
is alexandrite like effect acting on the Cr++/Cr+++ ions. Green in
sunlight but red in strong incandescent light. (You can create
this effect with Cr=E8me de Mint. Just hold up the bottle of green
liquid to a strong incandescent light, and voila,  transmission of
red and absorption of the green.). Regards, Will Estavillo 

Howdy Will, Could this be another example of the ‘Usambara’ Effect?
Basically a condition in certain stones (most notably, and in my one
experience, ‘chrome’ tourmaline) whereby long lightpaths are filtered
in much the same way as a ‘Chelsea’ filter selects the red componenet
out of emeralds. This is also easier to notice in my tourmaline in
incandescent lighting.

Carl
1 Lucky Texan