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ChrysoberylBack to A - Z IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Large Oval Chrysoberyl Mounted in Cluster RIng
Large Oval Chrysoberyl Mounted in Cluster RIng

Chrysoberyl is not one of the best known gemstones. Its rarest variety alexandrite, however, is quite well known, although the number of people who have heard of alexandrite is probably 100 times greater than the number who have ever seen one, and 1,000 times greater than the number who have ever owned one.
Chrysoberyl is composed of Beryllium Aluminium Oxide, is harder than topaz, and includes a variety known as cat's eye, in addition to alexandrite which we have already mentioned.

Most chrysoberyl is green or yellow-green, but some is brown. The rare alexandrite shows a colour change from green to red, and cat's eye has a strongly banded appearance which is well described by its name, and is also usually green or yellow-green.

Victorian Fashion
Chrysoberyl was very popular in Victorian and Edwardian times, when it was often inaccurately called chrysolite. It is possible that supply was more plentiful around that time, certainly it is not frequently seen nowadays.

Technical Information
Chemical Composition and NameBeAl2O4 - Beryllium Aluminium Oxide
Refractive Index1.742 - 1.749 to 1.750 - 1.757
Bi-refringence0.008 - 0.009
Other Optical PropertiesBiaxial
Optic SignPositive
Specific Gravity3.68 - 3.78
Crystalline SystemRhombic the Lowest Possible Price

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