Brazilian Goshenite Gemstone
Pure as fresh water, Brazilian goshenite captures surrounding light for an amazing sparkle.
Goshenite is the clear, or colorless, variety of beryl. It’s tempting to think of goshenite as pure beryl, since the material is without color. However, a number of factors can influence the color a gem, of which impurities are just one part. Colored varieties of beryl include green emerald, pink morganite, blue-green aquamarine, and red bixbite.
Brazilian goshenite can be found in both transparent and opaque specimens. However, only the finest transparent rough is ever utilized in producing gemstones. Unlike emerald, goshenite is typically free from inclusions. This allows the stone to be faceted in many popular shapes, such as round, oval and others.
Gem-quality goshenite is not treated. However, the stone is sometimes irradiated to provide color to imitate other varieties of beryl. Alternately, a silver or green foil backing may be applied to simulate the appearance of diamond or emerald. Both treatments are relatively rare.
Goshenite can be compared to other colorless gems, such as topaz, rock crystal quartz, Xia kunzite, and diamond. Though at one time used to simulate diamond, goshenite lacks the same fire. This beryl variety can be separated from other clear gemstones by testing factors such as hardness or refraction.
The Origins of Goshenite
• Goshenite is named for the village of Goshen, where it was first identified as a unique gem in the 1840’s. Charles Upham Shepard is credited with the discovery of this gem. Interestingly, a pale-pink variety of beryl first bore this name. However, the supply was extremely limited, and the word goshenite came to describe the colorless variety instead. Many years later, pink beryl would come to be known as morganite.
• Beryl and rock crystal quartz were some of the earliest materials used in lens crafting. During the 13th century, goshenite would be ground into lens and used in magnifying glasses, telescopes, and even eyeglasses! Glass produced during the Middle Ages was of poor quality, and couldn’t compete with the crystal clear transparency of these gems.
• Goshenite, and other varieties of beryl, contains beryllium. It was an early source of the metal, until better sources became available. Extracting beryllium from beryl ore is time consuming and costly and no longer performed. The majority of beryllium in the United States is now produced in Utah, from bertrandite ore, which is related to Utah Tiffany stone.
Goshenite was originally discovered near Goshen, Massachusetts in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century by American mineralogist C.U. Shepard. However, goshenite can be found wherever beryl is mined. The best quality material is found in Brazil, and Shop LC sources its supply of Brazilian goshenite from Minas Gerais, Brazil.
When mining in this region, specialized equipment is often needed, as the terrain is uneven and the landscape is tough. Once rough is procured, it is sent off for processing. When cut, the majority of material is lost. In any given specimen, rough goshenite will typically yield 5-10% gem-quality material.
- Ranks 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.
- The colorless variety of beryl.
- Sourced from Minas Gerais, Brazil.
- Material is natural and untreated.