Monday, June 7, 2010

Heliodor

Gemstone:
Heliodor (Beryl)

Birthstone Month:
Beryl is not associated with any birthstone month.

Zodiac:
Beryl is associated with the zodiac signs Scorpio and Sagittarius. Heliodor is also associated with the zodiac sign of Leo.

Chemical Symbol:
Be3Al2Si6O18

Chemical Make-up:
Beryl is scientifically classified as a Beryllium Aluminum Silicate. Presence of differing elements will account for the color it displays. The presence of Iron and Uranium produces the greenish-yellow color of the Heliodor variety.

History & Lore:
The origin of the name Beryl is thought to derive from the Sanskrit word 'veruliyam', an old term previously used for the gemstone Chrysoberyl. It is also believed to derive from the Greek Word 'beryllos' which means crystal, and was originally applied to all green gemstones but was later used purely for Beryl.

The name Heliodor is derived from the Greek 'helios' meaning “sun” and 'doron' meaning “gift”.

The largest faceted Heliodor is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and weighs an incredible 2,054 Carat.

It is documented that Pliny, a Roman scholar, used powdered Beryl to cure injuries relating to the eye.

Legend says that Beryl was once used to ward off demons and evil spirits, and that it will protect the wearer from danger while traveling. Other legends also state that Beryl can be used to bring good luck, cheerfulness, energy, and eternal youthfulness. Beryl is also said to treat ailments relating to the heart and spine.

Heliodor is believed to improve the communication skills and intuition of the wearer. It is also believed to be a stone of compassion, which allows the wearer to be more sympathetic towards others.

Physically, Heliodor is believed to help treat disorders of the stomach, liver, small intestines, spleen, and pancreas. In addition to this, it is also believed to help strengthen and stabilize heartbeat.

Availability:
Heliodor is one of the more commonly found Beryl varieties and is priced moderately. Large, flawless stones however are somewhat rare and will naturally command premiums.

Sources:
Heliodor was discovered in Namibia in 1910. Other notable deposits occur in Brazil, Madagascar, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States (California, North Carolina).

Evaluation:
Beryl is rated at 7.5 to 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and is a durable stone that is ideal for all jewelry purposes. Beryl is colorless in pure form, but different elemental impurities give it a wide variety of colors. The presence of Iron and Uranium accounts for Heliodor's greenish-yellow coloration. Heliodor has a vitreous luster, and can be transparent or translucent, with some specimens also exhibiting a level of chatoyancy (cat's-eye effect).

The terms Heliodor and Golden Beryl are often referenced incorrectly and are confused with each other, creating a subject for debate with many gem collectors and jewelers. Beryls displaying a pale yellow to brilliant gold color have been given the apt name of Golden Beryl, whereas Heliodor refers to a yellow variety with a more or less green shade.

The most important factors to consider when evaluating the value of Heliodor is the saturation of the color, the clarity, and the desirability of the cut. Large, flawless stones are rare and are naturally at the pinnacle of the value spectrum.

Common Cuts:
Beryl can be cut into a wide spectrum of many-faceted shapes. Beryls are particularly well-suited to rectangular or square cuts, as these bring out the stone's transparency and define their color.

Routine Enhancements:
Though it is not commonly conducted, Heliodor can be irradiated. Irridation usually eliminates any yellow coloration and produce colorless Beryl, although in certain cases a light blue to blue Aquamarine color is achieved. The irradiation process can also be reversed to restore a stone's yellow coloration.

Care & Cleaning:
Beryls can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Enzyme cleaners and cleaning agents containing chlorine should be avoided because they can cause dermatitis and allergic reactions. To reduce the dangers of thermal shock, Beryls should be kept away from prolonged exposure to excessive heat.

Heliodor jewelry should be stored in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items so as to avoid damage / scratching.

1 comment:

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