Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 2008, Volume 44, No. 3

Aquamarine, Maxixe-Type Beryl, and Hydrothermal Synthetic Blue Beryl: Analysis and Identification

Aquamarine, Maxixe-type (irradiated) beryl, and two types of hydrothermally grown synthetic blue beryl currently available in the marketplace were investigated by classical gemological methods, chemical analysis, and UV-Vis-NIR and mid-IR spectroscopy. These materials may be conclusively identified by a combination of these techniques. The Maxixe-type beryl (like natural-color Maxixe beryls) is distinguishable by its unusual dichroism, green UV fluorescence (when present), Fe-free chemical composition, and distinctive UV-Vis-NIR spectrum. The hydrothermal synthetic blue beryls can be discriminated from their natural counterparts on the basis of microscopic features, chemical composition, and visible and infrared spectroscopic features.