Jewellery Buyers Guide to Chrysoberyl Gems

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Chrysoberyl Gems Jewellery Buyers Guide to Chrysoberyl GemsAlthough not very well known except for cat’s eye and the rare alexandrite, chrysoberyl is a fascinating family of gemstones which are currently seeing a surge in popularity.

While jewellery displaying quality gems was once only within reach of  the privileged rich,  these days outstanding creations are now available to everyone, regardless of their budget – thanks to affordable, reputable online retailers such as The Jewellery Channel.

The following guide will explore some interesting facts about chrysoberyl.

Introduction to Chrysoberyl

Chrysoberyl is an aluminate of beryllium comprised of large crystals of minerals such as quartz and feldspar. It gets its name from the Greek words ‘chrysos’ and’ beryllos’, which means ‘a white, gold spar’, and it was first discovered in 1789 by the renowned geologist Abraham Gottlieb Werner.

The most well-known chrysoberyl’s are the captivating cat’s eye (or cymophone), the yellow and green variety and beautiful alexandrite (believed to be named after Russia’s Tsar Alexander).

Chrysoberyl is commonly distinguished as a yellow-green to golden-brown gemstone, containing traces of iron.

A firm favourite in the chrysoberyl family, alexandrite stands out for being wonderfully pleochroic, meaning it displays different colours when viewed from different angles, with wonderful flashes of green, red and orange. This fascinating stone may exhibit an emerald green colour in daylight and change to a berry red in artificial light. Finely faceted alexandrite specimens which exceed one carat are among the most valuable and expensive gemstones in the world and are often higher priced than the precious gems ruby, emerald and sapphire.

Cymophone chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek words meaning ‘wave’ and ‘appearance’, although it more commonly known as cat’s eye. It features a distinct glowing opalescence (chatoyancy), caused by microscopic tube like cavities or needle like inclusions of rutile. When cut in a cabochon (dome) style it, cat’s eye exhibits a stunning light green colour with an alluring, silky band across the surface of the gemstone.

Main Sources of Chrysoberyl

The largest chrysoberyl deposits are found in Brazil, with other important deposits coming from Australia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma) and Russia.

A rare mint green to bluish variety of chrysoberyl is found in Tanzania. These gems are very rare and can command prices as high as alexandrite.

A new deposit of alexandrite was found in 1987 in Hermatitia, Brazil. This striking stone is valued highly for its amazing colour change features – high quality alexandrite weighing 11.08 carats from Brazil was sold for $382,680 in 1997 at an auction by Christies.

Chrysoberyl Buyers Tips

  • Chrysoberyl is often confused with beryl, but it is a totally different mineral family.
  • Different types of chrysoberyl can vary from transparent to translucent.
  • High quality chrysoberyl should have an excellent green to yellow colour, with the honey yellow gems being the most valuable and the green gems coming second in cost.
  • Chrysoberyl has a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness – it is the third-hardest natural gemstone, making it perfect for the daily wear and tear that jewellery is subjected to, particularly rings.
  • Cat’s eye chrysoberyl is evaluated by its lustre and the richness of its colour, along with its clarity and shape.
  • Alexandrite, with its radiant yellow colour and a brilliant white, straight band is considered a top quality gemstone and is highly valuable – over three carats is extremely rare.
  • It’s best to clean chrysoberyl with a damp, soft cloth, and use a soft toothbrush for those hard to reach places. Do not use chemicals or ultrasonic baths, since these gem stones may absorb the materials which will cause damage and discolouration.

Zodiac & Health Benefits

Alexandrite is one of the birthstones for those born in June and it is also given as a gift to celebrate the 45th and 55th anniversaries. In terms of health, it is believed to benefit ailments in the pancreas, spleen, lymph nodes and the nervous system, as well as aid in the treatment of leukaemia.

Cat’s eye is the gemstone of Saturn – it is thought to absorb the energy and power of this planet and transmit this to the wearer. These lovely gems are also symbols of courage.

Overall, the chrysoberyl family of gems are associated with discipline and self-control, as well as promoting concentration and the ability to learn. They are further believed to bring peace of mind and increase self-confidence.


Chrysoberyl is captivatingly lovely and highly durable for use in jewellery, while alexandrite in particular displays such stunning colour changes that it is almost like owning two different stones for the price of one. Thanks to online retailers such as TJC, everyone can now own these exquisite gems regardless of their budget.

Julia Littlewood  is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers. 

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 Jewellery Buyers Guide to Chrysoberyl Gems


I work as a web content writer in Bristol. I love to travel very much as each weekend i come out from my nest :) and go to various places with my mini cooper :). I love my family a lot and without them i'm nothing...