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Chrysoberyl: Mineral Information Page

Including the rare gem varieties Chrysoberyl Cat's-Eye (Cymophane) & Color Change Chrysoberyl

See our info page on Alexandrite - the rare Color Change Chrysoberyl variety

Chrysoberyl Cats Eye Jewelry

Links To Chrysoberyl Information Topics On This Page:

Chrysoberyl Varieties & Items

(color change chrysoberyl)

Natural Alexandrite Products in our Online Store:


Natural Chrysoberyl Products in our Online Store:

Cats Eye Chrysoberyl

Natural Chrysoberyl Cats Eye Products in our Online Store:

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Chrysoberyl Catseye Gemstones Natural Alexandrite Gemstone

Chrysoberyl (BeAl2O4) is a rare oxide mineral. It most often occurs in shades of yellow to green to brown.

There are two very rare varieties of chrysoberyl, the color changing alexandrite and the chatoyant cymophane (cats eye chrysoberyl), which are highly prized as gemstones owing to their unusual optical properties.

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Chrysoberyl (BeAl2O4) occurs most often in granitic rocks, pegmatites and mica schists. It has also been found in contact metamorphic deposits of dolomitic marble with corundum, and in fluorine skarns. Most chrysoberyl is recovered from river sands and gravels.

Chrysoberyl Catseye Gemstone

In the chrysoberyl variety cymophane (cats eye chrysoberyl), microscopic tubelike cavities or needlelike inclusions occur in an orientation parallel to the c-axis producing a chatoyant effect known as chrysoberyl cats eye which is visible as a single ray of light passing across the crystal. This effect is best seen in gemstones cut in cabochon form perpendicular to the c-axis as shown at left.

The color in yellow chrysoberyl is due to Fe+3 impurities.

Alexandrite Jewelry: natural color change alexandrite jewelry

Small scale replacement of alumina by chromic oxide in chrysoberyl results in the formation of the rare chrysoberyl variety alexandrite and is responsible for alexandrite's characteristic green to red color change in daylight versus incandescent light.

Chrysoberyl is characterized by its high hardness, high specific gravity and color. Well formed crystals can be recognizied as chrysoberyl by their characteristic twinning.

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The name chrysoberyl is of ancient origin, beryl being derived from the Greek word given to green gemstones, and chryso meaning golden. Cymophane is derived from two Greek words meaning wave and to appear, referring to its chatoyant effect.

Alexandrite was first discovered in 1831 in an emerald mining region of the Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union. It is said to have been first discovered on the day that the Russian czar Alexander II came of age. Thus it was named "alexandrite" in his honor by the mineralogist Nordenskjold. It is an interesting coincidence that the Russian national colors are green and red.

Traditionally, chrysoberyl cat's-eye is believed to protect the wearer from evil spirits.

All of the varieties of chrysoberyl are used as gemstones.

Be sure to see our page displaying natural cats-eye-chrysoberyl-gemstones">Cats Eye Chrysoberyl Gemstones.

The astrological sign of chrysoberyl is Leo.
The astrological sign of cymophane (cat's-eye chrysoberyl) is Gemini.
The astrological sign of alexandrite is Scorpio.
Alexandrite jewelry is the traditional birthstone gift for birthdays in the month of June.
A natural alexandrite gem is the symbolic gemstone for the 45th wedding anniversary.

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Chrysoberyl is said to assist one in striving for excellence, and to bring peace of mind and increased self-confidence by helping one to more fully understand the fact that one already has all that one needs to succeed within oneself.
Cymophane is said to help balance one's emotions, and to make one feel at ease with oneself as well as with others. It is also said to stimulate one's problem solving capabilities by providing a more in depth understanding of the details involved.
When one holds a natural alexandrite crystal or wears natural alexandrite jewelry, it is said to help balance one's emotional state, to provide confidence, to increase self-esteem and to help bring about change.
The wearing of natural alexandrite earrings is also said to bring happiness and success, and to intensify feelings of love and sensuality.

Chrysoberyl is said to enhance the healing properties of other stones, and to treat disorders of the pancreas, liver and kidneys.
Cymophane is said to provide relief from feminine discomforts and intestinal maladies.
Alexandrite is said to be usefull to help treat pancreatic disorders, swollen lymph nodes and ailments of the spleen, as well as in the treatment of afflictions occurring with leukemia.

For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.

Genuine Chrysoberyl Cats Eye (Cymophane) Products:

This is the end of our Chrysoberyl Factsheet and Information page.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2023
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