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Goshenite crystal

We've already written about one of the most notable gemstone families - beryl group and about some varieties of beryl: green (emerald), blue (aquamarine), golden (heliodor) and pink (morganite). You'll wonder but the most valuable beryl, emerald, tends to have the most inclusions and the least transparency. But emerald is famous for its incomparable color. Beryl has also raspberry-red variety that's called bixbite and colorless to white variety named goshenite.

Goshenite is named after the very small town of Goshen in western Massachusetts where it was first described. Goshenite is found in relatively many beryl deposits around the world (Brazil, China, Burma, Canada, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia and the United States), so it is perhaps the most common and least expensive form of beryl.

Goshenite cut crystal
click to enlarge

Thanks to its excellent transparency, goshenite was once used for manufacturing eyeglasses and lenses. These days, it's commonly used as a gemstone and is also considered a source of beryllium. Before the introduction of diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia, goshenite was often used as a diamond replacement.

Since goshenite is relatively plentiful, usually only very clean and transparent specimens are cut as gemstones. White goshenite is usually opaque and never used a gemstone. Goshenite is similar to the other colorless gems such as quartz, white topaz, white sapphire, and white zircon. It can also resemble diamond, but lacks the fire and dispersion and is also much softer.

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