, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 668-679

Characterization of beryl (aquamarine variety) from pegmatites of Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Eight samples of the beryl variety aquamarine were selected from four pegmatites in the Governador Valadares and Araçuaí regions in northeastern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. These samples were fully characterized by chemical analysis, infrared and UV-visible spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and high-temperature X-ray diffraction (from room temperature up to 800 °C). Several physical and chemical properties of beryl were found to depend on the amount of water and ions residing in the structural channels. The thermal expansion coefficients from room temperature to about 800 °C are temperature-independent, with αa ≅ −3.2 × 10−6 ° C−1 and αc ≅ −8.7 × 10−6 ° C−1. The contraction of both a and c unit-cell parameters with increasing temperature and the shift of the infrared band centered at about 1200 cm−1 were tentatively ascribed to interactions between channel water and the silicate rings.The color of beryl seems to be dictated by the relative proportions of Fe3+ in the octahedralsites and of fe2+ in the channels. Thus, deep-blue samples have little Fe3+, whereas greener samples have more Fe3+ or less channel Fe2+.

Received: 7 November 2001 /Accepted: 7 August 2002
Acknowledgements This work was partially supported by Capes, CNPq and Fapemig (Brazil) and by the Intra-muros funding by Geochemical Laboratories/BaselUniversity. ICP analysis by H. Hürlimann and UV-visible spectra by Dr. D. Schwarz are gratefully acknowledged.