This month’s gemstone is Heliodor, which like Aquamarine is in the Beryl family. Heliodor is Greek for gift of the sun. Golden Beryl is a variety of Heliodor which has, as the name implies, a golden yellow color. Heliodor colors include greenish-yellow, pale yellow, light green, orange, orangish-yellow, golden orange, and brown. The yellow versions are sometimes confused with yellow Topaz. The color, in Heliodor crystals, comes from trace iron impurities, though on rare occasions it may contain uranium oxide which is radioactive. If heated, the iron is altered, which may improve the yellowish color. Continued heating often causes the stone to turn to a greenish-blue or blue color.
Heliodor is a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. The mineral is either transparent or translucent and may appear glasslike. Occurring in granite cavities and granite pegmatites, some crystals grow up to 30 feet in length. Heliodor is sometimes found in the same area as Aquamarine, and is often associated with Quartz Feldspars and Muscovite Mica. It was first officially discovered in 1910 in Western Namibia. It is believed that it had been discovered in other areas prior to 1910, but that is when it first drew attention worldwide.
Demand for Heliodor is small, since most people, other than collectors, are unfamiliar with the stone. There are few outlets which supply cut stones so the amount of jewelry is also limited. High quality Heliodor jewelry is found in design shops or stores specializing in gemstones.
The largest, flawless cut Golden Beryl is displayed in the Smithsonian. It is a 2054 carat stone. Another interesting fact is that the first eyeglasses made in the 13th century were made of Beryl in Italy.
The best Heliodor specimens come from Namibia, Brazil, and Madagascar with Madagascar gemstones having a finer, brighter color. Other areas, in which Heliodor is found, include Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Ireland, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Ukraine, The United States of America (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire (their state mineral), North Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Metaphysical Properties: Heliodor helps one develop assertiveness, self-confidence, and power with an equal amount of benevolence. It keeps one centered, and aids leaders to make decisions based on wisdom rather than emotions. Being a stone of balance, it helps people who have to balance family, home, and care-giving with career. This is a great stone to have on hand during the winter for people who experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), as it is like sunshine on a cloudy day. It may help increase one’s energy, and guard against stress and anxiety. It is helpful for those who are feeling overburdened or burnt out. As a protective stone, it guards against psychological and emotional manipulation of others, unfriendly ghosts, or dark energies of any sort due to its attraction of angelic energies.