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Heliodor: description, properties and photo


Heliodor is a famous gemstone, a type of beryl mineral group. The name comes from the Greek “helios” – the sun and “doron” – a gift. The color may be yellow, greenish, golden, or orange. Sometimes there are specimens with polychrome colors. Crystals usually have a columnar habit. The presence of good clarity even in large samples is a winning feature of this mineral. Sometimes it may contain gas-liquid inclusions and channels.


Samples of natural yellow color in jewelry are rare because most heliodors are heated and aquamarines obtained from them. The physical properties of the irradiated heliodor practically do not differ from untreated. This type of treatment is not identified in any way. Heliodor deposits are in Madagascar, Brazil, USA, Ukraine, Russia, Namibia and Sri Lanka. Heliodor is usually not expensive gemstone.


Most gem heliodors are mined in Brazil in Minas Gerais state. Also good quality stones are mined in Namibia, as well as in Madagascar and the United States. The world market also has beautiful specimens from Volyn’ (Ukraine), which are especially popular in the form of crystals of collection quality. Heliodors are mined together with aquamarines at the Sherlovaya Gora, Transbaikalia deposits, in Russia.




Heliodor mineral




Chemical formula:


Crystal Systems:


Mohs scale hardness:


Optical character: 



very imperfect in one direction


2.72 g / cm3



Refractive index:







greenish yellow, yellow, yellowish brown.

Interesting facts

  • The Smithsonian Institution in Washington has the largest heliodor from Brazil. It has a length of 10.5 cm and the weight of 2054 carats.
  • Some of the most spectacular collection samples are found at the Volynsky deposit, in Ukraine.
Heliodor mineral


This gemstone has a short history. Such jewelry houses as Tiffany & Co., Dior, Louis Vuitton and others are use it in their jewellery collections. Heliodors are not often used in jewelry at all due to its rarity. A variety of yellow beryl was first called heliodor at the beginning of the 20th century. It happened when a large deposit was found in the territory of present-day Namibia in 1910.


Heliodors may be irradiated to improve saturation and brightness. That color is not always stable. The samples may appear orange after irradiation. They are usually heat treated, after which they can turn blue or colorless. Then they are already sold as aquamarines.



On the photo: jewelry set with heliodor from Gem Lovers

a large bright golden beryl in cushion cut

Image of a large bright golden beryl in cushion cut

a pair of faceted medium-sized heliodors

On the photo: a pair of faceted medium-sized heliodors

Heliodor jewelry

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