In its pure form, beryl is a colourless mineral. The first eyeglasses in the late Middle Ages were made from this polished stone. In fact, this is where the Dutch and German words for ‘glasses’ comes from (‘bril’ and ‘Brille’, respectively).
The various impurities give beryl its various hues. Logical, since the beryl group encompasses aquamarine, morganite and emerald, among others. Aquamarine also means ‘water from the sea’. The stone comes in sea-green – the favourite colour throughout the 19th century – and in many beautiful blue hues. Morganite was named in honour of the American banker and major gemstone collector J.P. Morgan, Sr. The stone comes in pink, light red, peach and violet colours. Emerald comes in many variations of green. This stone is often viewed as ‘the king of gems’ and was already being mined thousands of centuries before Christ. The name is often used in metaphors for countries. Ireland, for example, is often called the Emerald Isle, and the Dutch East Indies have been known as the Emerald Belt since Multatuli. For the bracelet shown, Luciënne used several exceptional polished beryl stones – including morganite, aquamarine and soft-green beryl.