ARNOLD FISHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ARNOLD FISHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Crystals of the mineral beryl, variety aquamarine, from Pakistan. Another variety of beryl is the rich green emerald, highly valued as a gem. Individual crystals of beryl are sometimes of enormous size, measuring up to nine meters (30 feet) long and weighing 25 tons. The crystals are hexagonal and prismatic. Beryl is found in granite rocks and in pegmatites, a class of coarse-grained igneous rock mainly consisting of feldspar and quartz. Aquamarines are used in jewelry.
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