Author: Jan Scholten
The name Beryllium is derived from beryl, a precious stone that contains beryllium. This stone was probably named after the town Berul, a place north of Moslur in Iraq, where it can be found. Another possibility is that its name was derived from the Greek word berullos, which means emerald. The element beryllium was first discovered in 1798.
The beryl is a transparent or whitish stone. Its chemical composition is
Be3 Al2 Si6 O18. There are several different varieties of this stone: emerald, with its green colouring due to the presence of Chromium, aquamarine, pink morganite containing Caesium and Lithium, gold beryl, heliodore, gosheite, bixbite and bazzite with its blue colour due to the element Scandium. Beryllium is also found in stones like Tugtupite, bavenite, ilarite, bertrandite, helveine, euclase, chrysoberyl and fenacite. Beryl was used in the past to make glasses. The Dutch name for spectacles is ‘bril’.
Beryllium salts taste sweet, hence its other name ‘glucinum’.
It is stronger than steel and doesn’t rust very quickly.
It is very elastic and has been used to manufacture springs (yielding, adapting, Stage 2). Its melting point is very high, 1285 degrees.