Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of BERYL (AQUAMARINE) from the Erongo Volcanic Complex, Namibia

Publication Year:

The granite hosted pegmatites of the Erongo Volcanic Complex in central Namibia are well known for the wide variety of minerals present, of considerable interest to mineral collectors. These include (amongst others) often spectacular, museum quality examples of beryl, schorl, jeremejevite, fluorite, quartz, goethite and cassiterite. The locality is particularly recognized for hosting a variety of beryl types, including green, yellow (heliodor), colorless (goshenite) and blue/greenish blue (aquamarine) variants. Comprehensive geochemical studies of the Erongo beryls are very limited. The present contribution serves to document the visual characteristics (colour, colour zoning, inclusion content) as well as the major and trace element chemistry of 42 blue, two green and one colorless beryl from Erongo, and to compare these with other localities worldwide. The beryls from Erongo are generally subhedral to euhedral with a well-formed prismatic habit. Idiomorphic crystals, characterised by strong hexagonal prisms, are common. Beryl is commonly associated with schorl, quartz, muscovite, alkali feldspar, plagioclase feldspar, iron oxides, foitite, rossmanite and cassiterite. Aquamarines range from pale blue to deep blue or greenish blue, with marked colour zoning seen in a number of samples. One of the two green beryls examined is of a medium green colour, and is heavily included, while the other specimen has a pale yellowish green colour. The goshenite sample is colourless, clear, and transparent. Numerous cracks are present in the samples examined, and these are usually filled by iron oxides. Inclusions species encountered in the beryl samples are schorl, quartz, muscovite, feldspar, iron oxides and cassiterite, clearly reflective of the host pegmatite mineralogy. Keywords: Beryl, Mineral chemistry, Geochemistry, Erongo Volcanic Complex, Namibia.

Publication Title:

Journal of African Earth Sciences

Item Type:
Journal Article

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