Myth/Legend | In Sailor Moon | Science & Culture

Myth and Legend

There is much folklore surrounding the use of Beryl. It has historically been used to improve psychic powers, to help men in battle, and as a magical healing agent. Ancient legend says that Pliny used powdered beryl to treat eye injuries. It is also recommended to help heal ailments of the liver, heart, spine, stomach, and glands, and is thought to help alieviate exhaution, depression, obesity, nausea, ulcers, and constipation. In around 1220, Arnoldus Saxo wrote that Beryl aided against enemies in battle or in litigation, that the wearer was rendered unconquerable, and that his intellect was quickened. In Hindu culture, beryl is seen as a symbol of purity, and it is often offered as a wedding gift. The old German translation of Thomas de Cantimpre's "De Proprietatibus Rerum" states that beryl may reawaken the love of married people. It also is said to protect travelers from danger, to help maintain youth, to increase sincerity, and to prevent laziness.

Beryl is often said to enhance one's psychic abilities. It is said to protect its wearer from being telepathically manipulated, and it increases psychic awareness (particularly the gold variety). It has sometimes been cut into spheres and used for scrying, and it is considered to be better than quartz for this purpose.

The word originate from the Sanskrit word vaidurya, which means "crystal." That developed into the Greek word for beryl, bÍryllos. The word was abbreviated as brill, which produced the Italian word brillare ("shine"), then the French word briller, and finally the English word brilliance.

Beryl in Sailor Moon

Queen Beryl is the main villain from the first season of Sailor Moon. Her hair, eyes, and fingernails are the fiery color of Red Beryl, and she appears to wear jewelry in the color of Emerald. Queen Beryl does seem to have a psychic inclination. In the anime and manga, she is often seen with a crystal ball, perhaps made of beryl, which is an excellent medium for scrying.

Beryl's color is easily manipulated by impurities, much like the emotions of Queen Beryl in the manga. Just like beryl can be changed to an entirely different color, so can Queen Beryl. She started as a simple peasant girl who was in love with Prince Endymion, watching him from afar. Queen Metallia took advantage of her feelings and changed her into an evil queen, out to destroy Sailor Moon.

Science, History, and Culture

Beryl is a type of gemstone that is often unknown to the general public. It is famous for its six-sided crystals. The crystals may be enormous; some have been found to be up to 30 feet long. It is naturally transparent, but some inclusions may cause it to be opaque. It may be found in Europe in Austria, Germany, Ireland, or England, and in South America. It also appears in South Africa and Madagascar, and may appear in the United States in Utah, North Carolina, and the Dakotas.

Beryl is clear in its pure form, but various impurities cause it to change color. The colored variants have all been given names which are quite well-known; for instance, emerald is the green variety, and aquamarine is the blue variety.

Emerald is very highly prized, and the intensity of its green color remains unmatched in other green gemstones. Uncut emeralds are very rare, because even low grade emeralds can be quite pricey when cut as gems. Emeralds often come from Colombia, where they appear in limestone. They are also found in South Africa, Brazil, in the Urals, and in North Carolina in the United States.

Aquamarine is another popular gem, although it is much more affordable. Generally, the deeper the blue color of aquamarine, the more expensive it will be. A flawed aquamarine specimine is quite difficult to find. It is very durable, but may develop cracks if hit hard. Its color may also fade due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Heliodor is the greenish-yellow variety of Beryl. It is named after the Greek words Helios and doron ("gift"). It is found in Brazil and Madagascar. The largest heliodor ever, 2054 carats, is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Goshenite is colorless beryl, and is relatively rare. It is named after where it was first found, in Goshen, Massachusetts. The ancient Greeks used Goshenite as lenses, and the first eyeglasses were probably made of it.

Red Beryl is the rarest member of the beryl family, and is only found in the Wah Wah Mountains in Utah (United States). It is sometimes known as Bixbite, although this name is not accepted by all gemologists. Only small quantities of this gem exist, and most are under a carat in size, with many inclusions. Those that are over a carat are very rare, and can be very expensive.

Morganite is the pink variety of beryl, and is one of the most popular. It was named after gem collector J.P. Morgan. It was first discovered in California but has also been found in Madagascar, Brazil, Mozambique, Nambia, Afghanistan, and Russia. Although found in many locations, it is relatively rare. Morganite has often been marketed as "Pink Emerald" or "Pink Aquamarine" to emphasize its relationship with those gemstones.

Other varieties of berly are not so uniquely named. They include Golden Beryl, Peach Beryl, and Green Beryl (which is a much paler green than Emerald).