|Aquamarine Beryl. (External Sample)
The metal beryllium is named after this mineral. I used to say here that beryl was named after beryllium, but reader Jeffrey Shallit kindly pointed out the absurdity of that notion, since the mineral was known and named long before the metal. He writes:
The word beryl comes from ancient Greek and according to the OED, first appeared in English in 1305. But beryllium was not discovered until 1797 and the word "beryllium" did not appear in English until 1863. Beryllium the metal is fairly plain looking and toxic, while beryl the mineral is quite beautiful and comes in a great variety of shapes and colors.
Location: John Gray's Collection
Photographed: 11 March, 2003