Goshenite is the name given to the elegant transparent gemstone belonging to the Beryl classification of precious stones. It was named by American mineralogist Charles Upham Shepard during the 1800s. He chose the name goshenite after an area of Massachusetts called Goshen where deposits had been found.
How Goshenite Is Formed
Goshenite is a beryl, putting it in the same family as aquamarine, morganite and emerald. Alternatively known as ‘White Beryl’, goshenite is known for being exceptionally hard (scratch resistant), remarkably transparent and uniquely pure. Unlike other beryls, which get their color from impurities during the crystallization process, goshenite is usually formed in cavities within granite or other metamorphic rocks, where it is able to crystallize over periods of time, free from any color-changing impurities.
The Historical Choice For Lenses
Given its’ fantastic clarity and scratch-resistant properties, goshenite was one of the first materials used to create magnifying glasses, telescopes and spectacles during the Medieval period in Europe. The glass-making process had yet to be perfected and glass of the era was more suited to adorning beautiful stained-glass Cathedrals and churches than it was for use as a vision-enhancer.
The glass-making process was arduous and cumbersome, with the final product ending up far more clouded and hazier than our contemporary glass. As such, it is believed that the German word for spectacles ‘Brille’ is derived from the name ‘Beryl’. Goshenite’s exceptional hardness, (7.5-8 on the Mohs scale) also made it a choice material for lenses.
Goshenite has been called the ‘Mother of All Crystals’ and often gifted on Mother’s Day because of it’s association with motherhood. Goshenite is also a popular choice in engagement rings, due to its chic elegance, sparkly brilliance and neutral color. It is a good choice for anyone who wants the sparkle of a diamond but doesn't want a diamond.
Where Is Goshenite Found?
Goshenite deposits are not just limited to Goshen. Deposits are found in Madagascar, Ireland, China, Canada, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia and elsewhere in the United States.
To get your own unique piece of jewelry made from this clear gemstone, check out our made to order goshenite jewelry here.