Chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek Khrysos (or Chrysos) and Beryllos which means Golden Beryl.

Chrysoberyl is sometimes confused with beryl which includes the emerald and aquamarine. They are distinctly different. Chrysoberyl is a beryllium-aluminum oxide mineral whereas beryl is an aluminum beryllium silicate mineral. Nonetheless, both contain beryllium.

Chrysoberyl comes in beautiful colors of golden yellow, green-yellow, green, brow, red and colorless. The green variety of chrysoberyl has a weak, dark-red fluorescence. Though chrysoberyl gems are very brilliant, they lack fire due to low dispersion. Chrysoberyl from Australia have unusually high refractive indices and are often mistaken as yellow-brown sapphires.

Chrysoberyl has a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale (note, only Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond are harder) which makes it an extremely hard and durable gemstone that can be worked in many fine jewelry designs, shapes and forms. However, chrysoberyl tends to be brittle.

Chrysoberyl is transparent to opaque, with a glass-like luster. Chrysoberyl with excellent transparency is cut into fine gemstone. The lower grade chrysoberyl are translucent to opaque. When cut and polished, chrysoberyl has a moderate to high level of clarity.

Chrysoberyl is a family of gemstones discovered in 1789 by the famous geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner. Ordinary chrysoberyl is a yellow to yellow-green to green gemstone with a translucent to transparent diaphaneity. The two other popular varieties of Chrysoberyl are Cat's Eye and Alexandrite.

Chrysoberyl is highly esteemed for its cat's eye gemstone which is named cymophane. This name comes from a Greek word meaning “appearing like a wave,” referring to its milky iridescence like that of an opal. Its effect of cat's eye called chatoyancy is due to needle-like inclusions that are arranged parallel to the stone and a light that shines from right angles.

Some specimens of cat's-eye appear to have a different color on each side of the cat's eye line. This is known as the "milk-and-honey" effect. It is due to illumination from certain orientation.

The color-changing variety of chrysoberyl is known as Alexandrite which also includes the very rare Cat's Eye Alexandrite. It has the distinctive appearance of being green to blue-green color in daylight and red to purplish-red color under incandescent light.

Alexandrite can also be strongly pleochroic. It shows a different color when viewed from different angles. It is also a trichroic stone exhibiting three different hues from three different directions. It has a green, red or yellow-orange hue depending upon the direction of observation.

Chrysoberyl is colored by iron, while color change chrysoberyl (Alexandrite) is colored by chromium. The rare minty bluish-green chrysoberyl from Tanzania is colored by vanadium.

Gemstones that resemble chrysoberyl are golden yellow sapphire, citrine, lemon quartz, imperial topaz, heliodor (golden beryl), tourmaline, demantoid garnet and grossular garnet.

Chrysoberyl was also known as chrysolite, a name which referred to any golden-green to olive colored gemstone. Today the name "chrysolite" is no longer used.

Chrysoberyl both as mineral and high-quality gemstones are extremely rare. Chrysoberyl deposits are found in Brazil's Minas Gerais, Esperito Santo and Bahia; the Mogok and Pegu regions of Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (in particularly Ratnapura), India, Tanzania, Madagascar, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe and the United States.

Alexandrite are mined in Russia whereas Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye are mined in Brazil, China, India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

The colorless chrysoberyl can only be found in Burma; and Tanzania produce a very rare bluish-green chrysoberyl which is most sought after.

Chrysoberyl in ancient times was used as an amulet to fight off evil spirits and banish insane forms of thinking. It was also used as a form of protection against deceit, witchcraft and conspiracy. Chrysoberyl was associated with money and wealth.

Chrysoberyl is the gemstone of self-control and self-discipline. It helps in concentration and the ability to learn and it inspires you to excel in anything.

It builds up self-esteem and instils inner peace and clarity of thought. It enhances creativity, intuition and imagination.

Chrysoberyl is a bridge between this physical plane and the next plane of existence; and thus, is an excellent tool for meditation and healing as it also pulsates a powerful, warm healing energy.