Named in the 14th century, this very hard mineral consists of a silicate of beryllium and aluminium. Beryl occurs in a number of differently coloured stones of which emerald is one. Colourless, it is named goshenite, golden it is called heliodor, pink is known as morganite, and the well-known blue variety is aquamarine. Many years ago, beryl was said to safeguard sailors (aquamarine) and travellers (emerald) and was used in the treatment of throat, tooth, jaw, eye and stomach complaints. Golden beryl is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. It represents purity and promotes initiative and independence in thought and action. It has been used in the treatment of disorders of the heart, liver and spine and can also be helpful in treating concussion and damage to the cranial portion of the head. It has also been used in the treatment of eyesight problems as well as mouth and stomach complaints. Beryl is the zodiac gem for Scorpio (24 October to 21 November).