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  • Seth William Rozendaal

Family Ties of Type III Beryl


First, an introduction: I am Seth William Rozendaal, and all of that means something.

Seth is the fifth human name in the Bible. When I was a kid, my mother told me Seth meant Promised One, which makes sense in the context of the original story. My name implies I am not the first-born, yet I am. I was proud of the title chosen for me, until I looked myself up in a book of baby suggestions years later and discovered Seth was defined as Replacement, which seemed a lot less romantic at the time.

William is the name of my father and generations of first-born male Rozendaals before him, way back to where William had been Willem. His name implies he is the first-born in his family, but he is not. My father is the kindest and most ethical man I have ever met, and I have encountered a number in my travels. I am lucky to be his son, and I strive to carry in my core the great honor of his name as well as he has shouldered it in this world.

A channel-set ring using melee with the highest saturation.

Made for and regularly worn by my father.

Rozendaal is the town in Holland from which we hail. Less than 100 people live there today, but an unassuming castle supposedly still stands with opulent gardens. Rozendaal is usually translated as Valley of Roses from Dutch, but the meaning is more easily seen if converted to English as Rosen Dale. Red Emerald crystals are often found in a crystal habit known as the Rosette…though we have traveled far from the flowered habitat of my ancestors, how humorous I am surrounded still by roses, roses everywhere!

Because his name doesn't follow the Oldest Boy = William pattern, my paternal grandfather's name, Wilbur, implies he was not the first-born, yet he was. More important than order of birth was the fact Wilbur was the father of ten children. As Jimmy Stewart once described a similar family, "There were a lot of them, and they circulated."

Grandpa, in the days prior to his legendary beard, with his clan.

All those kids never made Grandpa Rozendaal go bald, but his thick, white hair was often pulled out at frustrated, rooster-tail angles. Grandpa stood six feet tall. He had a thin profile, with an equally lean tolerance for foolishness and antics. Grandpa had a strong dedication to rationality.

When they look and act the same, you know they're related.

Some have told me they believe in a Red Emerald because of rarity -- There are over 20,000 Green Emeralds for every one Red Emerald that exists. Others accept a Red Emerald because of value -- The price of a Red Emerald is more than the cost of a comparable Green. Like my grandfather, I would only ever believe in a Red Emerald on the basis of reason -- And the facts demonstrate this gemstone is a Red Emerald.

A well-regarded philosopher, Bertrand Russell, once described a method by which the unknown encountered in this world may be understood: "Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities" (Russell, Bertrand. Logical Atomism, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, pp. 160–179 - 1924).

When they look and act the same, you know they're related.

Red Emerald and Green Emerald Specimen Comparison.

Left: David Rozendaal Photo. Right: Smithsonian Photo.

If it looks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, it may be an Anatidae, but nobody would refer to one so clinically! Before I came along, there were many believers in Red Emerald who looked at the crystals and came to the rational conclusion a Red Emerald was what they were observing. Many facts harmonizing is a sign of truth (Meta-Consistency), and the red and green beryls share too many similarities to conclude they are anything other than the same thing. Even if not the first-born Emerald, the name retains the capacity to be Red by extension.

A linguistic argument can be made to suggest the word Emerald can only mean Green. However, multiple non-color values are already known to be associated with the word Emerald, such as a Type of Cut, a Measure of Wealth and a Variety of Gemstone. Intension is the ideas, properties or corresponding signs suggested by the concept in question. This is what one INTENDS to say when a word is mentioned, but what can be suggested is often more than people realize or initially accept. Determination of what is intended from the set of all that is connected is achieved through discernment, judgment and reason.

Extension of a concept, idea, or sign consists of [ALL] the things to which it applies. Regardless of arguments against, Emerald in the collective consciousness WILL ALWAYS EXTEND to include the factual existence of a rare Red variety. This is because "Emerald has priority over beryl as a mineral name...emerald and beryl were essentially the same chemical compound and...emerald continued to be listed as the preferred species name for many decades."

The first fact any literature will tell you about beryl is that the gem group contains Emerald. While the chicken and egg argument may never be settled, to define beryl one must assume the student is already aware of an Emerald! This is what mindat means when they refer to priority in the name. What the student knows without instruction is also the nature of this gemstone, only in the opposite color.

As opposites in color theory, red and green share a special complimentary relationship, and they alone are placed together in polar positions. These two gemstones are revered in the Eastern market for their same-opposite relationship, as noted by former Rock & Gem Editor Bob Jones in his 2004 article The Yin-Yang of Beryl. Both the Red and Green Emerald are paired together in Asian jewelry as physical totems which symbolize the venerated Yin-Yang connection.

The two Emeralds color-mirror each other in another way: Green Emeralds can form in a black carbonaceous shale -- miners tunnel deep under the mountaintop to find them and emerge covered in a thick, black dust. Red Emeralds grow in pure white rhyolite -- collectors who pluck crystals from the top of the Wah-Wahs descend with a white powder clinging to their bodies.

Rhyolite is not notably uncommon, but this composition is unique; cooled magma with the strength of concrete appears like stark colorless snow on the Wah-Wah Mountains. The sheer walls reflect sunlight with efficiency and without mercy, blinding anyone who dares visit without eye protection. Since I first heard of her pure cliffs, I dreamt of seeing the Wah-Wahs shine before me. In 2015, the opportunity was mine.

Even from afar, the Ruby Violet Claims stand out in the Wah-Wah profile.

The clear light from the exposed cut could be seen like a beacon from miles away, and even after the Wah-Wahs were first spotted, hours more were required to reach them. The Spirit of the Prospector seemed alive as my father and I rode through open range, a landscape which typifies the Old West -- the Mountain West.

The short, gnarled pinions found here produce some of the greatest British Thermal Units per pound of any tree in the world when burned. That the vegetation on this mountain has the highest heat per wood ratio makes perfect sense to me, because they grow from the same source as the Red Emerald infernos I have witnessed.

Access to the claims is secured by a gated system, and the mining claims are still privately held. I arrived as an escorted guest of the owners, and the list of charged trespassers who do not make such accommodations is long and growing.

I began to eagerly hammer away. Bill Vance, a legendary faceter, longtime colored gem dealer and Vanceite (Magnesio-Axinite) fan who has mined and cut Red Beryl since the 1970s, once said, "If people knew how hard it is to get this stuff out of the ground, they would realize they're not paying enough for it!" In exchange for hours of my time, I earned nothing but a sunburn and blisters! I'm still grateful this mountain has given me as much as it has given anyone.

Though I personally found nothing at the Ruby Violet Claims,

my father readily flaunted his own discoveries.

I'm incredibly thankful that throughout this journey, my dad has been right there with me, chipping away!

When they look and act the same, you know they're related.


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