There are some thirty recognized minerals containing beryllium; only three of them are significative, namely, beryl, phenacite and chrysoberyl. Of these three, only beryl is now of industrial importance. In pure form this mineral is a beryllium aluminum silicate present in emerald and aquamarine.

Ocurrences of beryl in the earth's crust are widely distributed and are estimated to amount to approximately 0.001%. However, beryl ore containing 10 to 12% beryllium oxide has not yet been found in large enough quantities to be mined economically. The supply is, therefore, generally obtained as a by-product of mining feldspar, lithium or mica.

The pincipal producers of beryl ore are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Argentina and India. Small amounts are produced in East Africa, Morocco, Mozambique, Portugal and Canada.