Beryllium is a silver-white relatively hard but brittle metal. It is light (1.5 times lighter than aluminium) however it is strong (stronger than steel) and heat resistant (can withstand heat up to 700-800 Degrees Celsius). Beryllium is rare mineral, with an average concentration in the earth’s crust of about 4ppm (parts per million e.g. there are 6mg of the minerals per kg of rock). In contrast to other rare metals, it is mostly concentrated in the form of its own minerals among which beryl, phenacite and bertrandite are of commercial importance. The main beryllium raw material is bertrandite ore.
French chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin, who had discovered beryllium, suggested calling it “glucinum” (from Greek glycos- sweet) due to the sweet taste of its salts.