Aquamarine Gemstone Buyer’s Guide: Meaning and Value

Aquamarine gemstone is a semi-precious, lauded for its soothing color, exceptional transparency and rich luster. It belongs to the beryl family, which also includes emerald and morganite. This beautiful gem is the March birthstone, as well as the traditional gift for 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries. This article tells you all you need to know about buying aquamarine, its meaning, and value.

Aquamarine Folklore

This sparkling gem derives its name from the Latin word aqua, which means “water,” and marina, which means “sea.”  According to old lore, the gemstone was thought to ensure safe route across violent seas, and, therefore, was referred to as the sailor’s gem. Aquamarine also signifies trust, valor, and strong bonds. Ever since the stone came to light, it has been a preferred choice for jewelry. 

Evaluating Aquamarine

The value of this gem is determined by the following factors:

1.) Color 
The color of this gem ranges from light-blue to dark-blue and from blue-green to green-blue. Although aquamarine value is directly proportional to the saturation of the color, (i.e. the higher the saturation, the higher the value) a large portion of gemstones are found with a light blue tone. It is relatively rare to find a deeply saturated blue color in large samples of rough. While color saturation is one of the main criteria when evaluating these gems, a large number of enthusiasts prefer lighter gems to the rich, deep colors.

Buyer’s note:  Gemstones in small sizes (Less than 5MM) tends to have a lighter shade as their size obstructs the ability to display deeply saturated tone. This point is crucial if you are planning to use this gem as side stone to supplement a larger center stone.

Aquamarine Gemstone

Aquamarine Stone – Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABeryl-ed11d.jpg

2.) Clarity and Luster
The best quality aquamarine is inclusion-free and transparent, unlike its brother gemstone, emerald. However, as the beryl family is famous for carrying inclusions of stretched, hollow rods, the high-end gems are hard to find. Sometimes the gem is found with traces of foreign minerals, causing a cat’s eye effect (chatoyancy) or star effect (asterism) in it. These gems display a glassy luster when cut.

Buyer’s Note: A ‘star’ variety is exceptionally rare and fetches higher value than the ‘cat’s eye’ variety. 

Aquamarine Gemstone Clarity

Aquamarine – Photo by Fancy Diamonds – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/fancy-diamonds/5428024348

3.) Cut and Shape
Beryl family members are particularly preferred for the rectangular or square cuts, as they look fascinating in these shapes, even uncut. This dazzling gemstone is readily available in both faceted and cabochon cuts. The traditional and common cuts are round, pear, oval, and cushion. Various members of the beryl family are used for carving animal and decorative figures.

Buyer’s Note: Aquamarine is also popular for emerald step-cut and brilliant cuts with rectangular shapes.

Aquamarine Cut Stone

Aquamarine – Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Beryl-gem7-59b.jpg

Know the Jewelry Angle

This gem has an ability to complement almost any complexion or eye color, which makes it popular all across the globe. The popularity and demand of this gem further increase with attributes like abundant availability, reasonable price, and dazzling brilliance. Also, the hardness of eight on the Mohs scale makes it an ideal gem for manufacturing jewelry items. Aquamarine does not need any treatment before cutting, unlike its cousin, Emerald, which requires oiling to fill fissures and enhance color. Aquamarine is extremely popular in rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and more.

Buyer’s Note: It is advisable to purchase colored gems by size and not by carat weight. 

Cleaning Aquamarine Gemstone Jewelry

Aquamarine is a durable gem, measuring eight on the Mohs scale of hardness. Therefore, it does not require special treatment. Below are a few points to keep your treasured gemstone jewelry just like new. 

  • Use a solution of Luke warm water and mild dish soap to clean the jewelry. 
  • Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner as it may damage the jewelry.
  • Thoroughly rinse the stones to remove all traces of soap.
  • Dry the jewelry carefully using a soft cloth.
  • Wrap in a soft fabric and store them in a fabric-lined box to prevent scratches.

When it comes to buying an aquamarine gemstone or jewelry, buyers should not worry about its authenticity. As the gem is available in abundance, the cost of producing synthetic one is quite high in comparison to the natural one. Therefore, one can hardly find a synthesized gemstone in the market. So, how about purchasing aquamarine jewelry for your next birthday, wedding, or anniversary!


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