Aquamarine is blue beryl (the same mineral as emerald, but emerald is green). Aquamarine is valued for its lovely and unique “aqua” blue color.
Most aquamarine peices are of a very pale light blue and have a few inclusions (other minerals inside the stone which are considered impurities and reduce the gemstone’s clarity and sparkle). It is possible to find very large (over 10 carats) aquamarines. The most common cuts for aquamarine are step cuts (“emerald cuts”).
6 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Aquamarine
- Cut: One of the most important factors in an aquamarine’s value is the quality of its cut. A perfectly cut aquamarine reflects a maximum amount of light and dazzles with sparkle. Look at pictures and learn more about How CUT affects the value of an aquamarine
- Size: Aquamarine gemstones can come in very large sizes (over 10 carats). Aquamarines of this size and of good quality are rare and command high price. See how different aquamarine sizes compare and How SIZE affects the value of an aquamarine
- Clarity: Aquamarine, like its cousin, emerald, often contains whispy inclusions, internal flaws and fractures. This inhibits the aquamarine’s transparency, sparkle and value. Learn more aboutHow CLARITY affects the value of an aquamarine
- Color: The color of the aquamarine has an impact on its value. Strong intense colors of blue are the most valuable, while pale dull shades are less valuable. See some pictures and learn more about How COLOR affects the value of an aquamarine
- Treatments and Imitations: Aquamarines, like most gemstones, often go through some kind of labratory treatment. Whether a stone has been treated and how it has been treated will affect its value. Aquamarine can also be imitated by other substances and passed off as the real thing. When shopping, it is important to know the terminology and characteristics that help you tell the difference. Read here to learn about Aquamarine treatments and synthetics
- Meaning and Symbology: Aquamarine is associated with legends, meanings and symbology. In crystal healing, aquamarine is also used because it is beneficial to the body and emotional balance. Learn more about Aquamarine meaning and symbology to see if it”s something you relate to.
The Most Valuable Aquamarine
The most valuable Aquamarine is of an intense, almost electric “aqua” blue, large in size (over 10 carats), perfectly clear and perfectly cut.
|Low Value: Here is an aquamarine with okay color and large size. The main reason for its low value is its poor clarity. It was too included to be faceted. The color is also weaker than ideal. This pendant would cost less than $50.||Med-Low Value: This aquamarine has fair clarity. However, its color is very weak – we can barely see any blue and it has been cut very poorly: light is lost through the center rather than being reflected.||High Value: This aquamarine is valuable mostly because it is perfeclty cut. It is also exceptionally clear (no inclusions). The color is attractive, though slightly weak. It is also valuable because of its size (over 5 carats)||Highest Value: An aquamarine like this is rare and very expensive because of its intense blue color, perfect clarity, perfect cut (all facets are even and no light gets lost), and very large size (over 15 carats). An aquamarine like this would cost several thousand dollars.|
For a deeper understanding of how aquamarine is valued, see the descriptions and photographs below.
|This is the kind of aquamarine to look for. It has a perfect cut, a glowing “aqua” color, perfect clarity and it”s huge! It”s a lucky person who owns such a stone|
|The lowest quality aquamarine: the color is so weak, it”s hardly there and the clarity is very poor (many inclusions). This kind of aquamarine is very easily aquired ( a few dollars on ebay).|
|This aquamarine is striking. It has a nearly perfect emerald cut, and an intense (though slightly blue) color. Its value may be less because of the inclusions, though some jewelers would appreciate them as adding character.|
|This necklace contains average quality aquamarine. The clarity of the stones is poor and for this reason, they were made into beads instead of faceted. Thus, they do not sparkle much. The color is also light and unremarkable.|
|It would have been lovely had it not been so poorly cut. We can see through it: light does not reflect back to us. The color is nice, though a bit weak.|
|These aquamarines are very clear and perfectly cut. The sparkle fantastically. Their light color makes them less rare and less valuable than aquamarines with more intense color, but some people enjoy subtler more transparent stones.|