Everything you need to know about Aquamarine Gemstone

The name "aquamarine" originated from the Latin word for "seawater," as this gemstone was once believed to have protective properties for sailors. The contemporary birthstone for March is a great jewellery stone because it is easy to find and affordable. Therefore, it also serves as the March birthstone. Moreover, this March emerald is also thought to encourage a happier marriage.

aquamarine gemstone


High clarity, transparency, and a vivid blue or greenish-blue colouration characterise the finest aquamarine gemstones. Aquamarine, like many beryls, may be cut into giant, beautiful crystals for carvings and jewellery.


Based on its name and colour, the sea is often associated with the aquamarine gemstone in Western cultures. Historically, it has been part of their mythical mandate to safeguard mariners and landlubbers.

aquamarine gemstone


The mineral beryl comes in various colours, and aquamarine is a greenish-blue to blue. Although the emerald variation of this mineral is green to bluish green, its typical colour is a pale shade of greenish blue. However, when heated, it takes on a more azure hue.

Large, clear, and well-formed aquamarine crystals are highly sought after by mineral collectors. Tiny levels of ferrous iron give this stunning gem its distinctive hue. Yet, their tones can range from very light to moderately dark, and colours vary from blueish green to blue-green to greenish blue to deep blue. 

The darkest aquamarines you're likely to come across are the colour of Swiss blue topaz. When you do, the cut usually brings out the colour even more. Moreover, gemstones marketed as "white aquamarines" are not uncommon. Keep in mind that these gems are probably goshenites or colourless beryls.

Most aquamarines have a slight greenish hue when first mined, but this fades when heated to 375 degrees Celsius, leaving a pristine blue hue. Therefore, it is common practice to heat treat aquamarine to remove its green hue. 

This practice was commonplace in the past. However, a more discerning audience has recently discovered the beauty of naturally green aquamarines. It turns out, nevertheless, that differentiating this heating process is impossible. As a result, any aquamarines that are an intense blue should be labelled as "possibly heat treated" by gemologists.

aquamarine gemstone


The presence of enough hollow tube inclusions and the correct cutting technique can give aquamarines the appearance of chatoyancy and even asterism. Collectors place a high value on stunning cat's eye aquamarines, and their prices are comparable to flawless faceted stones of the same hue. Rare star aquamarines can fetch even higher prices than cats' eyes due to their scarcity.


Birthstone Cleavage Lustre
March Indistinct Vitreous
Absorption Spectrum Enhancements Etymology
Natural aquamarine: a broad band at 4270 and a hazy band at 4560. (A weak band might be visible at 5370.) Maxixe aquamarine: a soft line at 5810, a weak line at 6280, a strong line at 6150, and a narrow line at 6950. The green colouration can be roasted out. Extremely widespread and unnoticeable. Derived from the Latin aqua marina, meaning "sea water," in reference to hue.
Pleochroism Inclusions Colours
Natural aquamarine: blue/colorless (sometimes greenish). Maxixe aquamarine: non-pleochroic (blue/blue). Long, hollow tubes, negative crystals, chrysanthemums. 2-phase and 3-phase inclusions. Blueish green, blue-green, greenish blue, blue.
Birefringence Crystallography Dispersion
0.005-0.007 Hexagonal 0.014
Formula Fracture Luminescence
Be3Al2Si6O18 + Fe Conchoidal to uneven None
Luminescence Present Mineral Mohs Hardness
No Beryl 7.5-8
Heat Sensitivity Occurrence Optic Sign
Some Granitic rocks, especially granite pegmatites. Uniaxial -
Optics Phenomena Refractive Index
o = 1.567-1.583; e = 1.572-1.590; Uniaxial (-). Chatoyancy; asterism (rare). 1.567-1.590
Specific Gravity Transparency Typical Treatments
2.66-2.80 Opaque to transparent Heat Treatment
Variety Of Varieties Wearability
Blue Beryl Blue Beryl Excellent


Named after the Latin words for "water" (aqua) and "of the sea" (marina), aquamarine is a derivative of the two terms. Initial documentation of aquamarine's use dates back to 480 and 300 BC. the ancient Greeks and Romans frequently employed Aquamarines for intaglio work and engravings. 

Despite being named for the water's hue, aquamarine was found for the first time in Siberia in 1723, far from the ocean. And by the late 18th century, massive amounts were extracted and sent to Western Europe.

aquamarine gemstone


Beryl, it is said, can grant its owner both civilian and military protection. Moreover, whoever wears it gains invulnerability, charm, and cleverness. Therefore, the Romans referred to the gem as the "water of the sea" and carried it with them for luck while fishing and safe boat navigation. 

St. Thomas, an apostle who did many seafarings, has been associated with aquamarine. In addition, Roman physicians used it to treat indigestion and other symptoms of overeating.

Ancient civilisations, including the Sumerians, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks, highly valued aquamarines. Moreover, Egyptian mummies often included beads. As for the High Priest of the Second Temple, legend has it that he wore aquamarine stones inlaid with the names of the six Israelite tribes. Aquamarine stones were carved into intaglios in ancient Greece, dating back 2,000 years.

Stone Sizes

Aquamarines come in a fantastic variety of sizes, and lapidaries have cut gems that are several hundred carats in weight—much too big to be worn. Pegmatites have yielded masses of beryl crystals, although they are never of gem quality. However, aquamarines can grow to enormous sizes and still be of gem quality.

In the Brazilian municipality of Marambia, Teofilo Otoni, a bluish-green crystal was uncovered. This unruly, translucent end-to-end prism was 19 inches long, 16 inches wide, and over 243 pounds in weight.

aquamarine gemstone


The well-known Martha Rocha aquamarine was discovered in Brazil, weighing 134 pounds and producing more than 300,000 carats of exquisite blue jewels. Although it weighed 229 pounds, the crystal unearthed in 1910 only produced 200,000 carats of cut diamonds.

The Smithsonian Institution is home to the world's largest cut aquamarine, the Dom Pedro, a sculpted obelisk that weighs 10,363 carats.

  1. In the British Museum of Natural History in London, England, we find the following: 67.35 (blue) and 60.90 (greenish) (sea-green, oval).
  2. The American Museum of Natural History in New York has 355 specimens from Sri Lanka and 144.5 specimens from Asia (Brazil).
  3. New York's Hyde Park Museum has an 1847-carat diamond on display.
  4. One thousand (blue-green, beautiful colour, Brazil); nine hundred and eleven (blue, Brazil); additionally 263.5 (blue, Russia); seventy-one (pale) (Sri Lanka); sixty-six (pale) (Maine); twenty-seven (pale) (Madagascar); fifteen (14.3) (blue-green, Idaho); fourteen (14.3) (blue, Madagascar) (blue, Connecticut).


You can safely clean your aquamarines by hand with a soft brush, a drop or two of mild detergent, and some warm water.  While aquamarines don't need special maintenance and may resist scratches from ordinary wear very well, cut-corner patterns and protective settings can help them resist chipping and shattering.

aquamarine gemstone ring


Mechanical cleaning methods, like ultrasonic or steam, can increase the risk of breaking an aquamarine if the stone contains impurities. However, it would be best to visit a gemologist to determine whether these processes will damage your diamonds.


1. Is aquamarine an expensive stone?

Aquamarine of high quality is extremely expensive and rare. However, large, vividly coloured gems offered for less than $143 AU are probably not aquamarine.

2. What is a 1-carat aquamarine worth?

The typical cost per carat for a 1-carat aquamarine is $964 AU, while the price for a 2- or 3-carat aquamarine is between $1,428 AU and $2143 AU.

3. What colour aquamarine is most valuable?

The most desirable hue for this gem is a deep blue to pale greenish blue of moderate strength — the more pure and vibrant the blue, the higher the stone's value. Aquamarine is a pastel shade of greenish blue in its natural state.

4. What aquamarine is more expensive?

Fine-quality aquamarine is increasingly challenging to find in nature. Yet, it has been treasured for so long as a gemstone, making it even more desirable to collectors today.