Aquamarine Fact Sheet

Aquamarine Fact Sheet

JUNE 20, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Jewelry Specialist

Aquamarines are a radiant blue gemstone popular with jewelers, artisans, and buyers. The finest aquamarine jewelry contains deep blue, transparent gems that are often cut like emeralds. Lesser-quality aquamarine gemstones are opaque or cloudy, and do not have the same luster.

Aquamarines are easy to wear due to their hardness, and can serve as the centerpiece of exquisite jewelry surrounded by smaller, more valuable gemstones. Because gemologists consider aquamarines to be semiprecious, you can find plenty of beautiful aquamarine pieces for great prices.

Pair of aquamarine earrings

Colorful Characteristics

The preferred color for aquamarine jewelry is a transparent sky blue, even though you may see hues that range from pale blue and light blue to dark blue and blue-green. Go with a color that fits your style, whether you want a lighter, paler blue that's nearly transparent or a deeper blue-green that captures and holds light. Gemologists grade color based on its hue, tone, and saturation.

Hue depends on whether the gemstone is a warm shade or cool shade of blue. Tone varies by its lightness or darkness, while color saturation describes the quality as a vivid blue or dull blue. The most sought-after aquamarine gemstones are dark blue to slightly greenish blue and a moderately strong intensity. Discover the greatest and most upscale aquamarine pieces that come with pure, intense blue colors.

Aquamarine necklace

Emotional Qualities

If you have a birthday in March, aquamarine is your birthstone. It also serves as a gift celebrating your 19th wedding anniversary. The name comes from the Latin "aqua marina," or "sea water," which references the similarity of aquamarine to the color of clear blue ocean water.

Ancient Romans believed this gemstone healed problems of the liver, stomach, or throat. Contemporary healers use aquamarine as a way to meditate and focus on someone's spirituality.


Aquamarine mines are located in Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and several countries in Africa. The most prominent aquamarine mine in the United States surrounds Mount Antero in Colorado. The world's largest faceted aquamarine gemstone is the Dom Pedro Aquamarine on display at the Smithsonian Institution. This gemstone, mined in Brazil, is nearly 14 inches long and weighs 10,363 carats (4.6 pounds).

Aquamarine gemstone ring

Selecting Pieces

Aquamarine gemstones follow the same grading standards as diamonds. Look for specific cuts, clarity, colors, and carat weights similar to diamonds but at much less expensive prices. Gemologists like to shape these stones in emerald oval, round, and princess cuts. Much like diamonds, the most valuable aquamarine gemstones have the highest carat weight, lots of radiant color, and very few internal flaws (inclusions).

Sterling silver aquamarine butterfly ring

Sterling Silver

You may discover that sterling silver is a popular metal for aquamarine settings because, much like aquamarine, sterling silver withstands regular wear and heavy-duty use. The sparkle and shine of transparent blue aquamarine is great for necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings you plan on wearing every day. Consider an aquamarine sterling silver ring as a less expensive alternative to a diamond engagement ring. Look for rings that feature one to four prominent aquamarine gemstones with smaller diamonds along the side that complement the larger stones.

Aquamarine stud earrings

Outfits to Match

Accessorize your favorite blue, green, white, and gray apparel with stunning aquamarine sets. Blue and navy blue clothing makes aquamarine pop. Smaller stones add a bit of sparkle to your outfit, while larger aquamarine gemstones start conversations. Aquamarine jewelry lets you take your jeans to a new level since a lot of denim pieces already come in various shades of blue. Your necklace and matching aquamarine and diamond earrings add a finishing touch to your outfit for work, date night, ladies' night, or a shopping extravaganza with your BFF.