Aquamarine is as striking as the ocean water it's named after. The stone has surpassed its function as the March birthstone and has become so popular that people favor it as a stone for an alternative engagement ring. Its versatile color, affordability, and overall durability make it an ideal choice for an everyday piece of jewelry.
The stone is a favorite among designers for several reasons. However, the quality of aquamarine on the market ranges from basic to extremely fine, and there are certain unexpected factors to consider before you purchase one.
These aquamarine facts will help you navigate the world of this radiant gem, from where it's mined to how much it will cost you. We will even discuss healing practices and symbolism as well.
Aquamarine Buying Information
- This stone is part of the beryl family along with emerald and morganite. Despite being from the same mineral family, aquamarine and emerald are vastly different.
- The color of aquamarine ranges from seafoam green to pale blue with tons of shades and tones in between. More saturated hues tend to sell for more money.
- A cool-toned version of sky blue is one of the most desirable shades currently on the market. Paler near-colorless stones have been popular options for alternative engagement rings.
- If inclusions bother you, consider a pale aquamarine over a diamond. Most faceted aquamarine gemstones are free of inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. Any rough material that is opaque or has visible inclusions is usually cut into fancy cabochon shapes.
- Aquamarine is commonly found in larger carat sizes. The larger the stone, the more intense the color could be, which is unlike many other gemstones. Aquamarines over five carats tend to have deeper hues, and smaller gems tend to look near colorless.
- Because larger stones tend to be deeper in color, smaller natural aquamarine stones with deep colors might sell for more per carat than their bigger colored counterparts. In other words, it is harder to find a deeply saturated one-carat aquamarine than it is to find a deeply saturated five-carat aquamarine.
- Aquamarine ranks between a 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, so it should not scratch easily. If you notice a large number of surface scratches on an aquamarine gemstone, have it tested to be sure it's not glass.
- Just because aquamarine is hard, doesn't mean it won't scratch. Don't store aquamarine next to any stone that is harder. For instance, a diamond or sapphire is capable of scratching an aquamarine's surface.
- Unlike emerald, aquamarine is not susceptible to fracturing, so you are safe to clean the stone with ultrasonic machines or steam cleaners. You should still avoid harsh chemicals whenever possible.
- Most aquamarine is not treated. However, some aquamarine gemstones are heat treated to enhance their color by removing some green hues and all brown hues. The result is stones that are slightly greenish blue and more vivid in color.
- While the stone can handle prolonged light exposure, keep aquamarine gems out of intense heat.
- Legend states that aquamarine was discovered in a treasure chest by mermaids. The stone has been used in jewelry as far back as the ancient Greeks.
- Aquamarine gets its name from the Latin words "aqua marina," meaning seawater. The name originated in the 18th century during the Georgian Era.
- Eleanor Roosevelt was gifted a faceted aquamarine gemstone from the Brazilian government in 1936 that weighed 1,298 carats.
- The largest cut aquamarine is called the Dom Pedro and weighs 10,363 carats. It is currently on display at the National Museum of Natural History.
- Aquamarine is mined all over the world but has been mainly sourced from Brazil. It is also found in Pakistan, Madagascar, Kenya, and Russia.
- This romantic stone is the official gemstone of the 19th wedding anniversary.
- As a "sailor's stone," aquamarine has symbolized courage among sailors that were traveling rough seas. It was thought that having aquamarine on a ship could help calm rough waters.
- Because aquamarine is naturally free of visible inclusions, it has become a symbol of purity.
- Aquamarine is the state gemstone of Colorado and has been since 1971.
Aquamarine Healing Properties
- Although scientific evidence may vary, many people have prized aquamarine as a protector of well-being and mental health. Just like the ocean can bring a sense of calm and connectedness, so too have the cool colors of this gemstone helped calm people throughout history.
- Because this stone is a calming stone, it has helped crystal healers soothe overactive nerves. As a meditation aid, aquamarine has helped people find more tranquil moments in their practice.