Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizeable fashioned gems and carvings.
Birthstones & Anniversaries
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the gem of the 19th wedding anniversary.
The largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal mined to date is 19 inches long.
Like emerald, aquamarine is a colour variety of the mineral beryl.
Aquamarine is mined at high elevations in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains.
There are a number of processes used to alter the colour or apparent clarity, or to improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated – sometimes by man-made materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
Aquamarine grows in beautiful six-sided prismatic crystals that, on rare occasions, can be more than a foot long.
Faceted aquamarine is often exceptionally transparent with vitreous lustre,
so it really sparkles.
Using a dichroscope, you can see that aquamarine is near colourless and stronger blue in different crystal directions.
Assessment of the following characteristics determines aquamarine’s value.
Aquamarine’s preferred colour is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue.
Most cut gems are eye-clean. Large examples are available without visible inclusions.
Because aquamarine’s colour is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance.
Aquamarine crystals range from tiny to very large—some even up to 100 lbs.
Aquamarine Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemmological research and the role of aquamarine in history.
Aquamarine from the Thuong Xuan District, Thanh Hoa Province, VietnamLe Thi-Thu Huong, et al. Read more in English
Polymer-Filled AquamarineLi Jianjun, Sun Yuan, Hao Wangjiao, Luo Han, Cheng Youfa, Liu Huafeng, Liu Ying, Ye Hong, and Fan Chengxing Read more in English
Aquamarine, Maxixe-Type Beryl and Hydrothermal Synthetic Blue Beryl: Analysis and IdentificationIlaria Adamo, et al. Read more in English