Fine aquamarines are a marriage between colour and clarity. The best are dark blue to slightly greenish blue with no visible inclusions. Careful cutting maximises both qualities to produce superb gems.
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What to look for
Most faceted aquamarines are free of eye-visible inclusions. Collectors generally expect clean gems with good transparency. There is a trend today to use included, but good-colour aquamarines as unique centrepieces for jewellery items or even as partially polished crystal slices or nuggets in necklaces.
Aquamarines can be cut into almost any shape, but cutters often fashion them as emerald cuts or as round or oval brilliants. Many gem artists use aquamarine for one-of-a-kind designer cuts because their styles maximise the material’s pure, even colour and high clarity.
Aquamarine Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Tips & Advice
1. Top quality aquamarine shouldn’t have any eye visible inclusions.
Although aquamarine is the mineral beryl, like emerald, inclusions are much less accepted than they would be in emerald. Aquamarine that is milky or included is much less expensive, although it may be beautiful in its own way.
2. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Fine aquamarine is rare and expensive. Large gems with intense colour that are selling for less than $100 are unlikely to be aquamarine.
3. Trust your colour preferences.
If you prefer an aquamarine colour that has more green in it, you can buy a beautiful gem for less than you would pay for the same gem if it was a pure blue.
4. Work with a jeweller with expertise.
Judging the quality of aquamarine requires skill and knowledge. Look for gemmological credentials. A jeweller who knows and loves aquamarine will have several to show you so you can see quality differences side by side.