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 sizable 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 color variety of the mineral beryl.
Aquamarine is mined at high elevations in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains.
greenish blue, light in tone
1.577 to 1.583
0.005 to 0.009
- Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8.0
There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or 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 manmade 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 luster,
so it really sparkles.
Using a dichroscope, you can see aquamarine is near colorless and stronger blue in different crystal directions.
Assessment of the following characteristics determines aquamarine’s value.
Aquamarine’s preferred color 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 color 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, gemological research, and the role of aquamarine in history.
Aquamarine from the Thuong Xuan District, Thanh Hoa Province, VietnamLe Thi-Thu Huong, et al. Read Article
Polymer-Filled AquamarineLi Jianjun, Sun Yuan, Hao Wangjiao, Luo Han, Cheng Youfa, Liu Huafeng, Liu Ying, Ye Hong, and Fan Chengxing Read Article
Aquamarine, Maxixe-Type Beryl, and Hydrothermal Synthetic Blue Beryl: Analysis and IdentificationIlaria Adamo, et al. , Oct 31, 2008 Read Article
Beryl and its Color Varieties
Dimitriy Belakovskiy, et al
Collector's Guide to the Beryl Group
Robert J. Lauf
John Sinkankas and Peter Read