Back to gem encyclopedia


Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool.

Responsive image
Emerald Cut

This 3.36-ct. gem is an emerald cut, which is typical for aquamarine.

Responsive image
Sea Blue

Aquamarine’s most valuable color is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue.

Responsive image
High Clarity

Like all fine aquamarines, this gem is free of eye-visible inclusions.

Responsive image
Responsive image
Mineral Specimen

This fine 3x3x7 cm aquamarine mineral specimen is from Balistan, Pakistan

Responsive image
Columnar Form

The crystal shows aquamarine’s typical six-sided columnar form.

Responsive image
Pencil Point

A collector might call this crystal a “pencil” due to the faces at its tip.

Responsive image


About Aquamarine

About Aquamarine

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.

Aquamarine Description

Aquamarine History and Lore

Aquamarine Journey

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the gem of the 19th wedding anniversary.

110 Kilos

The largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal mined to date is 19 inches long.


Like emerald, aquamarine is a color variety of the mineral beryl.

15,000 feet

Aquamarine is mined at high elevations in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains.


  • Mineral: beryl
  • Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O18
  • Color: greenish blue, light in tone
  • Refractive index: 1.577 to 1.583
  • Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009
  • Specific gravity: 2.72
  • 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
gem love

Why We Love This Gemstone

Beautiful Crystals

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.

Quality Factors

Assessment of the following characteristics determines aquamarine’s value.


quality factors

Aquamarine’s preferred color is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue.


quality factors

Most cut gems are eye-clean. Large examples are available without visible inclusions.


quality factors

Because aquamarine’s color is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance.

Carat Weight

quality factors

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.

Grayish blue aquamarine

Aquamarine with Unusually Strong Dichroism

Gagan Choudhary , Oct 31, 2014 Read Article
Map of main aquamarine deposits of northern Pakistan.

Aquamarine from Pakistan

Yang Hu and Ren Lu , May 11, 2018 Read Article
This aquamarine crystal showed iridescence as it is turned under a moving light source.

Mysterious Iridescence in Aquamarine

Nicole Ahline and Maryam Mastery Salimi , Aug 7, 2017 Read Article
Aquamarine from San Luis Potosí State in northern Mexico

Aquamarine from a New Primary Deposit in Mexico

Mikhail Ostrooumov , Nov 7, 2016 Read Article