With its icy blue-green hue, the aquamarine gemstone has long amazed jewelry wearers and collectors alike. Regal yet soothing, this beryl variety carries rich history and lore. If you’re curious to learn more about aquamarine, this article explores everything from its origins to modern-day uses.
How Much Does Aquamarine Cost?
The cost of Aquamarine is anywhere between $550 to $750 for a 1 carat stone, $1,800 to $2,500 for a 5 carat one, and over $5,000 for a 10+ carat stone. Genuinely exceptional pieces can still cost well into the six figures at auction. But carefully selected gems starting around one carat deliver immense shine and satisfaction too!
A blog post on With Clarity states that a 1-carat quality aquamarine would cost approximately $675 per carat and a 2-3 carat aquamarine stone would be around $1,000 to $1,500 per carat.
Gemstock offers aquamarine with the average cost for good quality stones ranging from $130 to $400 per carat. The cost of a large natural aquamarine of high gem quality rich blue or blue colors comes to $800-900 per carat.
The Rare Gemstone Company notes that the finest “Santa Maria” deep blues from Brazil, can fetch upwards of $1,000 per carat.
The GemsNY website offers loose aquamarine gemstones for sale, with prices ranging from $50 to over $10,000 depending on the size, quality, and cut of the stone.
Determining Aquamarine Crystal Costs and Value
An aquamarine’s overall worth consolidates several variables including:
- Quality traits like color, clarity, cut grade
- Carat weight
- Treatment enhancements
- Source reputation
- Current market demands
Together these factors will give the final pricing from gem dealers and jewelers.
Aquamarine Color Grading System
Color is one of the most important factors when appraising aquamarine. Deeper, richer greenish blue gems attract higher premiums. Buyers grade hues as:
- Very Light Blue
- Light Blue
- Intense Blue
- Vivid Blue
The most valuable stones show an intense saturation that lacks dull or grey undertones. Size also matters: over 5 carats usually guarantees excellent color.
You’ll gain the best visual brilliance by selecting tones that suit your budget and then optimizing cut quality.
Aquamarine Clarity Levels
Unlike some soft gem types, aquamarine resists interior flaws well during formation. Typical grades include:
- Flawless: Zero blemishes at 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF): No interior defects but possible minor surface ones
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS): Minor defects tough to spot at 10x
- Very Slightly Included (VS): Noticeable inclusions at 10x but not unaided
- Slightly Included (SI): Visible interior flaws to the unaided eye
Best bets for jewelry lie in the IF through VS range. But even SIs work nicely for designer carvings concealing imperfections.
Aquamarine Cut Styles
Proportions directly impact visual light handling and sparkle distribution. Well-cut aquamarines properly balance:
- Table size
- Crown angles
- Pavilion depth
Common shapes include:
Going custom with a Signature cut maximizes individual beauty through precision. But classic rounds also never disappoint!
Carat Weight for Aquamarine
Aquamarines come with plenty of suitably transparent rough over 5 carats with available pieces up into the hundreds. Value per carat holds steady rather than climbing exponentially for larger gems.
Aquamarine Enhancements & Synthetics
Two final factors playing into aquamarine value worth mentioning include treatments and lab origins.
Minor enhancements like small clarity fillings or heat treatment for color don’t detract much appeal or durability assuming full disclosure. But dyed samples do lower worth.
Separately, synthetic manufacturers can recreate aquamarines virtually indistinguishable from mined. Consumers save 30-50% with lab gems while also having peace of mind.
If sourcing matters, stick with natural verified goods. But opting for more affordable synthetic aquamarines frees budgets for larger statement pieces.
Ancient Civilizations and Aquamarine
Aquamarine’s radiant color and subtle sparkle have attracted admiration for millennia across the world.
The name “aquamarine” actually comes from early Roman appreciation of the stone. Translated from Latin, it strongly captures the gem’s essence as “water of the sea.”
Philosophers like Pliny wrote effusively of its oceanic brilliance, musing it must have washed up from mythic mermaid troves. Clearly, the Romans liked and appreciated this gem greatly.
Ancient Egypt and Greece
Neighboring ancient cultures also prized aquamarine. The early Egyptians likely utilized it in burial ornamentation as a heavenly symbol of youth. And Greek artisans probably fashioned the transparent crystals into detailed sculptures or jewelry.
So from regions along the Mediterranean, aquamarine stood out as an appreciated gem choice for ages. Even today top sources lie in places like Italy and Greece.
Where Aquamarine Gemstones Forms Naturally Now
In modern times, major aquamarine deposits are found near the earth’s equator in warm, rainy areas favorable to mineral formation.
Prime locations include:
- The Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan
- Pegmatite mines in Kenya and Nigeria
- Granite pockets in Brazil and Zambia
- Alluvial gem fields of Sri Lanka and Madagascar
- Stream beddings in Tanzania and Afghanistan
Russia also recently had a benchmark discovery – a flawless crystal giant weighing in at a remarkable 19 inches long! So aquamarine shows no signs of rarity despite centuries of mining.
What Makes Aquamarine Stone Special?
Of course, more factors than heritage explain aquamarine’s lasting allure. Its uniqueness also stems from rare properties as a mineral.
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl family including gems like morganite and emerald. Chemically it consists of beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. This complex arrangement gives aquamarine’s signature durability and color retention.
On the Mohs Scale, aquamarine earns a 7.5 to 8 – quite resistant to scratching or fracturing during wear. This strength allows fashioning large, transparent cuts well-suited for bold jewelry.
Most aquamarines have very few visual blemishes internally or on surfaces. Combined with its high shine, aquamarine rates eye clean to flawless, making beautiful centers for engagement rings or pendants.
Of course aquamarine’s namesake seafoam tone proves its most recognizable attribute. While some crystals trend paler blue, many exhibit bolder blue-green hues greatly valued in the trade.
Aquamarine Jewelry Standout Role Among Royals
With its icy yet elegant splendor, aquamarine has decorated several famous women of status over the years.
Most recently, Meghan Markle donned the historic cocktail aquamarine ring of Princess Diana for her 2018 royal wedding reception. The impressive piece highlighted a 30-carat square emerald-cut aquamarine framed by diamonds.
Queen Elizabeth II also owns pieces with large aquamarines, although they rarely make public appearances. Either way, the gem retains high esteem among the nobility to this day.
The Meaning and Healing Properties of Aquamarine
Beyond royal circles, history shows aquamarine also long served populist positive purposes too.
Aquamarine remains the official March birthstone, symbolizing hope and health renewed each spring. Because it has gentle sea colors, sailors once carried aquamarine talismans for safety and good fortune on voyages.
Due to associations with calm waters, people regard aquamarine as soothing emotionally too. It allegedly promotes personal tranquility and refreshment of spirit. So modern healers often utilize it during chakra balancing therapies.
Love and Relationships
And owing to notions of aquamarine coming from mermaids’ treasure troves, some hold it can specifically enrich love. Many even select it as a unique alternative to classic diamond engagement rings.