Aquamarine Gemstones

Aquamarine is part of the beryl group of gemstones, which also includes the famous emerald. As the name suggests, aquamarine stones are a sea green, but there are varieties in the colour of these stones, ranging to sky blue and darker blue. Many aquamarine gemstones have been heat-treated to enhance their colour. Although less well known that its famous emerald cousins, aquamarines can have great depth of clarity, and a well cut aquamarine can result in very striking gemstone.

Loose Aquamarine Gemstones available to buy on eBay

About Aquamarine

Aquamarine is part of the beryl group of gemstones, which also includes the emerald, heliodor, pink beryl (morganite) and green beryl. Aquamarines range in colour from a light sea green to light blue, but it's also possible to find stones in dark blue, such as the gemstones found in Madagascar, or in Brazil and Mozambique. Fashions and tastes change, and darker aquamarine stones are becoming more popular these days, whereas sea-green was the most popular, especially in jewellery, around the turn of the 20th century and earlier. This means that the "classic" sea green stones can be found at cheaper prices these days, compared to the darker blue stones.

Aquamarine is another dichroic gemstone, meaning that the intensity of the colour appears different when viewed from different angles. Aquamarine crystals are large (up to 100cm) and very clear. This means it is (in gemstone terms) "easier" to find good size, clean (clear) stones. In fact some say it is easier to find better quality aquamarine than it is emerald.

Sea Green Aquamarine Gemstone

Blue Topaz and Aquamarine

Blue topaz looks very similar to aquamarine, and the two are often confused. Blue topaz is in general a lot cheaper. It can be a great, cost effective alternative to aquamarine, but be careful not to pay aquamarine prices for what is in fact blue topaz. Always check with the vendor and ask for verification.

Lab Made Aquamarine

You may see aquamarine gemstones at lower prices, with the word "Sim" or "Lab" somewhere in the description. This means they are actually man made stones - synthetic or simulated stones - made in a laboratory. They may be very beautiful in themselves, and can be used to great effect in jewellery. But prices should reflect the fact they are lab made.

Typical Aquamarine Uses

To enhance the colour of the aquamarine stone further, the gemstones are carefully faceted according to the best colour angle (rather than simply to get the biggest size). Either the step cut or brilliant cut are used for aquamarine stones. Flawed stones, such as cloudy or opaque aquamarine, are usually used for beads, or if large enough, a cabochon (rounded) stone. These can in fact be very interesting and can sometimes include a cat's eye effect.

Aquamarine Jewellery

Well cut or faceted transparent aquamarine stones can look stunning, with a sparkle way beyond their price would suggest. They are ideal for use in rings or pendants, or for smaller stones, for use in bracelets and earrings. Aquamarine is a subtle colour, and works well with either colourless stones such as diamonds, or indeed other gemstones of stronger colours.

Aquamarine jewellery can look subtle yet striking. It is the birthstone for March, and will make an excellent gift for anyone born in that month.

Aquamarine Occurrences and Origins

As mentioned above, the most sought after aquamarine stones these days are the darker blues. These come from Brazil and Mozambique mostly, as well as very distinctively dark stones of Madagascar. Other occurrences can be found in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Light Blue Aquamarine Gemstone