How Much is an Aquamarine Worth? An In-Depth Guide to Aquamarine Value

With its captivating blue hues reminiscent of the ocean, aquamarine is a gemstone prized for its serene beauty. From ancient times to modern day, this enchanting beryl variety has been treasured in jewelry and lore. But what is aquamarine truly worth? Let‘s dive deep into the many factors that determine the value of this mesmerizing gem.

The Allure of Aquamarine: Color, Composition, and History

The name "aquamarine" comes from the Latin words for water (aqua) and sea (mare) – a fitting description for its signature blue-green color. Aquamarine is a type of beryl, a mineral composed of beryllium aluminum silicate. It gets its hue from trace amounts of iron and forms in metamorphic rocks and granite pegmatites.

Throughout history, aquamarine has been imbued with rich symbolism. Ancient Romans believed it could protect sailors at sea, while in medieval times it was thought to reawaken love in married couples. Today, it remains associated with tranquility, courage and clarity.

The largest aquamarine deposits are found in Brazil, Pakistan, and African countries like Nigeria, Madagascar and Mozambique. Gems are fashioned into many shapes, but emerald and oval cuts are most common to maximize color.

Evaluating Aquamarine Quality and Value

As with other colored gemstones, aquamarine value is determined by the "four Cs" – color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Understanding these quality factors is key to assessing an individual stone. Let‘s break them down:

Color

Color is the most important value factor for aquamarine. The most desirable hue is a pure, intense blue with no green tint or gray mask. Stones can range from very light to very deep blue, with medium tones considered ideal. Generally, the more saturated the blue color, the more valuable the gem.

Cut

Skilled cutting is essential to bring out aquamarine‘s best color and brilliance. Well-proportioned facets and symmetry can make a huge difference in a stone‘s beauty and value. Oval and emerald cuts are popular, as are round, pear, and cushion shapes. Cabochons and carved gems are also available.

Clarity

Most cut aquamarines are eye-clean, meaning they have no visible inclusions when viewed by the naked eye. Even very lightly included stones are acceptable. However, large, dark or numerous inclusions can lower value significantly. Any haziness or cloudiness also detracts.

Carat Weight

Aquamarine is known for large crystals, so bigger stones are relatively common compared to other gems like ruby or sapphire. Still, prices do rise substantially per carat as size increases. Typical cut gems weigh under 5 carats, but stones over 10-25 carats are seen in designer jewelry.

Natural vs Lab-Grown

It‘s important to know whether an aquamarine is earth-mined or created in a lab. Synthetic aquamarine has been produced for decades and has the same chemical and optical properties as its natural counterpart. However, lab gems usually sell for significantly less than mined aquamarines of similar appearance. Always ask if a stone is natural or lab-grown.

Aquamarine Price Guide

Putting it all together, what kind of prices can you expect for aquamarine? Here are some typical ranges for faceted stones:

  • Lower-quality (lighter color) – $5 to $100 per carat
  • Medium-quality (moderately intense blue) – $100 to $250 per carat
  • Higher-quality (vivid, deeper blue) – $250 to $1,000+ per carat, with an average around $675/ct for fine stones

Note that prices can climb much higher for rare, top-color Brazilian gems in large sizes. Always judge an individual stone by its specific qualities.

When buying aquamarine jewelry, prices depend on the center stone as well as the precious metal and any accent gems. A 14K gold ring with a 1-2 ct medium-blue aquamarine might cost $500-$1000, while a designer piece with a 5 ct+ vivid blue gem could run well over $5,000-$10,000.

Where to Buy Aquamarine

For the best selection and value, we recommend buying aquamarine from a knowledgeable, professional gem dealer or jeweler. Look for suppliers who specialize in colored stones and provide information on a gem‘s carat weight, measurements, color, and clarity.

Online, check out reputable dealers like:

  • Carat Online
  • Africa Gems
  • Geologica Gems
  • Lapigems

You can also find nice aquamarine jewelry at:

  • Angara
  • Blue Nile
  • Brilliant Earth
  • James Allen

Brick-and-mortar jewelry stores may have aquamarine as well, but pieces in stock will be more limited. Always ask for details on a stone‘s quality and origin. Avoid buying from unknown sellers or prices that seem too good to be true.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about aquamarine value and shopping tips? Here are some common inquiries:

Q: What is the most valuable aquamarine color?
A: Pure medium to deep blue with strong saturation and no green/gray tint.

Q: How can you tell a good quality aquamarine?
A: Look for an even blue color, excellent transparency, and no visible flaws. Well-cut stones will have good brilliance and scintillation.

Q: What cuts are best for aquamarine?
A: Ovals and emerald cuts are classic, but many shapes are used. Cutting should maximize color and clarity.

Q: Are bigger aquamarines more valuable?
A: Yes, all else being equal, price per carat goes up significantly as size increases. But color is more important than carat weight alone.

Q: How do I know if an aquamarine is natural or synthetic?
A: It can be difficult to tell without advanced testing. Always ask the seller if a stone is lab-created or mined and make sure the price matches its origin.

Q: What should I look for in an aquamarine engagement ring?
A: Choose a stone with a vivid blue color, eye-clean clarity, and excellent cut. Consider the style of the ring setting as well and make sure the gem is protected.

Q: Are aquamarines treated or enhanced in any way?
A: Most aquamarines on the market are untreated. Occasionally, gems may be heated to remove green tints and improve blue color. Always ask about treatments before buying.

The Bottom Line on Aquamarine Value

With its enchanting ocean-like hues and ancient mystique, it‘s no wonder aquamarine continues to captivate gem lovers. While not as costly as sapphire or emerald, this serene blue birthstone for March can command high prices when color and clarity are top-notch.

By understanding the key factors of aquamarine quality and value, you‘ll be well-equipped to find the perfect gem for your budget and tastes. Whether in a simple pendant or show-stopping ring, aquamarine‘s allure is truly timeless.

We hope this in-depth guide has helped you navigate the many elements of aquamarine worth. At the end of the day, the true value of this soothing gem lies in the joy and tranquility it brings to your life. So go ahead – dive into the mesmerizing world of aquamarine!

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