How to Buy Aquamarine Gemstone

Two Methods:Shop for QualityShop Smart

Aquamarine is a popular and affordable gemstone. It is a member of the beryl family, and gets its blue tint from traces of iron in chemical composition. Unlike its cousin, the emerald, this beryl-based stone is highly resistant to inclusions and relatively easy to mine, making it fairly common and much less expensive. If you want to buy aquamarine gemstones, you must learn how to spot a high quality stone. You should also shop smart by setting a budget and avoiding untrustworthy sellers.

Method 1
Shop for Quality

  1. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 1
    Look for a flawless or near flawless aquamarine for nicer jewelry. By nature, aquamarine is one of the cleanest gemstones available. Major inclusions are rare and often a sign of mistreatment. A quality aquamarine should not have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, and any inclusions that are visible through magnification should be slight and interior.
  2. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 2
    Consider an aquamarine with more noticeable inclusions if using the stone for beads or casual pieces. Even though aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, it can still get damaged if worn frequently or if it strikes a hard surface. If you expect a piece of jewelry to get roughed up, save money by purchasing an aquamarine with interior inclusions that are noticeable to the naked eye. Avoid surface inclusions, however, since these may make your stone more likely to chip or break upon being struck.
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    Decide on the right hue. Stones rich in blue are typically more valuable than green hues, but most blue-green hues are more valuable than borderline-clear stones. Ultimately, however, the right hue is a matter of personal preference.
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    Pick an appropriate intensity. Deep sky blue stones are the most valuable and, in general, darker shades are more coveted than light shades. Darker shades are rarer, and they also have a more vivid color than pale shades. This, too, is mostly a matter of personal preference, however.
  5. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 5
    Determine the carat weight you want.
    • Small aquamarines look nice in delicate pieces, but large aquamarines can make a striking statement.
    • Since aquamarine is fairly common, you can usually find large carat stones for affordable prices. For most gemstones, the price per carat rises considerably with more carats, but the price per carat for a 30 carat aquamarine is only a third higher than the price per carat of a 1 carat aquamarine.
  6. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 6
    Choose the high-quality cut. The cut of any gemstone determines its brilliance, or the way it reflects light. Well-cut aquamarines are highly reflective. Hold the stone up to the light and turn it to examine how the light strikes it from various angles.
  7. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 7
    Pick out a shape. Aquamarines are fairly easy to cut and resistant to fractures, which allows jewelers to offer the gemstone in a vast variety of shapes. Traditional shapes include round, pear, oval, square, and emerald, but many vanity and modern shapes are also available. Choose a shape that appeals to your sense of taste.
  8. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 8
    Ask about heat treatment. Heat treatment is a widely accepted practice used to enhance the blueness of a stone. Yellow-brown and yellow-green stones are heated to a temperature between 400 and 450 degrees Celsius, or 752 and 842 degrees Fahrenheit. This treatment is permanent and does not damage the stone.

Method 2
Shop Smart

  1. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 9
    Set a budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend before you shop to avoid falling in love with a stone that falls out of your price range. Only examine pieces you know you can afford based on your budget.
  2. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 10
    Know what to expect in price. Clarity, or the number of inclusions, often determines the quality of a stone. Prices also vary depending on color.
    • Low quality to mid-range aquamarines can range from $5 to $100 per carat.
    • Past 10 carats, mid-range aquamarines can cost between $150 and $200 per carat.
    • High quality aquamarines are much more expensive. An unheated light blue stone can cost around $90 per carat, while a light blue-green stone can cost between $180 to $240 per carat.
    • The most expensive unheated stones are medium to strong sky blue, and they can cost up to $550 and $600 per carat.
    • Heated aquamarines with a strong blue-green hue can cost around $180 per carat.
  3. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 11
    Choose a flattering metal. Many shoppers prefer silver and white gold settings, since theses cool-toned metals coordinate nicely with blue hues. Yellow gold settings often look nice with deep blue-green aquamarines, however.
  4. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 12
    Keep an eye out for imitation stones. Blue topaz is considerably less valuable than aquamarine, but the two stones can look very similar.
    • Avoid gemstones labeled as "Brazilian Aquamarine" or "Nerchinsk Aquamarine," since both of these actually refer to blue topaz.
    • Also avoid "Siam Aquamarine," which is actually blue zircon.
  5. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 13
    Avoid synthetic stones. Since natural aquamarines are prevalent and easy to mine, they often prove less costly than synthetic aquamarines.
  6. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 14
    Deal with reputable jewelers. Trusted chains are good place to start, but if you want a less expensive option, look at the selection offered by local jewelers and individual sellers. When going to a lesser known source, ask for official certification from a nationally recognized gemological organization, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
  7. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 15
    Consider buying loose wholesale aquamarines. Loose gemstones are often less expensive, and you can examine the quality of the stone more thoroughly. Loose stones also provide you with greater customization opportunities.
  8. Image titled Buy Aquamarine Gemstone Step 16
    Shop around. Check the prices and selection at various jewelers, both online and in person. Monitor each jeweler for sales and clearances.


  • Also consider aquamarine when selecting a gift for a 19th wedding anniversary, since it is considered the traditional gemstone for this occasion.
  • Consider buying an aquamarine for a special someone with a March birthday, since aquamarine is the birthstone for March.
  • Aquamarine comes in three different shades; green, blue, grey so make sure you are buying right shade.
    Tones of Aquamarine

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Categories: Jewelry and Watches