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Aquamarine: The Basics

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Aquamarine: a word that simultaneously calms the spirit and brings gorgeous oceanic vistas to mind.  Few gemstones have been blessed with such an evocative and beautiful name, and few aquamarines are able to live up to the advertising.  However, when an aquamarine actually does justice to its name, it can be pure magic!

When you are shopping for aquamarine, disregard the insipid, anemic blue without any punch; aquamarine should be an intense experience.  The color should be richly saturated, and it can run the gamut from green-blue to intense marine blue.  Aquamarine should definitely remind you of the ocean, but please don't allow that notion to translate into a watered-down color.

Aquamarine is held to a pretty high standard for clarity; large crystals regularly occur with absolutely no visible inclusions.  Very deeply blue colored aquamarine can occasionally get a pass on visible inclusions, but the color must be more than exceptional and the inclusions not at all distracting.

Aquamarine is well suited to a number of shapes.  Fine quality material in a round brilliant or round Portuguese cut can flash and sparkle like crazy when it is cut well, but many fine historical pieces have been shaped in an emerald cut to showcase the purity of the color.  As long as the stone is well-proportioned, there really is not a shape that doesn't look good in this material.  A note on cutting quality: aquamarine is frequently cut for maximum size instead of maximum beauty, so be wary of stones with a "soft" or "sleepy" look.  Aquamarine should always appear crisp and lively!

How you decide to set an aquamarine should depend on the specific color of your gem.  More often than not, jewelers will choose to play off the coolness of the blue with a white setting; diamonds in white gold or platinum are a natural marriage with fine aquamarine.  However, stones can be successfully set in yellow gold, especially if you wish to highlight the green aspect of the color.  

Enjoy shopping for your aquamarine treasure!


Just as there are fine family diamonds that should be passed down from generation to generation, there are rare and exquisite colored gems which deserve that honor as well.  We hope we can help you find your family's future heirlooms!