The Complete Aquamarine Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Aquamarine Consumer Information
  2. Aquamarine References in Antique Gemological Books

Aquamarine Consumer Information

As provided and validated by various gemmological organizations, laboratories and the "World Jewelry Confederation CIBJO"


Aquamarine can be worn in jewelry under normal use. Larger aquamarines should be worn with care, especially in settings such as rings that can be easily knocked
Cleaning: sudsy water and damp cloth


They frequently possess a vitreous clarity not found in emeralds. For this reason, aquamarines may be fashioned as exceptional clean gems and carvings
Lower grade aquamarines can have a milky appearance if the crystal has a lot of inclusions
a potentially desirable “cat’s eye” effect occurs when miniscule, hollow growth tubes form parallel to one another


Main colors: greenish blue to blue green
Light in tone and transparent
Some milky quality if lots of inclusions
Most collectible colors: aquamarines that have saturated, light blue colours are especially desirable, though a few beryl collectors prefer a slight greenish tinge


Consider every aquamarine heat treated
Heat treatment causes them to loose their secondary greenish color and create a more “aquamarine blue” gem
It is generally impossible to gemologically determine whether an aquamarine has been treated or not


Relatively large stones can be cut due to its hardness and relatively large crystals (up to hundreds of carats) without inclusions
Unusually cut gems are also popular, especially in gems that have been fashioned by an important lapidary artist.
Aquamarines and other beryls often lend themselves to sculptures because of their size


Most collectible:
Saturated, light blue colours
Gems that have been fashioned by an important lapidary artist or cut in unusual ways
Aquamarines from desirable localities, such as Santa Maria aquamarines from Itabira, in Brazil, are collectible in accordance to their legendary depth-of-colour

Aquamarine References in Antique Gemological Books

Aquamarine in US Geol. Survey

USGS 1906: On Californian Aquamarine: San Diego, Pala
USGS 1907: Aquamarine in California, Colorado and extensive treatise on North Carolina (Hidden)
USGS 1908: Mount Antero, White Mountain, Co. Gem Aquamarine at 14.000 ft. altitude
USGS 1911: Exceptional Aquamarine at the Beryl Hill Mine, MA

Aquamarine Carving | Religious Use | Jewelry

Roman secular carved Aquamarine
Cathedral of St. Veit with Aquamarine floors

Strange/Exceptional American Aquamarine

New York Aquamarine (Gratacap)
North Carolina Aquamarine (George Frederick Kunz)
Description of the Best Aquamarine in George Kunz’s time, cut into a 133 carat stone. Find the plate of this cut Aquamarine here and here is the description of the plate (number “G”)

Aquamarine Overview

Aquamarine does not loose its brilliancy in artificial lights, but was still not very highly valued.
Origin of name, overview classic “Aquamarine localities” and colors. Aquamarine Mine (photo) Mitchell County, N.C.
Different Aquamarine colors, their names and Beryl cutting and jewelry.

Aquamarine References before 1700

Georg Agricola on Aquamarine (footnote 18)
Albertus Magnus (probably later date)
Rev. King on Pliny and more Smaragdus and Aquamarine