Although aquamarine is exclusively blue, it’s found in a range of shades within the blue family from a pale sky blue to blue-green. Just like many other minerals, the color can be lighter or darker depending on the stone. Aquamarine is a relatively rare and beautiful mineral that can be found in a variety of places worldwide and is a lovely stone to use in jewelry.
What Color is Aquamarine?
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family, with sister stones like emerald and morganite. Pure beryl is colorless so in order for beryl to acquire its signature blue color and become aquamarine, it requires the addition of iron to the crystal during formation. The name comes from Latin, aqua marinus and means “water of the sea,” which refers to its greenish-blue color.
Its color range is fairly narrow: it can be blue, very slightly greenish blue, greenish blue, very strongly greenish blue, or green-blue. The gem’s most valuable color is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue with moderately strong intensity. Generally the more intense the blue color, the more valuable the stone, but most aquamarine is a light greenish blue and the name is used regardless of a stone’s tone or saturation.
The gem is also pleochroic, which means it shows different colors in different crystal directions, in the case of aquamarine, they’re near-colorless and a strong blue. Aquamarine is available in a wide range of sizes. As the size of the stone increases the strength of its apparent color will also increase; it can be difficult to find a small gem with a rich blue color.
Is Aquamarine Good for Engagement Rings
Aquamarine rates 7.5-8 on Mohs hardness scale making it one of the harder gemstones. Toughness refers to a stone’s ability to withstand breakage whereas hardness refers to its scratch resistance. Aquamarine is considered tough and hard enough for daily wear, but can be chipped upon impact, so it’s worth considering a protective setting for this stone especially for use in an engagement ring.
This versatile gem can be cut into almost any shape, often as step-cut emerald, round or oval brilliants. A rough aquamarine stone may not be as sparkly, but it still catches the eye and is a more unconventional and unique option. Aquamarine can mix well with any metal; white gold will bring out the coolness and is perfect for more blue-toned stones, while yellow gold is warmer and perfect for more green-toned gems.
Legend has it that aquamarine originated in the treasure chests of mermaids, and mariners have long carried the stone for protection against the wrath of the sea. This stone will have a special meaning for anyone who loves the sea and the beach or someone looking for a more affordable stunning blue gemstone.