Aquamarine, the beautiful blue sister-stone of emerald, is one of the more interesting choices for engagement rings. Its name means “Water of the Sea” in Latin, which is quite romantic in and of itself, especially if the engagement ring is for someone who loves the sea.
But while aquamarine looks gorgeous, is it a good stone for engagement rings? Are there any tricks or subtleties you need to know about before buying an aquamarine engagement ring?
In this article, we’ll go over all the vital information regarding buying an aquamarine engagement ring.
- What Is Aquamarine?
- How to Evaluate Aquamarine Gemstones?
- Is Aquamarine Durable Enough for An Engagement Ring?
- Best Ring Settings and Styles for Aquamarine
- How to Clean and Care for An Aquamarine Engagement Ring
- Meaning of An Aquamarine Gemstone in An Engagement Ring
- Aquamarine Imitations and Synthetic Aquamarines
- Aquamarine Engagement Ring Shopping Tips
What Is Aquamarine?
Aquamarine solitaire engagement ring. Check price here.
Aquamarine is the blue variation of the mineral beryl. It’s usually light blue in color but can sometimes be found in deeper blue shades and often has greenish hues. Other beryl variations include the famous green Emerald, and the less popular yellow Heliodor and the purple-pink Morganite.
Light blue aquamarines are typically cheaper than vivid ones so an engagement ring with a light blue aquamarine can be quite budget-friendly whilst still being beautiful. Light green variations of Beryl can also be easily transformed into aquamarines by jewelers if heated to 750º F / 400º C.
Additionally, it should be noted that some light blue or blue-green variations of the stone can fade after prolonged exposure to sunlight which can be an issue, especially on an engagement ring. That’s why it’s vital to always buy your aquamarine gemstones from reputable dealers who wouldn’t sell you sub-par gemstones.
How to Evaluate Aquamarine Gemstones?
When evaluating aquamarine stones for engagement ring use there are several factors to consider:
- The quality of the stone. As we said, sub-par aquamarines can fade in color after a while so it’s important that you find a dealer you can trust. While you’re at it, try to use a second opinion as well. Also, avoid fakes such as light blue topaz which some dishonest jewelers try to pass as the more expensive aquamarine.
- The exact color you want. Lighter aquamarines aren’t necessarily “bad” – they’re less expensive simply because they are more common. If you want a darker blue aquamarine you’ll have to search a bit more and be prepared to pay a heftier price, but whichever color you prefer can be found in a good-quality stone.
- There shouldn’t be any visible flaws. One of the biggest advantages of aquamarine is that most stones used in jewelry are flawless in their clarity. That’s something that can be said about very few other gemstones including emeralds and diamonds. Almost all aquamarines you see should be completely devoid of visible inclusions – both the less expensive ones and the more expensive stones- so if you’re offered a cheaper stone with noticeable flaws – don’t buy it.
- Look for a good cut. Aquamarines are cut and faceted in any shape and form so you can easily find an aquamarine in whatever cut you want. The more popular cuts are the same as those for other engagement ring gemstones – round cuts, princess cuts, cushion cuts, etc. Just make sure that whatever you get is well-cut and properly faceted.
- Make sure the price fits the stone. Aquamarines can vary a lot in price depending on the rarity of their color and the quality of the stone. Paying more for a deeper shade of blue is perfectly fine but don’t overpay for a light blue aquamarine.
Is Aquamarine Durable Enough for An Engagement Ring?
In a word – yes.
Aquamarine sits at 7.5 – 8.0 on the Mohs hardness scale which is much lower than diamonds (Mohs 10) and other gemstones like sapphire (Mohs 9), ruby (Mohs 9) and moissanite (Mohs 9.25) but it’s more than hard enough for an engagement ring. Toughness is than hardness and refers to the stone’s ability to withstand breakage whereas hardness refers to its scratch resistance. In general, aquamarine is considered tough and hard enough for daily wear.
Still, it should be noted that you’ll have to be more careful with an aquamarine stone on your finger than with a diamond. It can be chipped off upon impact with hard surfaces. Aquamarine also has a tendency to develop internal cracks when struck so you should be careful not to hit your ring against anything. Having your aquamarine stone set in a protective setting (e.g.: bezel, halo, flush settinsg) is also a generally good idea for that reason.
Lastly, aquamarines can change their color and fade when exposed to prolonged and/or intensive heat so taking the ring off when around intense heat sources, like when cooking, is a good idea.
Best Ring Settings and Styles for Aquamarine
Aquamarine suits a wide range of ring settings and styles. It pairs well with white metals, like white gold, silver or platinum, as the blue of the stone beautifully contrasts with the white metal to create a crisp, cool, modern look. However, if you like a more statement, vintage look, consider a yellow or rose gold setting.
Rose gold aquamarine ring with diamond detailing. Check price here.
For the best protection, opt for a halo or bezel setting. Halo settings not only protect the stone from bumps and knocks but it also adds extra sparkle and dazzle to the aquamarine. Bezel settings offer the most amount of security to a gemstone, but it can also minimize its sparkle and make the stone appear smaller.
Because many retailers work with aquamarine, you’ll easily be able to find a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring in a style that suits you.
How to Clean and Care for An Aquamarine Engagement Ring
Given that aquamarine is a bit more fragile than diamonds and some other gemstones, you should really be extra careful with it. Always take your engagement ring off when you’re about to engage in manual labor and always protect it from hard surfaces. If you’ve chosen something edgier like a princess cut or a high and unprotected ring setting, be mindful of the stone snagging on every day objects like clothes or furniture as this can damage it.
Also, when storing your aquamarine engagement ring it’s important to have it well-protected – in a separate box or compartment and wrapped in a soft piece of cloth.
As for cleaning your ring and gemstone, periodic cleaning should be fine. If you allow for dust and dirt to accumulate on your ring and especially between the stone and the setting, this can cause enough wear and tear to abrade the stone over time and to cause scratches. To avoid, it’s recommended that you bring your ring for an annual checkup with your jeweler – ask them about this when purchasing the stone – and you should also regularly clean it yourself with lukewarm soapy water and a soft piece of cloth.
This kind of care is normal for any gemstone, even diamonds and sapphires, if you want to ensure that they remain sparkling and bright.
Meaning of An Aquamarine Gemstone in An Engagement Ring
Aquamarine is one of those gemstones with a myriad of different spiritual meanings and uses. It’s said to bring the wearer the purification and tranquility of the deep sea and to also bring about inspiration, trust, and the willingness to let go of negative things.
In a lot of ancient cultures, aquamarine stones were believed to be the treasure of mermaids and were worn by sailors for good luck. Even today it’s believed to protect those who travel near, by or over water.
What’s probably most meaningful for an engagement ring, however, is that the aquamarine stone is also said to channel heartfelt and clear communication.
Aquamarine Imitations and Synthetic Aquamarines
As we mentioned above, topaz stones are very popular imitations of aquamarines. Light blue topaz look very much like aquamarines and are quite cheaper so a lot of dishonest vendors don’t hesitate to sell one instead of the other.
Topaz stones are very beautiful in and of themselves, of course, and can rarely be distinguished from aquamarines with the naked eye. Can you guess which of the following is a topaz and which is aquamarine?
By Alysha Whitfield. See it here.
By Joy Personalized. See it here.
The ring on the top is the topaz. Did you guess it right?
What makes topaz inferior to aquamarine, especially for engagement rings, is the fact that it has cleavage – that’s the tendency of a gemstone to easily crack or break along internal lines, which is a huge drawback for an engagement ring stone.
To check if a stone is topaz or aquamarine, you’ll need a magnifying glass or a loupe. The two things you’d want to look for are whether there are any inclusions or green hues present inside the stone. As we mentioned above, one of aquamarine’s biggest draws is that it very rarely has any visible inclusions so if a particular gemstone has them, it’s either topaz or a sub-par aquamarine. As for the color hues – blue topaz stones don’t have green hues so if you spot such nuances in the stone, it’s almost certainly aquamarine.
If you’re uncertain you should either look for a second professional opinion or move on to a more reputable vendor.
As for synthetic aquamarines – these do exist but there are very expensive to produce so you shouldn’t see them on the engagement ring gemstone market.
Heat treating is another thing we should mention – aquamarine stones are very often heat treated before they reach the market as such treatments really enhance their colors. This is a common practice, however, and it’s viewed as acceptable for this gemstone. Still, your vendor should let you know if that’s the case and disclose any information to you.
Aquamarine Engagement Ring Shopping Tips
The main tip you should keep in mind when shopping for an aquamarine engagement ring is the same tip you should remember at all times – always work with a reputable vendor with great reviews and a solid track record.
If you’re working with a trustworthy vendor you can rest assured that you’re getting quality for your money, you’re not getting cheated with a sub-par stone, and you can rely on all the additional perks and services offered by good vendors.
If you do decide to buy an aquamarine engagement ring, always make sure that the site you’re using offers HD and 3D views of their actual stones (and not stock images) and also have a good return policy.
Because aquamarine is the birthstone of March, most jewelry retailers offer very good collections of aquamarine jewelry, including rings. We recommend searching James Allen and Blue Nile to get your search underway.