Aquamarine is the name used for gem-quality specimens of the mineral beryl within a color range of greenish blue to blue. The name is used regardless of a stone’s tone or saturation. So, aquamarines can range from a very light, almost imperceptible color to stones with a rich vibrant color.
Most aquamarine has a very light color, which can be almost unnoticeable in very small stones. Stones with a rich blue color are the most popular. They are also the rarest and most valuable. Aquamarine is such a popular gemstone that it can be found in almost any jewelry store in the United States and Canada.
Aquamarine has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8, making it one of the harder gemstones. Diamond, ruby, sapphire, topaz, and chrysoberyl are the only popular gemstones that are significantly harder. Hardness is a property that enables a gem to resist scratching. However, aquamarine’s tenacity is rated as brittle – which means that the gem can be easily chipped upon impact. A mounting that guards the stone from impact and not wearing the gem during activities that might result in accidental impact are important precautions.
The price of aquamarine is mainly determined by weight and the strength of its color. Gems with a faint blue color are abundant and inexpensive. Gems with a rich blue color are much more expensive because rich color in aquamarine is very rare. A small aquamarine with a rich blue color will cost a lot more than identical-size stones with a faint blue color.