Legends say that aquamarine originated in the treasure chests of fabulous mermaids...

Aquamarine has long been considered a divisive stone; you either love them or love to hate them. With its unique color — non-replicable in nature — Aquamarine could be the enigma we all see.


aqua beauty

Aquamarine has long been considered a divisive stone – a unique color not replicated by anything natural. A member of the Beryl family, and cousin to gorgeous green emeralds and pink morganites, Aquamarine comes in serval shades of soft blue and greenish blue and are categorized as a type I stone, meaning that they are usually eye clean.

It’s important to point out that a majority of aquamarine has been heat treated – finding the un-treated stones is considerably more difficult – although getting easier these days with a prolific hoard coming from Brazil in colors and clarities that need no help. Heating Aquamarine does not tent to change the color, but rather it minimizes impurities that cause the green, leaving behind a pure, crystal clear pastel blue.


Aquamarine is a good stone to work with in practical terms. It is a 7.5-8 in Mohs scale of Hardness and is extremely scratch resistant. Because of its durability, this gemstone must be set in an equally strong metal to be long-lasting. Silver is relatively soft, while gold is more enduring and platinum the strongest jeweler’s metal.

Aquamarine is not especially brittle, but heat should be avoided. The stone itself is not particularly heat sensitive, but it may contain invisible liquid-filled inclusions which, when heated, turn to gas as they expand, and can shatter a stone. If heated much hotter than 450 degrees C, aquamarine is likely to turn chalky white or colorless.

The ultrasonic is safe if you use caution not to plunge the stone from room temperature to boiling. Pickle presents no problems, but the stone should be allowed to cool first.


Aquamarine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Be sure to ignore recommendations that suggest using household cleaning agents, such as toothpaste, vinegar, or ammonia.


gem lore

Adopted as the birthstone for March in 1912, aquamarine has had varied uses over the course of centuries. 2000 years ago Emperor Nero used thin slices of Aquamarine to aide in his poor vision – fast forward a few years to the 1450’s and Germans, famous for precision gemstone cutting, used thin slices for the optics used when cutting gems and in the early versions of eye glasses– so far so that the German word for ‘eyeglass/glasses’ is die brille, believed to be originated from the mineral name beryl. Fast forward another hundred years and you have the Spanish believing that Aquamarine was directly related to the fountain of youth as passed along in stories of the Egyptians to Ponce de Leon. Perhaps it was because gemstones have long been thought of as a stone of the sea, keeping sailors protected under Neptune’s watchful eye – and Ponce de Leon was a great storyteller.

No matter which fabled tale you want to engage with, Aquamarine is a stone that can conjure great appreciation from many.


Letting a customer know that a stone is heated right up front, that it is an industry wide practice and is irreversible, can help you gain credibility – not all jewelers disclose this treatment. In addition, it can help you look and feel like the expert as you explain to them that removing impurities of the stone helps to reduce the underlying greenish colors and makes the stone the sky-blue that is so desired.

The same holds true for letting a customer know that the Aquamarine they are interested in is a natural unheated gem. It would not hurt to add in that due to the rarity of finding un-heated stones (remember, its common practice) the value of a particularly nice aquamarine can go up.

If you need help understanding more about the stones we offer within Stuller Gemstones™, please reach out to our experts, we are happiest when helping you succeed. Happy Selling!