As blue as the Caribbean, aquamarine is said to be a favorite of mermaids and a protection against evil, depression, grief and marital discord. Aquamarine is also the traditional birthstone for March.
- Shop only with a reputable and trustworthy jeweler who is familiar with gemstones in general and aquamarine in particular.
- Ask if the stone has been treated in any way. Some common treatments to enhance gems include irradiation, heat treatment, dyeing and coating. Not all of these treatments will devalue the stone, but always ask so you know what you’re getting.
- Look at the color of the stone. Darker blue colors are the most valuable, but color ranges from a very light turquoise blue to a bluish green. Stones with green in them are less valuable – and therefore cheaper – than others.
- Check the clarity of the stone. Because aquamarine has a light pastel color, it is important that it be free of flaws or inclusions.
- Examine the cut of the stone. Be sure the light reflects evenly off the surface of the gem and that there are no scratches. Look at the stone from several different angles to be sure.
- Compare several aquamarines side by side. Look at the color, cut and clarity and choose the stone you like the best.
Tips:If you cannot afford a true aquamarine, a treated blue topaz may give you the color you prefer at a lower price.
Aquamarine is in the same family as the emerald, but emeralds are more brittle than aquamarines.
Warnings:If you’re shopping online, investigate the site’s return policy, and make sure you buy from a reputable online jeweler.