Is Aquamarine Expensive? (Read This First)

“How much does aquamarine cost?”

It’s a common question for anyone captivated by this gem’s ocean-like colors.

After spending weeks researching aquamarine pricing, I’ll give you detailed information about aquamarine’s price.

I will also explain the 4 essential characteristics color saturation, clarity, cut, and weight which determine its true value.

Armed with these insider tips, you’ll have the expertise to comparison shop, snag bargains, and build an aquamarine collection you’ll treasure for a lifetime – without overspending.

Is Aquamarine an Expensive Stone?

Aquamarine, a member of the beryl family, is not typically as expensive as gems like diamonds or sapphires, but its price can vary greatly depending on several factors. 

The factors that most significantly affect the cost of aquamarine include its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Stones with a deep blue color, high clarity, and larger size are priced higher. While aquamarine is more affordable than other blue gemstones, high-quality pieces can still fetch a considerable price.

How Much Does Aquamarine Cost?

The price per carat for Aquamarine varies significantly based on color, clarity, and other factors. The average cost for what’s generally considered good-quality aquamarine ranges between $130 to $400 per carat. In broader terms, aquamarine per carat costs range from $70 to as high as $3,000.     

The most prized aquamarines are those with an intense blue color, often called “Santa Maria” aquamarines, which can command prices at the higher end of that spectrum.

Aquamarine Price Per Unit

Aquamarine is commonly sold by the carat. Prices can escalate with the size and quality of the stone. The table below provides a general overview of aquamarine prices across different weights and quality levels:

WeightLow QualityMedium QualityHigh Quality
Per Gram$25 to $100$150 – $500$500 – $1,000+
Per Carat$5 – $15$20 – $50$100 – $200
Per Kilogram$5,000 – $15,000$20,000 – $50,000$100,000 – $200,000
Per Pound$2,268 – $6,804$9,072 – $22,680$45,360 – $90,720

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary widely depending on the individual stone’s quality and the current market.

Top Aquamarine Stone

The most valuable aquamarines are those with a strong, vibrant blue color, often compared to the clear blue of tropical oceans. 

The Santa Maria aquamarines hail from Brazil and are particularly sought after for their deep, saturated blue hue.

Another coveted type is the ‘Santa Maria Africana’ aquamarine, found in Africa, known for a similar color to the Brazilian stones but usually available at a slightly lower price point. Note that the mine itself typically has a more significant impact on the gem’s value than the country of origin. 

Another factor contributing to an aquamarine’s value is the stone’s cut. Expert cutting can maximize the stone’s color and clarity, making it more appealing and, thus, more valuable.

Collectors and buyers often seek out well-cut aquamarines that showcase the stone’s beauty to its full potential.

While aquamarine is not the most expensive gemstone on the market, its price can vary widely. The cost primarily depends on the stone’s quality attributes, with the finest aquamarines fetching higher prices. 

Those interested in purchasing aquamarine should consider their budget and the quality of the gemstone to find a piece that meets their needs and preferences.

Cheap vs. Expensive Aquamarine Comparison

Here are key indicators used to determine the difference between cheap and expensive aquamarine stones. 

  • Color: The color of aquamarine ranges from pale to deep blue. The most sought-after stones are those with a rich, sky-blue color. Deeper blue aquamarines, often called Santa Maria, are typically the most expensive.
  • Clarity: Like many gemstones, aquamarines with fewer inclusions are more valuable. Stones with high clarity and transparency fetch a higher price.
  • Cut: A well-cut aquamarine will exhibit a better color and brilliance. Expert cutting can enhance the stone’s natural beauty, thus increasing its price.
  • Carat Weight: Larger aquamarines are rarer and, as a result, more expensive. As the size of the stone increases, the price per carat also rises.

Keep in mind that while these can provide a general idea, only a gemologist or similar professional is qualified to determine a more precise value. 

Price Range of Aquamarine

Aquamarine prices are generally divided into two broad categories.

Inexpensive Aquamarines: Smaller aquamarines (under one carat) with lighter colors and more inclusions can be quite affordable, often found in commercial jewelry.

Expensive Aquamarines: Large stones with deep, intense color and high clarity are on the higher end of the price spectrum. These stones are generally used in fine jewelry and can command thousands of dollars per carat.

Aquamarine Pricing Metrics

The price of aquamarine is typically assessed per carat. Here’s a general price breakdown:

Per Gram: Lower quality aquamarines can cost between $5 to $15 per gram, while higher quality stones can reach up to $200 per gram.

Per Carat: For low-quality stones, prices might range from $25 to $100 per carat. Mid-range stones can cost between $150 to $500 per carat, and high-quality stones may exceed $1000.

Per Kilogram/Pound: Given that aquamarines are not usually traded in such large quantities, these metrics are less commonly used but follow the same scaling of quality and size as per gram or carat.

Visual Representation of Pricing

A visual aid such as a table can be helpful for buyers to understand the pricing at a glance:

Quality LevelPer CaratPer GramPer KilogramPer Pound
Low Quality$5 – $15$25 – $100$5,000 – $15,000$2,268 – $6,804
Medium Quality$20 – $50$150 – $500$20,000 – $50,000$9,072 – $22,680
High Quality$100 – $200$500 – $1,000+$100,000 – $200,000$45,360 – $90,720

Is Raw Aquamarine Expensive?

Raw aquamarine, also known as rough aquamarine, is a gemstone in its natural form, uncut and unpolished. 

While raw aquamarines are generally less expensive than their cut and polished counterparts, they can still be quite valuable, especially if they exhibit desirable colors and are of considerable size.

The expense of raw aquamarine is relative; it can be quite affordable compared to other gemstones. However, size, color intensity, and clarity still apply.

Raw aquamarines with deep blue hues and larger sizes can be expensive and sought after by collectors and jewelers who wish to cut and polish the stones according to their designs.

While raw stones are less expensive on a per-carat basis, their value increases significantly once they have been expertly cut and polished. A high-quality raw aquamarine can still fetch a reasonable price on the market, mainly if there is potential for it to be transformed into a stunning finished gemstone.

Aquamarine is unique in the world of gemstones with its oceanic colors and various qualities.

Whether considering a polished stone set in a piece of fine jewelry or a raw gemstone for your collection, understanding these factors can help you navigate the market and find an aquamarine that fits your aesthetic preferences and budget.

What Color Aquamarine Is Most Valuable?

Aquamarine gemstones are cherished for their tranquil, sea-blue colors, ranging from the palest hint of blue to deep, saturated hues. Color plays a pivotal role in determining the value of an aquamarine, with some shades commanding higher prices than others.

Identifying Valuable Aquamarine Colors

  • Deep Blue Hues: The most valuable aquamarines exhibit a rich, deep blue color, often compared to the tropical seas. This vibrant color is rare and sought after by collectors and jewelers alike.
  • Sky-Blue Shades: Another prized color in aquamarines is the intense sky-blue shade, free from green or gray overtones. These stones can command high prices, particularly when they possess clarity and brilliance.
  • Santa Maria Aquamarines: Among the most prestigious are the so-called Santa Maria aquamarines, named after the Brazilian mine where they were first discovered. These stones are known for their deep, intense blue hues and can reach top market prices.

Factors Affecting Aquamarine Color

The color of aquamarine is influenced by the presence of iron within the beryl crystal structure. Different geological conditions can affect the amount and type of iron, determining the stone’s color.

Impact of Cut on Color

The cut of an aquamarine can enhance its color, making it appear more vivid. A well-executed cut can maximize the stone’s blue hues and minimize any green or yellow tones, thereby increasing the gemstone’s overall value.

The Rarity of Deep Blue Aquamarines

Deep, saturated blue aquamarines are rare because the conditions required for their formation are not commonly found. Most aquamarines mined are lighter in color, making the deep blue varieties much more valuable.

The Influence of Size on Color Intensity

Larger aquamarines often exhibit more intense colors due to the greater depth of the stone, allowing for more absorption and reflection of light. Consequently, larger stones with deep blue colors are among the most expensive aquamarines.

The Most Expensive Aquamarine Crystal

The most expensive aquamarine crystal is the “Dom Pedro Aquamarine” stone, which draws its name from the first Brazilian emperors.

Unearthed from a mine in Brazil during the 1980s, it was later acquired by Jane Mitchell, an American benefactor and art connoisseur. She entrusted Bernd Munsteiner, a master of gem cutting, with the task of shaping this magnificent crystal.

Tipping the scales at 10,363 carats and standing proud at 14 inches, the “Dom Pedro” is a spectacle of blue-green hues, celebrated for its massive size and crystal-clear purity. Its distinctive concave cuts amplify its allure, ensuring that it shines in all its glory.

Today, it captivates audiences at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, symbolizing the timeless allure and rarity that aquamarine crystals hold for collectors worldwide.

Characteristics of Expensive Aquamarine Crystals

The most expensive type of aquamarine crystals typically have the following characteristics. 

  • Size: Expensive aquamarine crystals are often large, with some exceptional pieces weighing several pounds. These large specimens can be cut into numerous high-quality gemstones or kept as impressive singular pieces.
  • Clarity: High-end aquamarines are expected to have few inclusions and exhibit crystal-clear transparency. This clarity level allows maximum light penetration, enhancing the stone’s natural sparkle and color.
  • Color Consistency: The most expensive aquamarines’ color is deep and consistent throughout the crystal. Uniformity in color distribution adds to the stone’s beauty and rarity, increasing its market value.
  • Provenance: Expensive aquamarine crystals often come with a documented provenance, which adds to their allure and collectability. Stones from famous locales or those with an exciting history can fetch higher prices.

Any crystal with several of those features has a high likelihood of being one of the more expensive types. 

The Market for High-Quality Aquamarine

In the gemstone market, aquamarines are strongly preferred to display a vivid blue color without any greenish tint. These stones are in high demand for fine jewelry and can attract premium prices.

The Role of Provenance in Value

The origin of an aquamarine can also play a significant role in its value. Stones from famous mines, such as the Santa Maria mine in Brazil or the high-altitude mines in Pakistan, are often considered more valuable due to their historically recognized quality.

Generally speaking, the most valuable aquamarines boast a deep, lucid blue hue, free from green or gray tones. The combination of size, clarity, and color consistency contributes to the high value of these gemstones. 

While the market for aquamarines is diverse, the rarest and most exceptional pieces are considered treasures of the natural world, commanding prices as deep and vast as the ocean colors they mirror.

The Role of Weight in Pricing

The carat weight of an aquamarine significantly impacts its value, with larger stones typically commanding higher prices. This trend is due to the rarity of finding aquamarines in substantial sizes without compromising on other quality factors like color and clarity.

For instance, a small aquamarine, under 5 carats, might be reasonably affordable, but as the size increases, particularly over 10 carats, prices escalate sharply, reflecting their scarcity.

This weight-based pricing is evident in market trends, where aquamarines over 15 carats can fetch prices comparable to more commonly known precious stones. The carat weight, in harmony with color, clarity, and cut, elevates the stone’s appeal and value, making it a sought-after gem in the mineral kingdom.

Comparing Aquamarine with Other Common Crystals and Gems

When assessing the value of aquamarine relative to other gemstones, it’s crucial to consider several factors, including rarity, demand, and inherent qualities of the stones such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Diamonds?

Generally, aquamarine is not more expensive than diamonds. Diamonds are renowned for their unmatched hardness and brilliance and command a higher price due to their status as a symbol of luxury. The price of diamonds is influenced by their grading on the four Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carat), which can drive their prices significantly higher than aquamarine.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Blue Topaz?

Aquamarine typically holds a higher value than blue topaz. Blue topaz is often less expensive because it is more abundant, and its blue color is usually achieved through treatment methods. Aquamarine’s natural color and rarity make it a more prized and, thus, more expensive stone.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Amethyst?

Aquamarine generally costs more than amethyst. While amethyst is widely admired for its vibrant purple hues, it is more commonly available and less expensive. In contrast, high-quality aquamarines, with their desirable blue color and excellent transparency, can fetch higher market prices.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Sapphire?

Sapphire is typically more expensive than aquamarine. Sapphires are one of the most precious gemstones available, especially those with a vivid blue color. The intensity and saturation of a sapphire’s blue color can significantly increase its value, often making it more costly than aquamarine.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Emerald?

Emeralds are generally pricier than aquamarines. The price of emeralds is driven by their rarity and the high demand for their lush green color. Although both stones belong to the beryl family, emeralds are valued for their unique green tones and are often more sought-after, resulting in higher prices.

Is Aquamarine More Expensive Than Ruby?

Rubies are usually more expensive than aquamarines. As a member of the corundum family, rubies are highly valued for their deep red color and rarity. Their price can significantly exceed aquamarines, particularly for rubies with a saturated blood-red hue, among the world’s most valuable gemstones per carat.

Final Words

The value of a gemstone is determined by a combination of factors, including rarity, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Aquamarine’s place in this spectrum is bolstered by its unique characteristics. 

For those seeking the tranquil blue of an aquamarine, it offers a more accessible price point than other blue gemstones like sapphires.

While it may not reach the lofty prices of emeralds or rubies, a fine aquamarine is still a precious and sought-after gemstone that can hold significant value both in the market and in the eyes of collectors and enthusiasts.

About the Author | + Rencent Posts

Nia Ivy is an intuitive empath, reiki healer, and certified yoga instructor. She teaches workshops on energy healing, developing intuition, and using yoga and meditation to tap into higher states of consciousness. Nia believes we all have innate healing abilities if we cultivate the self-awareness to access them. Her own spiritual awakening came through consistent mindfulness practices. She aims to hold space for others to find their inner light.

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