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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Aquamarine

Glossary: Aquamarine

What Is Aquamarine?

With one of the most uniquely beautiful hues among jewelry-grade gems, aquamarine elevates luxury jewelry designs with cool, peaceful hues. 

Named for seawater, the stone is a blue variety of the mineral beryl. With tranquil colors that evoke feelings of serenity, the beautiful gemstone grows in stunning six-sided prismatic crystals that can reach more than one foot long in length. When carefully cut and polished, the stones create alluring jewelry pieces, especially when surrounded by unique jewelry designs. 

History of Aquamarine

Aquamarine stones have been used in jewelry since ancient times. Roman fishermen dubbed the stones “water of the sea” and used them to help ensure safe ocean travel and to provide luck for bountiful catches. Aquamarine gemstones were also linked to the apostle St. Thomas who was known to commonly travel by boat. Roman physicians also used the blue stones to treat specific medical conditions.

The Sumerians, Greeks, Hebrews and Egyptians all coveted aquamarine gems. Beads were found with Egyptian mummies, and it was believed that the famous High Priest of the Second Temple wore aquamarine stones engraved with the storied six tribes of Israel. Over two thousand years ago, ancient Greeks engraved designs into large aquamarine stones, transforming them into striking intaglios.

For hundreds of years, experts thought the most valuable aquamarine stones were exclusively found in Brazil and other parts of South America. These days, however, the gems are commonly mined on every continent. From Russia and Pakistan to Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania and Sri Lanka, jewelry-grade aquamarine is found throughout the world. 


The beautiful blue-green colored March birthstone, aquamarine has one of the most unique hues among jewelry-grade gems. The name “aquamarine” is derived from two Latin terms: aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, which means “of the sea.”

Frequently associated with the sea, aquamarine crystals evoke the purity of stunning blue waters and the calmness of the crystal-clear sea. Spiritually, the gemstone is associated with trust, peace and letting go. 

In ancient times, aquamarine was regarded as the treasure of mermaids. Sailors would often use the stone as a talisman to inspire good luck on the vast open waters. The striking gem was also traditionally used as a symbol of fearlessness and protection.

These days, aquamarine is associated with happiness, youthfulness and hope, while also representing clear communication straight from the heart.

Shades and Varieties

Aquamarine’s preferred color is a slightly greenish blue to moderately strong dark blue. Most jewelry-grade gemstones are eye-clean, and larger examples are available without any visible inclusions. The best samples combine limpid transparency with high clarity. 

With little or no yellow, aquamarine birthstone jewelry looks gorgeous in many settings with different colored gemstones and metals. Since aquamarine is lightly colored, cutting is critical and well-cut gems show optimal brilliance.


As with all things, the value of aquamarine depends on many things, including supply, demand, gem quality and the specific jewelry piece. As a rough guide, a single-carat aquamarine might cost around $675 per carat, while a 2-3 carat aquamarine might cost approximately $1,000 to $1,500 per carat.

Nature also produces a highly collectible, exceptionally rare gem variety known as cat’s-eye aquamarine, which has microscopic growth tube inclusions that produce a compelling cat’s-eye effect. 

Aquamarine can also be made in laboratories but is more commonly imitated by treated glass, blue topaz, and synthetic blue spinel. This is why it’s especially important to buy your sea green gemstone from a reputable jeweler such as John Atencio. 

Aquamarine Care

Aquamarine is a relatively hard stone with good toughness. Even still, warm, soapy water is the best and safest cleaning option. Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe unless the stone has liquid inclusions or fractures. For optimal results, it’s best to have your aquamarine jewelry professionally cleaned at your nearest John Atencio location.

Aquamarine Jewelry

With its icy hue, aquamarine flatters winter ensembles, while bringing captivating flair to luxury jewelry pieces. 


With its tranquil blue hues, aquamarine adds a uniquely compelling and surprisingly versatile element to your finger. A good example is John Atencio’s Signature Aquamarine Ring, which features a stunning sea-blue aquamarine center stone framed by scintillating pave diamonds. 


Worn close to the heart, a beautiful pendant necklace is a meaningful gift that shows how much you care. And when it includes an eye-catching aquamarine gemstone, the piece takes on an intriguing feel that complements a variety of casual and professional attire.


Whatever your look, gemstone earrings add a touch of compelling color to your outfits. Aquamarine earrings are a striking way to frame your beauty in icy blue hues. 


Wrap your wrist in ocean-blue hues and add a touch of intrigue to your everyday look. Aquamarine bracelets are an easy way to illuminate your outfits, especially when accented with fiery white diamond gemstones.

Unique Aquamarine Jewelry

Coveted for its eye-catching blue color, aquamarine is available in a wide array of breathtaking jewelry selections. Whether you’re looking for an alluring alternative engagement ring or an impactful jewelry gift, this beautiful blue gemstone is a worthy selection. 

In addition to his existing aquamarine designs, John Atencio takes things further with personalized creations that express your unique taste. Leveraging just under a half-century of experience in design, John often works with customers to create uniquely beautiful wearable art, whether it’s a fashionable piece for everyday wear or an alternative engagement ring design with aquamarine and luxe diamond details.

Through every step of the exhilarating design process, John’s creative team works collaboratively with customers to refine every customized jewelry piece. Whatever your vision, John can turn it into reality while ensuring that your jewelry meets his own strict standards for durability, quality, and unmistakable beauty. 

Whether you want a vintage-inspired aquamarine engagement ring or contemporary jewelry that blends more than one style, John can craft a uniquely beautiful customized jewelry piece that’s every bit you. Visit one of our many convenient locations and let our courteous experts guide you to the ideal jewelry piece for yourself or that special loved one on your shopping list.