If you’re looking for an engagement ring that's a bit more colorful than a diamond but just as elegant, you may want to consider choosing aquamarine. The light blue stone brings to mind the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, giving these rings a fresh vibe—not to mention, it's the "something blue" you won't have to think twice about. The color and history behind it make this option unique, but it’s still a timeless piece you’ll love years down the line.
What Is Aquamarine?
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family, with sister stones like emerald and morganite. The name comes from two Latin words, aqua marinus, and means “water of the sea,” which refers to its greenish-blue color. It’s known for its wonderful clarity, which gives it a dazzling look.
The myths and legends surrounding aquamarine only make it more desirable. “Legend has it that the aquamarine gemstone originated in the treasure chests of mermaids,” says jewelry expert Lauren McCawley. “Mariners have long carried the stone for protection against the wrath of the sea.” This stone will have an especially special meaning for anyone who loves the sea and the beach.
Meet the Expert
Pros and Cons of Aquamarine Engagement Rings
For many, the biggest advantage of opting for an aquamarine engagement ring over a traditional diamond is the price tag; aquamarine is much more affordable, even in larger carat weights.
The gorgeous color of aquamarine is another big advantage. “If you’re attracted to color gemstones, it comes as a refreshing alternative to a colorless diamond or a more budget-friendly alternative to a blue diamond,” explains certified diamontologist Kim Kanary. Aquamarine is also versatile, available in a variety of shades that work well with a range of cuts.
“The stone is quite resilient, so it is a wonderful alternative to a diamond as far as durability,” McCawley says. Kanary adds that it is a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale (for comparison, a diamond is a 10), which makes it suitable for everyday wear. However, a diamond is still more durable as it's the hardest gemstone. “Diamonds have a higher refractive index, which means they reflect light more, providing the brilliant sparkle that people love,” Kanary says.
What to Look for in an Aquamarine Ring
Considering an aquamarine for your engagement ring? Here are a few questions and answers you should know before purchasing an aquamarine engagement ring.
- What color variations should I look for? Aquamarine is generally described as light greenish-blue, but it does come in different shades, so you’ll want to decide which hue you like best. “Aquamarines come in a variety of color saturation, and the more common, pastel hues will be more affordable than the rarer, more vivid stones,” McCawley says. “Look for a color that speaks to your personal style, be it a calming pastel or a dramatic, deep blue aquamarine.” The color can also be intensified by deeper pavilions and higher crowns, so keep that in mind when looking at settings and designs.
- What cut provides the best look? For maximum sparkle, McCawley recommends looking for a cut graded as excellent. “While most faceted aquamarines are free from visible inclusions, have your jeweler help you select a stone that has even color and is ‘eye-clean,’ meaning that flaws aren’t visible to the naked eye,” she adds. Kanary also says to ask if the gemstone has been treated to enhance its color or clarity if that’s something that’s important to you.
- What metal pairs best with aquamarine? Aquamarine can mix well with any metal, although some metals may enhance the features while some may provide a contrast. “White gold will bring out the coolness, while yellow gold is generally warmer and will balance out the aquamarine,” says Kanary. Opt for white gold for more blue-toned stones and yellow gold for more green stones.
How to Care for an Aquamarine Ring
You’re going to take care of your aquamarine ring pretty much the same way you would care for a diamond or any other gemstone. “Gentle care and cleaning after every third or fourth wear is recommended,” McCawley says. “Use a soft toothbrush after soaking in gentle dish soap with warm water to clean it.”
Since you’re wearing it every day, you’ll also want to do a deep, more thorough clean every six months or so. Kanary says, “A deep hydroponic clean and checking of the prongs to ensure your aquamarine is still securely set is highly recommended at this twice-annual cleaning.”
Below, scroll through some of our favorite aquamarine engagement rings.
DeBebians Pavé Diamond Aquamarine Engagement Ring
Aquamarine gives this classic and simple style a more unique spin. The stone stands out on its own without a halo or elaborate setting, and the u-pavé setting adds a bit more sparkle.
Price at time of publish: $1,664
Effy Aquarius White Gold Aquamarine and Diamond Ring
This ring is an excellent example of how beautiful aquamarine looks in an emerald cut. Surrounded by smaller diamonds on a simple white gold band, this is sure to stand out on any hand.
Price at time of publish: $4,695
J.R. Dunn White Gold Teardrop Aquamarine and Diamond Double Halo Ring
To make your aquamarine ring even more unique, get it in a teardrop cut that actually works well with its history. The double halo and eternity band make this one extra dazzling.
Price at time of publish: $8,700
Bario Neal Radial Cluster Hex Sapphire Ring
Cluster rings are enjoying a moment in the spotlight right now, and mixing several different similar gemstones makes for an aesthetically pleasing design. This one features aquamarine stones with two kinds of sapphires and one champagne diamond for contrast.
Gemvara Scarlett Ring
Three aquamarine stones, with one as the center and two small ones as accents, add lots of color to your finger. A simple white gold band really allows this stone to take center stage.
Effy Aquarius Rose Gold Aquamarine and Diamond Ring
This stunning emerald-cut aquamarine stone is surrounded by tiny round and baguette diamonds for an interesting design. The double cushion cut halo in rose gold gives this a slightly vintage vibe.
DeBebians Oval Aquamarine Floral Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
For an ultra-feminine look, opt for this floral halo created by small round diamonds. The center oval aquamarine stone fits perfectly.
Price at time of publish: $1,811
Bario Neal Stellium Aquamarine with Diamond Halo Ring
This diamond halo has a celestial look to it in the shape of a sparkling star. The round aquamarine stone is set in the center, and the yellow gold band is a nice contrast to the color.
Bella Aquamarine Engagement Ring with Diamond Matching Band
This vintage-inspired ring features a round aquamarine center stone with an intricate milgrain and filigree band. The white diamond accents add a little extra sparkle.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Rough Aquamarine Engagement Ring with Meteorite
The unconventional bride will love this ring that definitely doesn’t resemble your typical engagement ring. A rough aquamarine stone may not be as sparkly, but it still catches the eye, especially when paired with meteorite and contrasting white gold.
Price at time of publish: $1,899
Artemer Geometric Baguette-Cut Aquamarine Ring
One larger baguette center aquamarine stone is surrounded by smaller baguette aquamarine stones on either side for a stunning finish. The slim yellow gold band gives this a more simple and delicate look.
Soho Gem Aquamarine Three-Stone Ring
An emerald-cut aquamarine diamond stands out when surrounded by two brilliant diamonds on either side. A simple band finishes this off perfectly.
Aquamarine Engagement Ring
Aquamarine makes it easy to play around with different styles, and this one is truly different. An oval cut aquamarine stone features asymmetrical side diamonds for a show-stopping take on a cluster ring.
Price at time of publish: $1,961
Emily Warden Designs Aquamarine Collage Ring
Shine bright with the emerald-cut aquamarine engagement ring of your dreams. Available in either 14k yellow gold or rose gold, this collage ring includes a round cut and baguette diamond for a stunning finish.
LisaJewelry US Oval Cut Aquamarine Engagement Ring
For the vintage-inspired bride in search of heirloom details, look no further. This oval cut aquamarine engagement ring is set apart by an art deco-inspired twisted band and diamond accents.
Price at time of publish: $615 for 14K white gold+M
Astley Clarke Paloma Ring
Sometimes less is more. This 18K gold vermeil ring is coupled with a captivating milky aquamarine gemstone that calls to mind a bygone era.
Bony Levy Iris Aquamarine and Diamond Ring
Perfect for stacking and just the right size for everyday wear, this dainty ring has won us over. An aquamarine center stone is flanked by six petite round diamonds on a yellow gold band.
Stone and Strand Teardrop Aquamarine Ring Set
Steer clear of tradition with not one, but two rings that are made for stacking and layering. This dazzling 10K yellow gold set features a unique pear cut aquamarine stone and smaller round light blue aquamarine stones.
Price at time of publish: $620
Sirciam Aquamarine Cloud And Moon Ring
What bride couldn't use a little extra magic on her big day? We love the celestial appeal that this enchanting aquamarine ring brings. The upper halo is encrusted by small stars and diamonds that offset the 3.75K aquamarine center.
EmiConnerJewelry Art Deco Inspired Cluster Engagement Ring
Pure elegance, right this way. As if the brilliant cluster setting wasn't enough to catch your eye, this handmade ring is made even more spectacular with a sky blue aquamarine center and surrounding cubic zirconia diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $650