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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 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.
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.
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.