High-quality aquamarine is still very affordable in sizes under 1 carat, costing between $250.00 to $500.00 per carat, 1-2 carat sized stones are priced between $350.00 to $1,000.00 per carat, and larger stones, which are on the rare side, are priced at $1,200.00+ per carat. Santa Maria colored aquamarine is regarded as the best in the world due to its unique blue color.
Aquamarine comes in a range of tones and saturations but it always has a blue hue. The darker the tone and higher the saturation the higher the cost per carat. Extremely large stones will bring higher prices per carat because of their rarity. The main sources of high-quality aquamarine come from Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, and Madagascar.
How to Determine Aquamarine’s Value and Cost
When determining the value of the gemstone you will be using GIA guidelines which means color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. You’ll want to look at each one of these individually and then circle back when finished to evaluate the stone as a whole. If you need help identifying aquamarine then go here first.
Color is going to be the most important factor when determining the value of gemstones. Clarity and carat weight are tied for the second most important factor. When valuing amethyst you’ll need to know that Siberian amethyst is the most sought after with amethyst sourced from Uruguay a close second.
Color – The more intense the color the more valuable the stone is. When dealing with warm colors, think of red and orange, you’ll want to determine if there are brown undertones. If you can’t see brown undertones then the color should be very vibrant. The more vibrant and saturated the color the more expensive the gemstone. If the gemstone has a unique “neon-like glow” then it will demand the highest price per carat.
Clarity – Buyers, and collectors prefer stones with no internal inclusions visible to the eye. Aquamarine can be found with visible inclusions all the way to flawless. To determine the clarity ranking you’ll need at a minimum a 10x loop and a higher-powered microscope to confirm internally flawless and flawless designations.
If you can visibly see the inclusion while holding the gemstone then the highest designation would be SI1 and if the inclusion detracts from the overall beauty of the stone then the clarity designation would be I1 – I3.
Clarity designations – FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3
Carat – Aquamarine can be found in sizes ranging from below 1 carat to above 10 carats. Generally speaking, aquamarine can be sourced in any carat weight. Extremely large stones will bring higher prices per carat because of their rarity.
Cut – It is sad to say but cut has the least impact on value and cost unless it affects the stone in an extreme way. For example, when you look at the stone you would be able to see through it which means light is not being reflected back to the eye. This is called a window in the stone and it would have to be quite large to impact the price. The other extreme would occur when you look at a stone and see a rough circle or oval shape inside the stone. This occurs when the stone is very shallow and it’s reflecting the rough girdle inside the stone. Note: the girdle is the edge/side of the stone where the pavilion and crown meet.
Colors by Value
Light Colored Aquamarine price per carat = $20.00 – $100.00
- Large sizes are common
- Mostly found in expensive jewelry
- Might have a light greenish-blue hue
Medium Colored Aquamarine price per carat = $30.00 – $700.00
- Common in all sizes
- Sometimes has a blue flash
Dark Colored Aquamarine price per carat = $250.00 – $1,000.00
- Medium to large stones are common
- Dark blue or double blue color
Santa Maria Aquamarine price per carat = $300.00 – $1250.00+
- Colored gemstone dealers will have these from time to time
- Fairly rare due to low commercial availability and high demand
Aquamarine Crystal = $100 – $1,000.00+
- Somewhat common if you know a rock and mineral dealer selling crystal specimens
- Highly sought after by rockhounds and crystal collectors
How valuable is aquamarine?
Aquamarine has brought a higher dollar per carat when dealing with Santa Maria and double blue colors. If you’re looking to add aquamarine to your collection then you should focus on stones with high saturation and hue.
Values of aquamarine will continue to increase
Each year I do research on market prices for aquamarine and I can tell you the prices for lighter-colored stones are fairly constant but the price for double blue and Santa Maria will continue to increase in price each year due to rarity.
If you’re not sure how to value a gemstone then you should consider a gemstone appraisal. Individuals acquiring gemstones through inheritance, estate sales, and auctions typically have the gemstone appraised to determine the value and to ensure the gem is what they think it is.