Home Knowledges Aquamarine vs. Tourmaline: Which is More Expensive?

Aquamarine vs. Tourmaline: Which is More Expensive?

by Madonna

When it comes to precious gemstones, few can rival the allure and beauty of aquamarine and tourmaline. Both of these gemstones are highly sought after for their stunning colors and unique properties. However, one question that often arises among gemstone enthusiasts and collectors is: which is more expensive, aquamarine or tourmaline? In this article, we will explore the factors that determine the value and pricing of these gemstones and attempt to answer this intriguing question.

Tourmaline: The Enigmatic Gem

Tourmaline, a gemstone with a fascinating history and a mesmerizing range of colors, has been prized for centuries. This mineral group comprises several distinct species, each with its own characteristic colors and properties. Some of the most renowned tourmaline varieties include:


1. Rubellite Tourmaline:

Known for its deep, vibrant red and pink hues, rubellite tourmaline is one of the most coveted varieties within the tourmaline family.


2. Paraiba Tourmaline:

Paraiba tourmaline, famous for its neon blue and green shades, commands astronomical prices due to its rarity.


3. Watermelon Tourmaline:

This unique variety displays a green exterior with a pink or red interior, resembling the cross-section of a watermelon.

4. Chrome Tourmaline:

Chrome tourmaline boasts intense green hues and derives its name from the chromium content responsible for its color.

5. Indicolite Tourmaline:

Characterized by its striking blue shades, indicolite tourmaline is highly regarded in the gemstone world.

Factors affecting tourmaline price

The price of tourmaline can vary significantly depending on several factors:

1. Color:

The most important determinant of a tourmaline’s value is its color. Rare and vivid colors such as the neon blues and greens of Paraiba tourmaline or the deep reds of rubellite tourmaline can command exorbitant prices.

2. Clarity:

Like all gemstones, tourmaline’s clarity also affects its value. Stones with fewer inclusions and blemishes are considered more valuable.

3. Carat Weight:

Larger tourmaline gemstones are rarer and more valuable, especially if they exhibit exceptional color and clarity.

4. Origin:

The place of origin can significantly impact the value of tourmaline. Paraiba tourmaline, for instance, is named after the Brazilian state of Paraiba, and stones from this region are particularly prized.

5. Treatments:

The presence of treatments or enhancements, such as heat treatment to improve color, can influence the price. Untreated stones are often more valuable.

Aquamarine: The Serene Blue Beauty

Aquamarine, often referred to as the “gem of the sea” due to its enchanting blue hues, is another beloved gemstone in the world of jewelry and gem collecting. This gemstone is a variety of the mineral beryl, which also includes emerald. Aquamarine is known for its calming blue colors, ranging from pale blue to deep blue-green. Key factors that determine the value of aquamarine include:

1. Color:

The most crucial factor in evaluating aquamarine is its color. The finest aquamarines exhibit a pure, vivid blue or greenish-blue hue with excellent clarity. These stones are more valuable than those with a paler or less saturated color.

2. Clarity:

Like tourmaline, clarity plays a significant role in determining the value of aquamarine. Gemstones with fewer inclusions and blemishes are more highly prized.

3. Carat Weight:

Larger aquamarine gemstones are less common and, consequently, more valuable than smaller ones, assuming they possess the same color and clarity characteristics.

4. Cut:

A well-cut aquamarine enhances its beauty and value. Precise cuts that maximize the stone’s color and brilliance are preferred.

5. Origin:

The origin of aquamarine can also impact its value. Some sources, such as Santa Maria in Brazil, are known for producing high-quality aquamarines with intense blue color, making them more valuable.

6. Treatments:

As with most gemstones, any treatments or enhancements can affect the value of aquamarine. Natural, untreated stones are typically more highly regarded.

See Also: What Does Aquamarine Do Spiritually: All You Need To Know

Comparing Prices: Aquamarine vs. Tourmaline

Now that we’ve explored the key factors influencing the value of aquamarine and tourmaline, let’s delve into a comparison of their respective price ranges.

Tourmaline Prices

As mentioned earlier, the price of tourmaline can vary widely depending on factors such as color, clarity, carat weight, origin, and treatments. To provide a general idea of tourmaline prices, here are some approximate price ranges for different varieties:

1. Rubellite Tourmaline: Rubellite tourmalines can range from $100 to $2,500 per carat, with the most exceptional specimens commanding prices at the higher end of this range.

2. Paraiba Tourmaline: Paraiba tourmaline is one of the most expensive gemstones globally, with prices often exceeding $10,000 per carat for top-quality stones.

3. Watermelon Tourmaline: Prices for watermelon tourmaline can vary widely, starting at around $50 per carat for lower-quality specimens and reaching several hundred dollars per carat for high-quality pieces.

4. Chrome Tourmaline: Chrome tourmaline typically falls in the range of $100 to $1,500 per carat, depending on color and quality.

5. Indicolite Tourmaline: Prices for indicolite tourmaline can start at around $50 per carat for less vivid colors and go up to several hundred dollars per carat for top-quality stones.

Aquamarine Prices

Aquamarine, known for its serene blue beauty, also comes in a range of prices based on its characteristics. Here are approximate price ranges for aquamarine:

1. Pale Blue Aquamarine: Lower-quality aquamarine with a pale blue color can be found for as little as $10 to $50 per carat.

2. Medium Blue Aquamarine: Aquamarine with a more saturated and pleasing blue color can range from $50 to $200 per carat.

3. Santa Maria Aquamarine: The highly sought-after Santa Maria aquamarine, known for its intense blue color, can command prices starting at $200 per carat and reaching well over $1,000 per carat for top-quality specimens.

4. Large Aquamarine Gems: Larger aquamarine gemstones with excellent color and clarity can be quite valuable, with prices increasing exponentially with size.

Comparing the Two Gemstones

In comparing aquamarine and tourmaline, it’s clear that both gemstones have a wide price range. However, when it comes to the highest prices, top-quality Paraiba tourmaline, with its neon blue and green colors, can surpass the most valuable aquamarines in terms of price per carat. Paraiba tourmaline’s rarity and intense color make it one of the most expensive gemstones globally, often exceeding even the finest aquamarines in price.

On the other hand, for those seeking more affordable options, aquamarine offers a wider range of choices, including budget-friendly options with pale blue colors. Aquamarine’s accessibility at various price points makes it a popular choice for both jewelry enthusiasts and those looking for a beautiful gemstone without breaking the bank.

See Also: Determining the Best Aquamarine: A Full Guide

Investment Potential

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, both aquamarine and tourmaline have shown potential as investment assets. However, it’s important to note that the gemstone market can be influenced by various factors, including economic conditions, fashion trends, and fluctuations in demand.

When considering gemstones as an investment, here are some factors to keep in mind:

1. Rarity:

Rare and exceptional gemstones tend to appreciate in value over time. Paraiba tourmaline, for instance, has demonstrated significant price increases due to its scarcity.

2. Quality:

Gemstones of higher quality, characterized by vivid color, excellent clarity, and minimal treatments, have better investment potential.

3. Market Trends:

Staying informed about market trends and consumer preferences can help investors make informed decisions.

4. Certification:

Certificates from reputable gemological laboratories can enhance a gemstone’s value and marketability.

5. Diversification:

As with any investment, diversifying a gemstone portfolio can mitigate risk.

6. Long-Term Perspective:

Gemstone investments are often best approached with a long-term perspective, as the market can be subject to fluctuations.


In the world of gemstones, aquamarine and tourmaline stand out as two exceptional choices, each with its unique beauty and characteristics. Paraiba tourmaline, with its unparalleled neon colors, often commands the highest prices in the gemstone market, surpassing even the finest aquamarines in terms of value per carat. On the other hand, aquamarine offers a broader range of price points, making it accessible to a wider audience and providing more options for budget-conscious buyers.

Ultimately, whether you choose aquamarine or tourmaline, both gemstones have their own charm and allure, and the decision should be based on personal preference and budget. Whether as an investment or a stunning piece of jewelry, both of these gemstones are sure to captivate and delight for generations to come.


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