Home Aquamarine Blue Beryl vs. Aquamarine: Which is Valuable?

Blue Beryl vs. Aquamarine: Which is Valuable?

by Madonna

Gemstone enthusiasts often find themselves intrigued by the subtle nuances that differentiate various gems within the same family. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the distinctions between Blue Beryl and Aquamarine, both members of the beryl family. While both exhibit captivating blue hues, understanding their geological origins, color variations, and market values is essential for those seeking to add these gems to their collection or jewelry repertoire.

Blue Beryl and Aquamarine: Geological Origins

1. Blue Beryl


Blue Beryl and Aquamarine share a common geological origin as members of the beryl family, but their distinct colors arise from varying trace elements. Blue Beryl, also known as maxixe or maxixe-type beryl, gains its striking blue color from the presence of manganese. This gem is not as well-known as its aquamarine counterpart, and its rarity can contribute to its allure among collectors.


2. Aquamarine


Aquamarine, on the other hand, derives its color from iron impurities within the crystal lattice. The presence of these iron elements results in the captivating range of blue hues that have made aquamarine a highly sought-after gemstone for centuries. Mined in locations such as Brazil, Madagascar, and Afghanistan, aquamarine often forms in granite and pegmatite deposits.

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Assessing Color Variations: A Crucial Distinction

1. Blue Beryl

Blue Beryl typically displays a more intense and saturated blue color compared to aquamarine. The manganese content contributes to a deeper, more vivid blue that can range from a rich cobalt to a royal blue. However, it’s important to note that the color of Blue Beryl can be sensitive to exposure to light and may fade over time. This sensitivity is a characteristic that collectors and buyers should consider when evaluating the gem.

2. Aquamarine

Aquamarine is renowned for its serene blue hues, ranging from pale sky blue to deeper ocean blue tones. Unlike Blue Beryl, aquamarine is less prone to color fading, making it a more durable option for jewelry. The most prized aquamarines exhibit a pure blue color without green or gray undertones, with the term “Santa Maria blue” often used to describe the most desirable shade, paying homage to the esteemed mines in Brazil.

Gemstone Grading Criteria: The Four Cs in Focus

1. Color

In gemology, color is a paramount factor in determining the value of a gemstone. Both Blue Beryl and Aquamarine are graded based on the richness, saturation, and purity of their respective blue hues. While Blue Beryl tends to exhibit a more intense color, the overall market value also considers personal preferences and trends.

2. Cut

The cut of a gemstone, encompassing its shape and faceting, plays a crucial role in enhancing its brilliance. Both Blue Beryl and Aquamarine can be found in various cuts, including oval, emerald, and cushion cuts. The precision of the cut influences how light interacts with the gem, impacting its visual appeal.

3. Clarity

Gemstone clarity refers to the presence of internal inclusions or external blemishes. Both Blue Beryl and Aquamarine can exhibit varying levels of clarity, with fewer visible inclusions generally increasing the value. However, some collectors appreciate unique inclusions as they can add character to the gemstone.

4. Carat Weight

Carat weight, the measure of a gemstone’s size, is another important consideration. Larger stones are generally rarer and can command higher prices. However, the overall value is influenced by a combination of factors, including color, clarity, and cut.

Market Values: Blue Beryl vs. Aquamarine

Market values for Blue Beryl and Aquamarine are influenced by factors such as rarity, demand, and trends. Understanding the dynamics of the gemstone market is essential for those looking to make informed decisions about their purchases or investments.

1. Blue Beryl

Due to its relative rarity and intense blue color, Blue Beryl can be considered a collector’s gem. However, its sensitivity to light and potential color fading may impact its market appeal. Collectors who appreciate the vivid blue hues and are aware of the gem’s characteristics may find Blue Beryl to be a unique addition to their collection.

2. Aquamarine

Aquamarine, with its broader market recognition and consistent demand, tends to have a more established and stable market value. The gem’s versatility in jewelry designs, coupled with its durability and range of blue hues, makes it a popular choice for both collectors and consumers. Market trends, celebrity influences, and fashion preferences can contribute to fluctuations in Aquamarine’s value.

Distinctive Varieties: Blue Beryl’s Unique Offerings

Blue Beryl is often referred to as maxixe-type beryl due to the distinctive maxixe variety. The maxixe variety of Blue Beryl is known for its exceptional blue color saturation and is considered one of the most vivid blue gemstones. However, it’s essential to note that the maxixe variety is prone to color fading when exposed to light, and this characteristic should be considered by potential buyers.

Investment Potential: Long-Term Considerations

Investing in gemstones requires careful consideration of factors that contribute to their long-term value. Both Blue Beryl and Aquamarine offer unique characteristics that may appeal to investors looking for gems with potential appreciation.

1. Blue Beryl

The rarity of Blue Beryl, especially in its maxixe variety, can contribute to its potential as an investment. Collectors who value the gem’s intense blue color and are aware of its sensitivity to light may see it as a unique and distinctive addition to their investment portfolio. However, the potential for color fading should be factored into the investment strategy.

2. Aquamarine

Aquamarine, with its established market presence and consistent demand, may provide a more stable investment option. The gem’s durability and versatility in jewelry make it a sought-after choice for both collectors and consumers. While gemstones may not appreciate as rapidly as other investment vehicles, the enduring popularity of aquamarine contributes to its potential for long-term value.

Caring for Blue Beryl and Aquamarine: Maintenance Tips

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for preserving the beauty and value of Blue Beryl and Aquamarine. While both gems exhibit good durability, certain precautions should be taken to ensure their longevity.

1. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Both Blue Beryl and Aquamarine can be sensitive to exposure to harsh chemicals found in cleaning products, perfumes, and cosmetics. It is advisable to remove jewelry containing these gems before applying such substances to prevent damage.

2. Protect from Scratches

While moderately hard on the Mohs scale, both gems can still be scratched by harder materials. Storing them separately from other jewelry and avoiding contact with abrasive surfaces will help prevent scratches.

3. Regular Cleaning

Gentle cleaning with a soft brush and mild soap is recommended for maintaining the luster of Blue Beryl and Aquamarine. Ultrasonic and steam cleaning should be avoided, as they can potentially damage the gemstones.

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Conclusion: Blue Beryl or Aquamarine – A Personal Choice

In conclusion, the choice between Blue Beryl and Aquamarine ultimately comes down to personal preferences, collecting goals, and awareness of the unique characteristics of each gem. Blue Beryl’s intense blue color and rarity may appeal to collectors seeking a distinctive addition to their collection, while Aquamarine’s versatility, durability, and established market presence make it a popular choice for both collectors and consumers.

Understanding the geological origins, color variations, and market dynamics of Blue Beryl and Aquamarine provides valuable insights for those navigating the world of gemstones. Whether one is drawn to the vivid blue hues of Blue Beryl or the tranquil tones of Aquamarine, both gems contribute to the rich tapestry of the gemstone world, offering beauty and uniqueness to those who appreciate their distinct qualities.


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