Aquamarine vs sapphire: what’s the difference?

Sapphire and Aquamarine

Sapphire and aquamarine are two of the most beautiful gemstones in the world, and they both commonly come in the color blue. But what is the difference between aquamarine and sapphire?

Sapphire gemstone

Sapphires come from all over the world. It is one of the most amazing creations of gems and measures 9 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness and is therefore one of the hardest gemstones known to man, second only to the diamond. This makes sapphires extremely hard to scratch and can be worn every day in an engagement ring.

Sapphires come in all colors. Most well-known is the beautiful range of blues that can be produced.

Sapphires can be quite expensive, depending on the size, color, cut and clarity, and can range from anywhere between $500 per carat to $6,000 per carat.

Aquamarine gemstone

Aquamarine is very different from sapphire, and in fact, it is more often likened to topaz.

Aquamarine is part of the beryl family and is much softer than sapphire. Aquamarine hardness measures 7.5 to 8 on Mohs’s scale of hardness. This means aquamarine is more prone to bumps and scratches than harder stones such as sapphire. For this reason, aquamarine is often a fantastic choice for a cocktail ring.

While sapphire can come in many colors, aquamarine only comes in blue. Often the darker the blue, the more expensive the aquamarine will be.

You are more likely to come across much larger raw or ‘rough’ pieces of quality aquamarine than you are sapphire. It is not uncommon to find 10 to 30-carat rough aquamarine, whereas good quality rough sapphires are more likely to be found in sizes ranging from 0.5 to 4 carats.

In comparison to sapphire, aquamarine is a relatively inexpensive and will generally fetch prices of $100 to $200 per carat.

So which should I choose? Blue Sapphire vs Aquamarine?

Sapphire is by far the more rare and luxurious gem of the two, however if you are after something bigger and more affordable, then a stunning blue aquamarine is a fantastic selection.

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