HOW TO TELL IF AQUAMARINE IS REAL
1. EXAMINE THE COLOR
The best way to identify a genuine aquamarine stone is by looking at its color. In its natural form, a genuine aquamarine will have a pale blue color similar to seawater. It may also display a slightly green or yellow tint.
The color of a real aquamarine depends on the angle it is viewed from. Therefore, at one angle, it may look very pale, while from another view, it may display an intense blue. In contrast, fake aquamarine stones (often glass imitations) will have the same color no matter what angle you view them from.
2. CHECK OUT THE HARDNESS
Another way you can tell a genuine aquamarine stone from a faux stone is by its hardness--aquamarines don't collect scratches easily. However, they can easily scratch glass and other similar soft surfaces. If you notice any visible scratches on the stone in question, think carefully before purchasing it, as it is most likely a fake aquamarine.
3. CHECK THE CLARITY
A genuine aquamarine stone will have excellent clarity and transparency. If you spot inclusions on the questionable stone, be very suspicious, as almost every genuine aquamarine stone is eye-clean.
4. USE A LIGHT SOURCE
One of the most important things you can do when determining if you have an authentic or fake aquamarine is to examine it in a light source. Whether you use natural sunlight or artificial light, hold the stone up and look at the way the light passes through it. Real aquamarine is typically transparent or translucent, meaning that light should be able to pass through it relatively easily. If the stone appears opaque or cloudy, then it's likely a fake aquamarine stone.
5. TOUCH IT
A genuine aquamarine stone is cool to the touch; a fake aquamarine stone will be warmer to the touch because glass is a poor heat conductor.
6. LOOK AT ITS LUSTER
Examine the luster of the questionable stone. The luster of glass imitations is often more "gaudy" or "glassy" in appearance compared to genuine aquamarine stones.
Another thing to beware of is synthetic blue spinels. These are the artificial counterparts of stones like aquamarine. Synthetic blue spinels are produced easily in laboratories, using a combination of the mineral and chemical components found in genuine aquamarines.
However, a trained eye can distinguish a synthetic blue spinel gem from other beryls; the blue color is usually gaudy, its luster & fire are too bright, the luster appears glassy, and light dispersion is low.
7. USE A MICROSCOPE
8. USE A CHELSEA COLOR FILTER
A Chelsea color filter is a small, hand-held tool that helps gemologists identify different types of stones. To use one, hold the filter up to your eye and look at the stone through it.
You can differentiate a synthetic blue spinel from a real aquamarine by holding the stone under a strong light source and looking at it through a Chelsea color filter. The blue synthetic spinel will show a bright orange or red, while a real aquamarine stone will appear a distinct green since it effectively cuts out the deep red.
9. CHECK THE PRICE
Aquamarine stones are easily available but still command a reasonable price. If the cost of aquamarine is extremely low, they are likely faux stones. Conversely, if the price is too high, the seller may be trying to take advantage of you. So do your research to get a ballpark idea of what a fair price for aquamarine should be before purchasing.
The cost of aquamarine varies depending on multiple factors. For example, larger aquamarine stones cost between $300 and $600 per carat. The most vibrant colors attract the highest prices, with exceptional quality Santa Maria aquamarines fetching over $1,000 per carat.
Now that you know how to tell if aquamarine is real or not, you can shop with confidence. Keep these tips in mind when making your purchase: use a light source to examine it, touch it to feel its temperature, look at its luster, use a Chelsea color filter, and check the price. With the right knowledge, you can make sure your aquamarine is the real deal! Good luck and happy shopping!