If you’re in love with light blue gemstones there’s only a few options you have, but they are truly beautiful. Two of the most common light blue gems are aquamarine and blue diamond, both great in their own way. But how do you choose between the two of them ? Which one would work best for you ? And what are their differences, aside from one being a diamond and the other not a diamond ? Well let’s dive into this comparison and see for ourselves.
Blue diamond vs aquamarine
Blue diamonds are far tougher and more expensive than aquamarines, but they offer a grey-toned blue while aquamarines offer a blue-green color that is more vivid. Where aquamarine has exceptionally high clarity blue diamonds have better fire and brilliance, making for a very striking jewelry piece. Aquamarines are also far easier to come by in pre-made jewelry or at retailers.
What is blue diamond ?
Blue diamonds are a type of diamond with a relatively high concentration of boron, at least enough to give a blue tint to the crystal lattice. Higher amounts of boron result in more saturated blues. Blue diamonds are pare of the fancy colored diamond category, which is simply a way to differentiate colored diamonds from clear diamonds.
What is aquamarine ?
Aquamarines are a type of beryl, in the same family as emerald, morganite, and heliodor. These gems are well known for their excellent clarity and light blue color with hints of green. Due to their high clarity aquamarines tend to appear very light in color.
1. Blue diamonds are much harder gemstones than aquamarines
The first difference between a diamond and an aquamarine is the hardness of the two gems. Diamonds are the toughest gemstone there is, scoring a 10/10 on the Mohs hardness scale. It cannot be scratched or chipped by anything but another diamond.
Aquamarines score an 8/10 on the same scale, which is lower than you’d initially think. The 10 is 4 times tougher than the 9, while the 9 is two times tougher than the 8.
So what does this mean for you ? It means a ring or bracelet with blue diamonds will stand the test of time far better than an aquamarine. It will not scratch nor chip, and can be safely work every day.
An aquamarine can also be worn every day as it’s still a tough gemstone, but it will accumulate scratches in a decade or two, enough to turn the gem a bit cloudy. This is a bit of a downside since aquamarines are so clear that any scratch will be very visible. This means you may want to use a more protective setting on your aquamarine, like a 6 or 8 prong setting, a bezel, or at least make sure the gem is not set very high on the ring.
2. Aquamarine is much more affordable than blue diamond
Prices are a very important factor when deciding what kind of gem you want, how large, and whether you want more than one. In this case you will notice that blue diamonds are far more expensive than aquamarines, as you would expect.
A blue diamond sells for an average of $350,000 per carat for a sky blue diamond with very slight silvery tints and VVS2. Diamonds with more grey in them, or very dark blue ones will sell for less, such as $270,000 per carat.
Meanwhile an aquamarine will sell for an average of $500 per carat for a vivid color stone with eye-clean clarity. Many aquamarines have a medium color saturation, and some of them can get quite light. The lighter the color, the lower the price tag. Aquamarines are generally very clear so you won’t find many inclusions in them.
Read also: What Gemstones Are Blue ?
3. Blue diamonds have a grey tint, aquamarines are blue-green
Now let’s talk blues. What sort of blue are you looking for in your gemstones ? A blue diamond will often have a grey tint to it, like an icy-grey blue, a sky blue with silvery flashes here and there. Even the dark blue diamonds have a bit of a grey cast to them. Rarely you can find a few blue diamonds with a green tint to them.
Aquamarines offer a more vivid blue color but they can also get so incredibly clear they start to resemble quartz. Take a look at Meghan Merkle’s aquamarine ring. it’s a very expensive ring with a top-notch gem but the color is still quite faint due to the high clarity. When you do find a stronger color in an aquamarine, it will always have a bit of a green tint to it.
4. Aquamarines are easier to source, more common than blue diamonds
You have a higher chance of finding pre-made jewelry with aquamarine than blue diamonds simply because they are more common and thus easier to find at a retailer. A jeweler will definitely have more aquamarines than blue diamonds on hand, but blue diamonds are by no means rare in a commercial sense !
Blue diamonds themselves are the rarest, aside from red diamonds. But they are very well known and not difficult to source, but still may take more searching on your part than an aquamarine would.
Keep in mind that blue diamonds can also be lab-grown, so those will be easier to find and almost always half the price of a natural blue diamond.
Read also: What Is Demantoid Garnet ?
5. Blue diamonds have fire, aquamarines have high clarity
Another important distinction between blue diamonds and aquamarines is the fire and brilliance found in a blue diamonds. These are still diamonds and as long as they’re not too included and their overall hue is at least medium, you should get some sparkle out of them.
Aquamarines don’t sparkle like a diamond but they usually have a higher clarity rating than blue diamonds. You can work this to your advantage. For example aquamarines and other high clarity gemstones work very well in step cuts, to accentuate their clarity. Meanwhile diamonds and other gems with lots of sparkle work best as a brilliant cut.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a step cut blue diamond or a brilliant cut aquamarine. You do you. It’s just that some cuts work better for some gemstones.
Is aquamarine or blue diamond better for an engagement ring ?
Blue diamonds are better suited for engagement rings as they are much more durable and this matters a lot for a ring that will be worn every single day. An aquamarine in the same position would show scratches after a few years.
If you do decide to go for an aquamarine engagement ring it’s best to take it off before doing and extensive chores or labor.
What metal do aquamarine and blue diamond go with ?
Blue diamonds and aquamarines tend to work best with yellow gold and white gold (or platinum) due to the color combination between yellow and blue or white and blue. Rose gold might not be a good idea as it tends to clash with the pink. However if you do find a rose gold with less pink and more gold in it, sort of like a peachy color, it might work just fine as long as there is a while halo of diamodns or white sapphire or white topaz.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.