How to Tell If Aquamarine Is Real: A Guide to Identifying

How to Tell If Aquamarine Is Real: A Guide to Identifying – Aquamarine is a beautiful gemstone that comes in a variety of shades of blue, ranging from pale to deep.

It is the birthstone for March, and it is a popular gemstone for jewelry due to its stunning color and relative affordability. However, with the rise of synthetic gemstones, it has become increasingly important to know how to identify real aquamarine.

In this article, we will provide you with a guide on how to tell if aquamarine is real, as well as tips for ensuring that you are purchasing the real thing.

Characteristics of Real Aquamarine

One of the easiest ways to tell if aquamarine is real is to look at its characteristics. Real aquamarine has certain qualities that set it apart from synthetic or imitation aquamarine.


Aquamarine is named for its beautiful blue-green color, which is reminiscent of the sea. Real aquamarine can come in a range of shades, from pale blue to deep blue, but it should always have a blue or blue-green color.

If the aquamarine you are looking at is a different color, such as pink or yellow, it is not genuine.


Real aquamarine should be clear and free of any visible inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions are internal flaws within the gemstone, while blemishes are external flaws.

While some inclusions and blemishes are natural and can add character to a gemstone, too many can affect its value and beauty.


The cut of an aquamarine can affect its appearance and value. A well-cut aquamarine will have a symmetrical shape and excellent proportions, with facets that reflect light evenly. A poorly cut aquamarine will look dull and lackluster.


Aquamarine is sold by weight, which is measured in carats. The larger the carat weight, the rarer and more valuable the aquamarine. However, larger carat weight does not necessarily mean that the aquamarine is of better quality.

It is important to consider all of the characteristics of the gemstone before making a purchase.

Refractive index

The refractive index is a measure of how much a gemstone bends light. Real aquamarine has a refractive index of around 1.57 to 1.58.

This means that when you look at a real aquamarine from the side, it will appear to have a double image or a “doubling effect.”

How to Tell If Aquamarine Is Real

There are several methods you can use to tell if an aquamarine stone is real. These tests can help you determine if a gemstone is genuine, but they should not be relied upon solely.

Magnifying glass test

Using a magnifying glass, examine the aquamarine for inclusions or blemishes. Real aquamarine should be relatively free of flaws, while synthetic or imitation aquamarine may have visible bubbles or other signs of being artificial.

Scratch test

Real aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, which means it is relatively hard and scratch-resistant.

You can perform a scratch test by trying to scratch the surface of the aquamarine with a sharp object, such as a knife or piece of glass. If the gemstone is scratched, it is not genuine.

Water test

A water test can also be a way to tell if aquamarine is real. Fill a clear glass with water and drop the aquamarine into the water. If the aquamarine sinks to the bottom and appears clear and bright, it is likely real. If it floats or appears cloudy, it may be synthetic or imitation.

Heat test

Heat the aquamarine with a lighter or other heat sources. Real aquamarine should not be affected by heat, while synthetic or imitation aquamarine may change color or become damaged.

However, it is important to note that excessive heat can damage any gemstone, even if it is real.

UV light test

Under ultraviolet light, real aquamarine should not fluoresce, or emit a bright light. Synthetic or imitation aquamarine may fluoresce under UV light.

Related: Aquamarine Stone: Meaning, History and Properties

Tips to Ensure Real Aquamarine Purchase

In addition to using the methods above to tell if an aquamarine is real, there are several tips you can follow to ensure that you are purchasing the real thing.

Research the seller

Before purchasing an aquamarine, do some research on the seller. Look for reviews and ratings from previous customers, and make sure that the seller has a good reputation for selling genuine gemstones.

Get a certificate of authenticity

A certificate of authenticity is a document that confirms the authenticity of a gemstone. It will include information about the gemstone, such as its weight, color, and clarity, as well as any treatments it may have undergone.

Make sure that the certificate is from a reputable gemological laboratory, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Check the price

Aquamarine is a relatively affordable gemstone, but if the price seems too good to be true, it may be a sign that the gemstone is not genuine.

Be wary of sellers who are offering aquamarine at significantly lower prices than other sellers.

Inspect the gemstone before purchasing

If possible, inspect the aquamarine in person before making a purchase. Examine it closely for inclusions, blemishes, and other signs of authenticity. If you are purchasing online, make sure that the seller has provided clear photos of the gemstone from multiple angles.

Related: Who Should Not Wear Aquamarine Stone?


In conclusion, how to tell if aquamarine is real requires a combination of knowledge and careful examination. By looking at the color, clarity, cut, carat, and refractive index, as well as using tests such as the magnifying glass test and water test, you can determine whether an aquamarine is genuine.

Additionally, by researching the seller, getting a certificate of authenticity, checking the price, and inspecting the gemstone before purchasing, you can ensure that you are getting a high-quality, genuine aquamarine.

Purchasing a real aquamarine is important not only for its value but also for the enjoyment and beauty it can bring to your life.

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