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[Source] White Aquamarine

To the List, I had a customer who said she was told the stone in her
ring was a white aqumarine. I had never heard of this (I am not a
gemologist) & all my refrence books are at home. Is there such a
thing? What value range are they (this one was 9x14)? Hej! Jim

Jim, Goshenite is the colorless variety of beryl. Aquamarine is the
blue, blue-green variety of beryl. It is correct to say to your
customer that she has a white beryl, or goshenite, but not white aquamarine. Will E.

Aquamarine is the sea green and blue varieties of Beryl, just as
Emerald is the green variety. When Aquamarine is viewed at different
angles, it may appear almost colorless. However, if the stone in
this ring is indeed Beryl, then the proper name for the colorless
variety is Goshenite.

Charles Heick

web sites with representative faceted stones and prices. Someone
with more experience than I in market prices can be more specific
with the value of a 9x14 stone.

Gem Hut

House of Onyx


Charles Heick

Hi Jim –

The proper name is colorless beryl, or goshenite. If it has any
touch of bluish-green in it the call it aqua for commercial purposes.
Goshenite really isn’t that uncommon, but as there are more
attractive colorless gemstones out there it isn’t widely used either.

Unfortunately, I’m not up on the current market values. Last I knew,
the colored varieties of beryl (emerald, aquamarine, morganite,
heliodor) were much more desireable than colorless, even on the low
end of the color spectrum. Perhaps someone in the market can shed
some light on this point.


Peter Torraca
HGPi Webmaster

Dear Jim There is a white beryl called goshenite that can have very
pale blue flashes …someone used to the pale aqua around now might
mistake it for that aqua relative HTH

White aqua is probably near-colorless beryl. I buy rough aqua and
some of the pieces I have seen are virtually clear. I don’t think it
has much value as such, but get some other opinions on that. Bill

There is a white beryl, called goshenite – by gosh!

that’s probably what she had – if it was in the beryl family. But
who would prefer a white beryl, when they could have an aqua?

Virginia Lyons

Hello, I had heard of irradiating poorer quality aquamarine to turn it
a deeper blue. I did not know they took the clear stones and sold
them that way. They used to do the same thing with Utah topaz. The
sun fades them to clear. A little radiation brings out the color.
Steve Ramsdell

She could either have an aqua so pale that it appears to have no
color or she could have a colorless beryl (more likely). Aqua is the
blue variety of beryl.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Aquamarine is the Blue variety of Beryl.When it is colorless,it is
classified Goshenite or White Beryl.The same applies to
Heliodor(yellow) or Morganite(pink/orange),the other varieties of
Beryl, when very pale to white,they might be called Goshenite or White
Beryl.Although not discernable to the eye,they are distinctively
different.You would observe the differance upon irradiation or heat
treatments.Point of interest,your stone can be irradiated to add
color,peach,various shades of Golden,Orange,etc. Mark Liccini

Jim, Colorless Beryl is known as Goshenite. Aquamarine, while
sometimes very pale, always has at least a suggestion of bluish
coloration. Goshenite is not a valuable stone just as white Topaz has
little value. Even white sapphire is of negligible value. There have
been numerous attempts to glamourize these white stones, but none of
them has had any real success. I am sure that your customer had been
injected with smoke by an over zealous salesman who wanted to
glamourize a low value stone by romancing it. Vive la difference !
Ron at Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, CA. -

Jim, White Aquamarine is a new trade name for white beryl which has
been named Goshenite beryl in gemological texts. Normally this beryl
is very lightly hued green, blue, or yellow. The color is almost
indistinguishable so it is called white beryl. I cut a lot of it and
the price of custom stones varies according to the size and quality
of the stone. Foreign cut stones sell for pennies a carat in small
sizes and for 1$-2$ US per carat in larger sizes. Again the marketers
have confused terms for monetary gain. It should be fraud.
Aquamarine is by description blue/green beryl. White beryl is
very common and is not considered a valuable commodity.

Gerry Galarneau

As to the cost of goshenite it runs about $10.00 a carat …House of
Onyx sells it for that so I’m sure you could find it for less
although probably not have the selection Ron

Please excuse me for not having the name of the person who was asking
about White Aquamarine and if it has any value.

I personally feel that Aquamarine should be what the name inquires,
an Aquamarine Blue color and of course it has its various different
qualities, shades of blue, etc… I think I saw Home Shopping Network
or one of the other TV Shows that sell jewelry pushing “White
Aquamarie” I do not think that I would put much value into an
Aquamarine without any color…that’s just my personal feelings. Mark

Aquamarine is a light blue variety of the mineral beryl. Being the
principal mineral of both aquamarine and Emerald, as well as several
other gem types, Beryl is considered one of the most important gem
minerals. By definition, aquamarine is light blue to a clear and pale
light green, with the color due mostly to traces of iron in the
structure. If it does not have any discernable blue to greenish
color, but is truely white, then it is just white beryl, not the
aquamarine variety of beryl. The formal name for the colorless
variety is goshenite beryl. It’s the blue color that makes that piece
of beryl an aquamarine. However, it should be noted that a truly
clear piece of beryl is actually fairly uncommon. Most material has
at least a trace of bluish, greenish, yellowish, or pinkish cast to
it. Aquamarine in it’s best colors can be a quite vibrant almost
medium shade of… well, it’s still a light blue. But a lot of
aquamarine, especially the cheaper to cheapest grades, are very pale
indeed. Pricewise, the darker and more intense the color, the better
and more costly the stone. Good aqua should also be generally without
eye visible inclusions. Very pale or almost colorless aquamarine is
generally very cheap indeed.

In it’s purest form, the mineral beryl (a beryllium/aluminium
silicate) is clear/white/colorless. It can be colored by a number of
impurities/trace elements, usually as their oxides replacing the
beryllium in the structure, which then give rise to a range of
different colors. The most famous of these is emerald, where the
beryl is colored green by traces of Chromium and sometimes a tad of
Vanadium. Iron can also induce a pale green color, but of low
intensity. Normally iron produces at least a bluish green color, and
heat treatment of any of these usually changes the oxidation state of
the iron in the structure to permanently change the color of the stone
to mostly light blue. This is the form most aquamarine seen in the
market is in. As mined, it’s often greener.

If the beryl is colored instead, by traces of manganese, then it gets
a pink/rose/peach color range, and is known as morganite. One source,
in Utah, produces a manganese colored variety of beryl where the color
is dark enough to be called red, though the stones are generally small
and flawed. It’s called bixbite.

And a pale to lemon yellow ranging to rich golden yellow colored
variety, also mostly due to iron in the structure, is called heliodor.

Peter Rowe G.G.

The home shopping clubs have been blowing enough of that smake to
make LA smog seem like a clear day. Poor consumers - they say it is so
"rare" to see “white aqua”. I like to watch upon occasion to know what
notions I am going to have to educate people out of.

Deep sigh,
Alicia Miller

Hello Jim,

As Will and Charles already mentioned,the name beryl,or in this case
white beryl is a better discription for that stone.The name
"aquamarine" relates to the color and not to the stone.It is axcepted
like the name " emerald" reffers to the green-blauw color of the
finest emerald which is in matter of fact an family of the beryllium
group as aquamarine is.Goshenite is the scientifical name as (Will
explained)know by gemologist,but people just purchase by name and
then you get this misleading name of “white aquamarine”.It sells
better that all.

Next to this,I would like to mention something about emeralds.As you
know,best emeralds come from Columbia.The common element of emeralds
is chromium,giving them the green color.The differents -chemically!!-
between the emeralds from Brazil and Columbia are or is the element
Vanadium.For this reason, the stones from Brazil were not allowed to
be called “emerald”.Off course this trade is passed-out,but it’s
still a historical fact and nice to know about how people gave -and
still give- names on

Regards Pedro

It is Not just the TV shows. Go to your local mall jeweler. They
too are using that almost colorless blue and saying it is a wonderful
aqua stone. m

It seems as if a lot of commercial stores off aqua in such a light
color so that it looks clear. But if you put it next to another true
clear stone, there is just the slightest tinge of blue. This is being
called aquamarine now. I had a customer who wanted a set of earrings
and pendant in aqua. It was so hard to locate a decent blue color in
the sizes I needed. Plus, when I finally did locate a lovely shade of
blue, I paid a premium price, $350.00 for 3- 8X6mm ovals + 6- 3mm
rounds. The stones hiked the price of the work I made no profit at

I had inquired here on orchid about prices, and stones, but got no
ans. that led me to any gem dealer with excellent wholesale prices. I
had to go with a more commercial price. The client was not happy about
the price of their set, but I couldn’t make it for less. I didn’t even
charge for my time.

Had I settled for the “whitish” aqua, I could have knocked about
200.00 off the price. m.