Question

A friend of mine showed me some gems he claimed were white aquamarines. I told him those were not aquamarines, but he insists they are. Supposedly he got a good deal on them because they are colorless instead of blue. Is there actually such a gemstone?

Answer

There are no white aquamarines. There is a mineral species known as beryl. If, and only if, iron impurities cause a piece of beryl to appear blue to blue-green can it be called an aquamarine. If beryl is any other color, it gets a different name. This isn’t an opinion. It’s a fact. The methods of defining gems are used worldwide and are universally accepted. The same is true if you are a miner in Pakistan, a jeweler in Paris, or a GIA Graduate Gemologist.

Your friend’s so-called white aquamarines are most likely colorless beryl, also known as goshenite. That is an inexpensive variety of beryl.

Unfortunately, some vendors resort to con tactics to get consumers to spend lots of money gladly on common, inexpensive, or low-quality gems in the belief they are “getting a good deal.” The practice of taking a gem and giving it a new name associated with a…