Morganite is the pretty, peachy-pink variety of beryl, cousin to more familiar beryls like emerald and aquamarine. Morganite's beautiful, ladylike colors are a result of the presence of manganese or cesium. Morganite was first discovered in California in the early 20th century and soon thereafter in Madagascar. Though there are also small deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia, quality morganite remains relatively rare. In fact, ironically, morganite's rarity keeps it relatively affordable, since there aren't enough standard-sized stones available for use in manufactured jewelry. Widespread use and exposure could increase morganite's popularity, then its demand, and then its price. Read more about morganite
|Morganite is commonly heated to improve its pretty pink color. This standard treatment is very stable, so morganite requires no special care other than avoiding exposure to high heat. As long as the stone isn't included, ultrasonic cleaners should be safe. The best way to clean morganite is with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.|
|Morganite exhibits soft colors ranging from peach, peachy-pink, pink, and violet pink, as well as a pretty salmon color. |
|Like almost any gemstone, morganite is valued first and primarily on the intensity and saturation of its color, followed by size and clarity. It's also important to understand that morganite is pastel or pale in color by nature, so strong, intense hues are rare for this stone. That said, morganite in large sizes can achieve superb color. It's beautiful rosy hues are best seen in larger stones, and as is the case with most gems, cut is crucial to presenting its best color. Morganite is usually heat treated to remove yellow or orange tones and further improve its color. Morganite's pinkest hues are most popular for today's jewelry market and therefore most valuable, but the unheated, typically peach or salmon-colored stones appeal to collectors and have their own value. Rare magenta-colored morganite from the original deposit in Madagascar is still considered the finest.|
Name Origin and Meaning
In 1911 at the suggestion of gemologist George F. Kunz, namesake of kunzite, the former "pink beryl" was renamed after J. Pierpont Morgan, an American banker and collector, in honor of his gemological and mineral contributions to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Morgan was an avid collector and a customer of Tiffany's, where much of the country's morganite was sold at that time.
In rare cases, morganite can display chatoyancy (the cat's-eye effect) or asterism (a star) if cut to display such effects.
Discovery and History
Discovered in the early 1900s and known for a while as simply "pink beryl," morganite was renamed as a separate gem in 1911. It has a relatively brief history, but with modern society's fondness for pink, morganite is gaining popularity in modern jewelry and is certain to become as well-known to the public as it is loved by collectors.
Unlike many stones that can be quite included--especially emerald, the green variety of beryl--inclusions in pink beryl (morganite) are rare.
Another rarity is the relative availability of large morganite rough, which creates the possibility of large faceted stones. The largest faceted morganite is a 598.70-carat cushion-shaped gem from Madagascar that can be found in the British Museum collection.
Minas Gerais, Brazil, the world's primary source of morganite, sometimes yields crystals weighing over 50 pounds.
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