Morganite, though only known under that name for about a hundred years, has become a favorite gemstone for women around the world. Mainly because of its soft pink colors and being an excellent gemstone for jewelry.
With its delicate pink colors that are not found in any other gemstone and excellent jewelry suitability, morganite is sure to remain a favorite for many years to come.
The only thing that is holding it back right now is its limited availability, making it fairly expensive. One can only hope new deposits are discovered sooner rather than later!
What is Morganite?
Usually morganite is found in pink or orange colors, at times several colors are present as bands in the same crystal.
Morganite is a fairly recent discovery, the first gem quality stones were found in 1910 in Madagascar. F. Kunz (of kunzite fame) suggested naming it after the well-known gem collector and financier J.P. Morgan. Before that morganite was simply known as pink beryl.
Beryl itself is colorless and the various colors it can be found in are caused by impurities. There is still some debate over what is causing the pink to orange colors of morganite. Most likely it is manganese, but it is possible that certain hues are caused by cesium.
Currently high quality morganite gemstones are found in Madagascar, Afghanistan, Russia and the USA. It has a hardness of between 7.5 and 8 on Mohs hardness scale, together with its high durability it makes it very suitable for gemstone jewelry.
Taking Care of Your Morganite Gemstones
It is quite easy to take care of your morganite gemstone, its high durability makes it possible to use ultrasonic or jewelry steam cleaners. The usual lukewarm water and soap will do fine, but usually doesn’t do the job as well unless you spend a lot of time. Just make sure the jewelry itself is not damaged by the cleaning agent, if you use any.
Caution!: Make sure your jeweler knows that morganite can change color when subjected to high temperatures. In everyday use it won’t be a problem, but when repairing it a jewelers torch could easily damage your gemstone.
Morganite Buying Guide
Morganite is commonly heat treated to strengthen its color or to remove impurities. Synthetic and morganite imitations are on the market, sometimes sold under the name pink emerald or pink aquamarine.
So make sure you are buying from a dealer that discloses all enhancements and doesn’t deal in imitations.
Color is the most important property to determine morganite value. Clarity comes second, though some people prefer a finely included gemstone, because of its velvety look.
The pink color of morganite becomes deeper in larger gemstones, so it’s usually best to buy those if they are within your budget. 10+ carat morganite is not as rare as it is for some other gemstones, but unfortunately they can still be quite expensive.
High quality, that is eye clean or loupe clean, 10+ carat unheated loose morganite with an excellent cut and strong pink color usually sells for $100-$300 per carat. While slightly included, unheated morganite with a light pink to peach color can be had for as little as $10-$20 per carat.
Even this ‘lower quality’ morganite still looks amazing, especially when set in a silver or platinum setting that brings out the pink or peach color as can be seen above.
Because of its high wearability morganite rings and even morganite engagement rings are slowly picking up in popularity. If you intend to buy some of the larger gemstones on the market, 30+ carats is no exception, you should probably go for a morganite necklace though. A gemstone that large will look out of place in almost any ring.