Soft yet vivid, enchanting and magical, these are the characteristics of the beauty of the Morganite semi-precious gem. Often set in Rose Gold, but equally brilliant in white or yellow, this gemstone brings a rare elegance to a piece. Its stunning hue not often seen in gemstones, it is considered to have a calming, soothing effect.
Morganite used to be known as the Pink Beryl up until 1910, from the family of Beryls such as Emeralds and Aquamarines, its name was then changed to Morganite after famous banker and gem collector John Pierpont Morgan. Gemmologist George Kunz proposed the name Morganite at a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences on 5 December 1910 to honor his friend and customer J.P. Morgan for his financial support for the arts and sciences, and his important gifts of gems to the American Museum of Natural History in New York and to the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Morgan was one of the most important gem collectors in the early 1900s – his collection was partly assembled by Tiffany and Company and their chief gemologist, Kunz.
Pure Beryl is colorless, Morganite’s subtle color is caused by traces of manganese.
Untreated morganite often has a strong orange color component, creating a salmon color.
Morganite is found primarily from deposits in Brazil, Afghanistan, Madagascar and right here
in California. Morganite can form large crystals,
miners in Brazil have found crystals as
large as 22 lbs!
On October 7th, 1989, one of the largest specimens of Morganite was uncovered. It was found in the Bennet Quarry of Buckfield, Maine, and it was somewhat orangish in hue. This well-formed crystal weighed in at just more than 50 lbs, and was called ‘The Rose of Maine’.
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., includes two faceted gems
weighing 236 cts. and 250 cts. in its collection.
Morganite’s color range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. In today’s market, the pink and rose tints are more fashionable. The peach and salmon hues seem less popular, but some collectors value untreated peach-colored material more highly than heat-treated pink stones.
When choosing a morganite, bigger is better, since only in stones larger than a certain size does the unique allure of the gem’s color show to its best advantage. Strong hues in morganite are rare, and these gems typically need to be large to achieve the best color.
Morganites generally do not have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. When shopping for a piece of morganite jewelry, consider cut as well as color, because only a skillful cut will highlight the brilliant beauty of the sparkling pink stone. Morganites are cut in all standard shapes, as well as in distinctive designer cuts. Morganite combines affordability, durability, and the singularly exquisite color of hope, love, and promise. These highly desirable qualities make morganite an outstanding choice for a gift of love.