Pale and delicate in color, morganite is a sophisticated gem. Rarer than its sister stone aquamarine, this blushing gem is often elusive to jewelry collectors, though beloved by many. Read on to learn about the properties, history, and lore of this special gemstone.
Morganite is pink in color, with hues ranging from orange-pink to violet-pink. Like its sister stones aquamarine and emerald, morganite is a variety of the mineral beryl. Though each of these varieties is the same base mineral, they have different trace elements that cause their various colors. Pink beryl (morganite) is caused by the presence of the trace mineral manganese. Untreated morganite is usually more of an orange-pink or peach color. A heat treatment can be applied to bring out more of the pink tones in the stone, a process that results in stable and permanent color.
Morganite tends to be pale, with saturated specimens fetching the highest price. Crystals must be cut with great care, as morganite is strongly pleochroic (displaying different hues from different angles). A gem cutter orients the stone to display the pink hues to their best advantage when faceted. Like aquamarine, morganite gemstones can be large in size and make great cocktail rings and statement pieces. Morganite that is cut larger tends to display its color better. Morganite ranges 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Morganite was named after the financier J.P. Morgan by George Kunz, his friend and gemologist for Tiffany and Company. Morgan was a prolific gem collector and worked with Kunz and Tiffany to build his collection. Kunz advocated for the renaming of pink beryl after his friend shortly after the gem was discovered in Madagascar in 1910, because Morgan had made donations of gems to various museums.
Those magenta-hued specimens discovered in Madagascar continue to set the standard for all other morganite. Most gem quality morganite available today is found in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan, China, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and the United States. One of the largest specimens of Morganite ever discovered was in the Bennet Quarry of Buckfield, Maine in 1989. This crystal was 23 by 30 centimeters, weighed over 50 pounds, and became known as “The Rose of Maine”.
Because of its pink hue, morganite is associated with love and tenderness. In metaphysical healing, it is used for opening the heart chakra and cleansing one of stress and anxiety. It is also believed to promote harmony between masculine and feminine energy and help women become independent from men. Those who work with crystals believe that morganite can help connect one with "Divine Love". Like the other members of the beryl family, the tranquil clarity of morganite is naturally associated with calmness and clear wisdom.
When shopping for morganite jewelry, look for gems with a distinct pink hue. The more saturated the color, the higher the price will be. Quality morganite will have good clarity with no inclusions visible to the naked eye. The pink hues of the gem pair well with rose gold and other pastel-hued gemstones, and its sparkle dazzles alongside diamond accents. Whether you prefer morganite with peachy hues or more blueish pinks is a matter of taste, as both are desirable to different collectors. Although morganite jewelry can be hard to find in stores due to the gem's relative rarity, it is quite accessible in terms of price. Morganite jewelry is a sophisticated and feminine addition to any collection!