Buyer's Guide to Morganite Gemstones

  • Buyer's Guide to Morganite Gemstones

    Rose, mauve, blush, salmon, peach. The pretty pink tones of morganite are colors you see in the cosmetics department: that’s how flattering they are against your skin.

    Morganite is a pastel pink variety of beryl, the mineral that also includes emerald and pastel blue aquamarine. Rare and beuatiful, morganite has the brilliance and durability of its better-known gem relatives.

    Are you in love with Blake Lively’s stunning seven-carat oval pink diamond engagement ring but not a fan of its $2 million dollar price tag? A morganite engagement ring is a much more affordable way to get the look you want and still choose a rare natural gemstone.

    That’s why morganite is the fastest growing colored gemstone engagement ring trend. The delicate pink color, brilliance, and larger sizes combine to create a breathtaking look that fits your budget.

  • The History and Meaning of Morganite

    Always a rare rose pink shade of beryl, Morganite’s story begins in the early 1900s. A huge find of pink tourmaline fueled a gem rush around San Diego. Among the gemstones found in the gem pegmatite deposits were some rare pink beryls. Then in 1908 a deposit of fine Morganite with exceptionally saturated and beautiful color was discovered in Madagascar.

    Tiffany’s globe-trotting gemologist George Kunz realized that this rare rose-colored gem deserved a name of its own. In 1910, he proposed to the New York Academy of Sciences that this pink beryl be named morganite in honor of financier and gem collector J.P. Morgan, who was creating one of the world’s greatest mineral collections for the American Museum of Natural History in New York, what is now known as the Morgan Hall of Gems. They agreed, and morganite was officially named a new gem variety.

    The Morgan Hall of Gems now includes one of the world’s best morganites, the Rose Heart, a 58.79 carat gem with unusually fine color. The Natural History Museum in London has a spectacular 599-carat morganite from Madagascar.

    Morganite’s meaning is a new dawn, the sunrise of a new day that begins fresh and new. Morganite symbolizes emotional healing, compassion and mutual support.

  • Where Morganite is Mined

    Most of the morganite on the market today is mined in Brazil from pegmatite mines in the state of Minas Gerais. Afghanistan, Mozambique, and Namibia also produce morganite. While it’s only a minor producer today, the Madagascar deposit still sets the standard for the best material. The 18,566 carat crystal above sold for $72,000 at Bonhams in 2007.

    Morganite sometimes occurs in huge crystals. On October 7th, 1989, one of the largest specimens of Morganite was found by two brothers, Ronald and Dennis Holden of Sugar Hill Minerals in Buckfield, Maine. They called the 50-pound crystal “The Rose of Maine.” But the brothers fought over ownership and the 115,000-carat crystal was broken into pieces. The largest piece is in the collection of the Harvard Mineral Museum and the rest was faceted and sold off as cut gemstones.

    Morganite with fine color remains relatively rare. It’s a lovely choice for custom-made jewelry, including custom morganite engagement rings.

  • Why We Love Morganite

    Morganite’s color is delicate and flattering, beautiful against your skin. It complements almost all the colors in your wardrobe from neutrals to brights to pastels making it a good choice for an engagement ring or stud earrings you will wear every day.

    It’s like the perfect neutral nail polish that always looks good with everything you wear.

    Although morganite’s color is pastel, it has a unique warmth to it. Like many other pink gems, morganite looks beautiful set in white gold. The warmth of its color means it also works well in yellow gold, blending beautifully with blue, celadon, peach, yellow, lilac and other rich pastels. We especially love it set in rose gold, which matches and emphasizes its color. Morganite rose gold engagement rings are a match made in heaven.

    Zimbabwe produces small emeralds known as Sandawana emeralds that are famous for top quality color in small sizes. A recent find in Ethiopia is also producing high quality emeralds.

    In general, the origin of an emerald isn't an important value factor. Although Colombian emeralds generally sell for more than emeralds from other countries, the premium is also based on the quality of the color not just the origin alone. GIA and other laboratories issue origin reports for emeralds.

  • How to Buy Morganite

    Morganite’s color range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. In today’s market, the pure pink and rose tints are more in demand. The peach and salmon hues are less popular which makes them more affordable.

    Morganite is always a pastel pink but the darker the color, the more valued it is. You are looking for an intense pastel pink. Sometimes heat treatment is used to remove yellow and make a peach colored morganite more pink. The resulting color is stable and won’t fade.

    This morgantite treatment is usually not detectable by gemologists since the temperature is relatively low. You should assume that your morganite has been heated. Some collectors prefer the natural salmon to peach tones because the color is likely to be natural.

    Morganites often have to have a fairly large carat weight—generally over 5 carats—to show intense, dark color. For this reason, smaller top-color morganite gemstones might sell for more per carat than larger stones of the same color.

    At RockHer, we’ve matched our preferred morganite colors to Pantone’s system to communicate the range of pinks available. Which pink is your favorite?

    Because morganite color is so light, look for eye clean gems with no visible inclusions.

    Cut quality is very important for the beauty of morganite gemstones: a well-cut morganite will sparkle evenly across the entire gemstone with no dull, washed out, or lifeless areas.

    Morganite Buying Guide Checklist

    • Morganite Color: Pastel pink to peach
    • Morganite Clarity: Eye clean
    • Morganite Shapes: Oval shapes are most common
    • Morganite Cut: Well proportioned, with overall brilliance
    • Morganite Polish: Excellent
    • Morganite Treatment: Heat
  • How to Care for Morganite

    Morganite is a hard gemstone with a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Although morganite’s color is stable, avoid exposure to high heat. To keep your rings clean, don't wear them when applying lotion or creams or using cleaning products like cleanser. Store all your gemstone jewelry separately, especially when travelling, so gems and metal can’t scratch each other. Clean with mild dish soap: use a soft brush behind the stone where dust can collect.

  • Morganite vs Kunzite

    The pink gem most similar to morganite is kunzite, a pastel pink variety of the mineral spodumene. Kunzite is sometimes even found in the same mines as morganite. Where morganite is often a warmer pink, kunzite is usually a more purplish pink. Kunzite is much softer than morganite, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7.0. That means it is softer than quartz, which is the main ingredient in dust, and will show wear and a softening of the crispness of its facets over time. Kunzite’s color can fade over time with exposure to bright sunlight. Kunzite has two directions of cleavage, which means that the gem can split cleanly along those directions. As a result, we don't recommend kunzite for engagement rings: morganite is a much better choice. Kunzite is a good choice for pendants and earrings that aren’t worn every day.

  • Best Morganite Engagement Ring Styles

    The most popular morganite engagement ring style is a diamond halo ring with a pave band. Morganite solitaire engagement rings are also popular, especially with a large center morganite gemstone. Add a pave band for extra brilliance. Three stone rings most often have round or oval morganite in the center and pear shaped or round diamonds on the side. Morganite is complemented by all three colors of gold: white gold, yellow gold and rose gold.

  • What Morganite Rings Cost

    You’d be surprised how far your money can go shopping for a morganite engagement ring. Here are our picks for gorgeous morganite rings to fit some common engagement ring budgets.