With stunning sparkle and delicate pink hues, Morganite is becoming increasingly popular as a gem for both dress and bridal jewellery. The colour is especially beautiful when set into rose gold pieces so the current trend for both materials makes a fabulous combination.
The pink variety of the mineral beryl, Morganite receives its characteristic colour from traces of manganese in its composition. The hue can vary from very light pink or peach through to, in rare cases, deeper purplish-pink. Pieces with a high saturation are rare, with larger gems having the finest colours. Luckily, Morganite crystals can grow very large, with some specimens found in Brazil weighing up to 10kg! The colour is regularly improved using irradiation treatment which removes orange hues and produces a purer pink.
Morganite was first discovered in Madagascar in 1910, by Tiffany and Co’s chief gemmologist, George Frederick Kunz. Kunz is most famous as the discoverer of another pink gemstone, Kunzite, the pink variety of the mineral spodumene, which was named in his honour in 1903. He suggested the name Morganite for the new variety of pink beryl in honour of the famous financier John Pierpont Morgan who was a great gem collector and donated many fine pieces to the Natural History Museums of New York and Paris.
The original source in Madagascar produces little material today but is still regarded as the standard for superior quality Morganite. The biggest producer now is Brazil, with Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, Russia and the US also providing the market with the gem.
Morganite has fantastic brilliance and a crisp, sparkling appearance. It is also usually free from eye-visible inclusions, even in stones of substantial size. Because the colour is often light it is advisable to clean your Morganite jewellery regularly to keep it looking its best as even a small amount of dirt or grease can dull the gem’s shine. It is also worth removing Morganite rings while you undertake activities such as housework or gardening as it is possible to scratch or chip the stone; the hardness value of 7 ½ means that although you can wear your Morganite regularly it is susceptible to damage during such activities.
You can view Morganite jewellery on our website or in our showroom and our qualified gemmologists will be happy to talk to you more about this beautiful gemstone.