- A Buyer’s Guide to Morganite Gemstones
- What is morganite?
- Where is morganite found?
- Pick the color of your morganite
- The tone of morganite
- Decide on your cut
- Understand the clarity of your stone
- Choose the carat that is right for you
- Morganite in engagement rings
- Taking care of a morganite gemstone
- Morganite treatments
- Morganite imitations on the market
- Decide the piece that fits your lifestyle
- Where can I buy morganite jewelry?
- Symbology of morganite
- Quick Morganite infographic
A Buyer’s Guide to Morganite Gemstones
Morganite has been rising in popularity and value lately in the jewelry world. With its demure, pinkish hues, it is ideal as the center piece of any woman’s jewelry collection. If you are looking to purchase your own piece of morganite jewelry, you will find that choosing the best stone for you can take time and research. This buying guide will help you along that journey, providing you with the information you need when shopping for a morganite.
What is morganite?
First let’s talk about what morganite is. Also called rose beryl, morganite is a salmon-colored variety of the beryl gem family with its pink hue resulting from the presence of the minerals manganese and/or cesium. Morganite is quite distinct in color from other versions of beryl like emerald and aquamarine.
Where is morganite found?
Morganite is found in mineral deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia but it was first discovered in the soils of California in 1910, and initially known as pink beryl. Here’s an interesting piece of trivia: The New York Academy of Sciences later renamed the stone at the suggestion of the chief gemologist of Tiffany & Co. to ‘morganite’ after Tiffany’s avid gem collector, the famous J.P. Morgan.
Pick the color of your morganite
Morganite has a very elegant color that exudes femininity and gentleness. The stone exhibit pleochroism, which means that it can appear to have different hues based on the angle it is viewed from. Morganite hues usually range from light peach pink, to brightly colored salmon, to a heavier violet-pink.
The saturation of the stone is highly influenced by the amount of mineral inclusion in the crystal. A higher content of manganese or cesium will yield a more saturated pink in the morganite. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the saturation the more valuable the stone.
Pink and rose tinted morganites are considered to be more desirable, while the peach and salmon shades seem less popular. However, with the rising trend of peach in the beauty industry, light peach morganites have recently started gaining a higher demand as well. Because there is a wide range of hues, it is essential to see the stone clearly before you buy.
The tone of morganite
Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the stone. For morganites, the variation ranges from almost white to dark pink. It entirely depends on your preference as to which tone to buy. While light colored morganites can appear more brilliant, even darker shades, though not as lustrous as light colored morganites, reflect light on the surface where the shine compliments the dark interior of the gem.
Decide on your cut
The cut of a morganite is very important because it can impact the overall brilliance and value of the stone. Morganite can be cut into different shapes and sizes, with princess, cushion, emerald and rounds being the most popular. Morganites are typically faceted because they have excellent transparency, allowing them to produce very good brilliance. As already mentioned, morganite crystals have a unique pleochroism due to the effect of manganese inclusions, making faceting very tricky.
Here are some popular cuts that you may wish to choose from:
- Princess cut: A perfectly square cut that comes to a slight, flat rise in the middle
- Round cut: This is a perfectly round cut with a slight rise in the middle.
- Pear cut: This cut is rounded on the bottom and comes to a point at the tip.
- Marquise cut: A cut similar to the pear cut, but with both ends coming to a point.
- Emerald cut: This is a step cut that is famous as the ideal
Understand the clarity of your stone
In the jewelry industry, the clarity of colored gemstones are graded into Type 1, 2 and 3. Morganite is a Type 1 stone, meaning that it is usually eye-clean and without visible flaws. Morganites with visible inclusions are not often used in jewelry, unless the flaws are expertly hidden by the setting. Look for a clear, lustrous stone that doesn’t contain inclusions.
Morganites with inclusions can sometimes be cut to produce what is known as chatoyancy or a cat’s eye effect. These are best cut en cabochon to accentuate the cat’s eye effect. For this, the stones are polished smooth rather than arranged in geometric, polygonal designs.
Choose the carat that is right for you
Carat refers to the weight of any given gemstone. Most commonly, the larger the stone the greater the carat. However, all gemstones are not created equal, and due to the fact that some are denser than others, a diamond and a morganite of the same carat weight would most likely be different sizes. This is why morganites are measured in millimeters rather than carats. You can find morganite in a range of sizes to suit your jewelry needs.
With the rise in popularity of pink rocks as the centerpiece of engagement rings, morganites have skated into the limelight. While for most of us a pink diamond is way beyond our budget, morganite offers an excellent alternative.
Morganite’s pink tints go exceptionally well with diamonds. This is why you will often find the stone set in a halo design surrounded by little diamonds. Other popular designs are three-stone, solitaire, pave, shank and split shank.
Four-clawed rings are usually popular for engagement rings as they completely display the stone’s shape and beauty. However, exposing your morganite on a clawed setting may cause substantial scratching on the edges, over time. While six or eight claws would be more secure settings for morganite, consider a bezel setting if security is foremost on your mind.
A rose-gold basket
To enhance the color of a morganite, you can use a rose gold basket for the mounting. This will make the stone appear more saturated, as the rose gold will act as a background for the stone, intensifying the color. A bezel setting would also work in this case.
While white and yellow golds go well with morganite, the most popular choice is rose gold. Morganite and rose gold complement each other perfectly. The gentle shine of a rose gold band has a less overwhelming effect than gold and is not a hassle when matching outfits.
Taking care of a morganite gemstone
It is essential to care for your stone to maintain its value for years to come. Morganite has a hardness ranking of 7.5 to 8, which makes it a durable stone good for daily wear. However, as with any piece of jewelry, it requires regular cleaning to maintain its luster and shine.
The main concerns when caring for your stone are dust and scratching. To clean your stone take an ultra-soft toothbrush, such as a children’s toothbrush which will be small and very soft. Next make a warm soapy mixture using clean water and a mild soap. Gently scrub your stone clean paying special attention to the stone and the surrounding setting. When you feel your stone is adequately clean, use water to rinse your stone and then dry with a soft cloth. For morganites that do not have inclusions or fractures, ultrasonic cleaners or steam cleaners are also safe alternatives.
It is also a good idea to store morganite separately, in small boxes or bags individually. This is due to the fact that every gemstone has different levels of hardness. For example, diamonds are very hard and can therefore scratch morganites if they aren’t stored carefully.
While light exposure does not damage the stone and its color, chemicals and heat can. So if you choose a morganite engagement ring for everyday-wear, you might want to remove the ring when doing household chores where harsh chemicals are involved or physical activities that expose the stone to bumping, dropping and pressure.
In order to enhance the pink hues of morganite, the stones almost always undergo various heat treatments. This produces a stable color and good saturation. If you prefer a stone that hasn’t been heat treated, you can request it. However, be aware that heat treatment does not reduce the value of the stone. In fact, it is a standard procedure that is accepted by the industry.
Morganite imitations on the market
While synthetic morganite is rare and hardly exists on the market, you will have to watch out for imitations. Often, glass, cubic zirconia or synthetic corundum can be sold as genuine morganite. This is why it is best to shop from trusted and reputable vendors to avoid being conned.
Decide the piece that fits your lifestyle
Because of morganite’s delicate and demure color, it is perfect as the gemstone of choice for any type of jewelry and is a classy addition to any outfit.
Morganite is a relatively affordable stone. A carat can cost between $100 – 300, however price can be affected by factors such as the 4cs as well as where you decide to shop. Once you have determined your budget, you can stay within those guidelines when shopping.
Morganite is a neutral color and can accommodate a variety of fashion choices. You don’t have to stress too much about matching it with your outfit as morganite generally complements most other colors. For a more active lifestyle you may decide on some simple stud earrings or pendant. For a formal event, more elaborate dangle earrings, statement necklace or bracelets will work perfectly.
Smaller elegant pieces of jewelry such as rings are usually set with light colored morganite because the light passing through the crystal produces a star-like luster. For pendants and earrings, you may choose a heavier shade of pink set on white gold as this allows the stone’s brilliance to pop out.
Where can I buy morganite jewelry?
There are benefits to buying morganite both online and in person. Shopping online gives you the entire world of morganite jewelry to explore from and gives you the ease of comparison. Shopping in person is beneficial because you can touch and hold a piece before you buy it. You can get an up close look at the piece before purchase to get a sense of the colors that really shine through.
Shopping online is probably the easiest way to shop for morganite. Many common jewelry stores will also have an extensive online market. You can find beautiful pieces on Etsy or Ebay, while Brilliant Earth also has a very good (although somewhat pricey) range of morganite jewelry.
Shopping in person comes with the obvious benefits of seeing the stone in actuality. This is especially important when purchasing morganite as you will want to see the exact hue of the stone before you purchase. However, as morganite is not as popular as diamonds or sapphires for example, your options may be limited in a brick and mortar store.
The main thing is to ask for a certificate of authenticity and to ensure that there is a good returns policy, just in case the stone you’ve bought isn’t the one for you after all.
Symbology of morganite
Because of the gem’s light peachy pink hue, mental healers often associate morganite with innocence, warmth and love. It is believed to be connected to the heart chakra. As the stone opens up the heart chakra, the body is cleansed of anxiety and stress. It is believed to release locked up negative and resentful feelings of fear, unfulfilled emotional needs and defense mechanisms that stem from insecurity to allow emotional healing and transformation. Wearing the stone allows a sense of peace and joy to flow through the body, giving way to acceptance, forgiveness and growth. Being a symbol of affectionate love, it is also often purchased as a gift for a special someone as a means to deepen a budding relationship.
Whether these beliefs hold any scientific credence or not, they certainly add to the allure of morganite and make them even more desirable.