Morganite is a beautiful transparent pinkish peachy orange gemstone in the Beryl family. Its siblings include Aquamarine, Emerald and Heliodor. Morganite is also known as “pink Beryl,” “rose Beryl” or “pink Emerald.” Beryl is made up of the elements Beryllium(Be), Aluminum(Al), Silicon(Si) and Oxygen(O).The peachy pink color comes from trace amounts of Manganese(Mn) in the mineral makeup. Morganite’s color can range from a quite orange peach to pink, and even to a purplish pink. Like other Beryls, Morganite is very hard at 7.5 to 8 on mohs scale.
Morganite was first discovered in both Madagascar and California about the same time in the early 1900’s and was originally called “pink Beryl.” In 1911 the New York Academy of Sciences granted it its own gem status and renamed the pink Beryl “Morganite” after the well known banker and gem collector John Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan).
Morganite is fairly rare, but is generally not in high demand so the prices tend to be reasonable compared to Emerald. In the recent years Morganite has been growing in popularity and is beginning to draw more attention. Unlike its green beryl relative, Emerald, Morganite is naturally pale and very clear with no inclusions much like its other relative Aquamarine. Emerald is the opposite; it almost always has noticeable inclusions and is very deep in color.
One of the largest cut faceted Morganite gems came from Madagascar and weighs 598 carats. One of the largest Morganite crystal roughs came from a quarry in Buckfield, Maine and is known as the “Rose of Maine.” It was about 9 inches by 12 inches and weighed about 50 pounds including its matrix base.
Morganite is usually heat treated to remove unwanted yellow or orange bands of color and is quite stable. The more pink hues tend to be the most desirable in jewelry. Gem collectors of untreated stones will generally prefer the unheated peach-salmon color. The extremely rare magenta Morganite is considered the most valuable.