Morganite

In 1911, on the suggestion of the New York gemmologist G. F. Kunz, the pink variety of beryl was ennobled to the status of a gemstone in its own right. In honour of the banker and mineral collector John Pierpont Morgan, it was given the name under which it is known today: morganite                                 

Morganite is known primarily as a pastel-colored gem in light, soft shades of pink, purplish pink, and orangy pink. Although light tones are normal for morganite, some stones display strong colour.

Color
Morganite’s color range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. In today’s market, the pink and rose tints are more fashionable. The peach and salmon hues seem less popular, but some collectors value untreated peach-colored material more highly than heat-treated pink stones.

The gem is almost always heat-treated to improve the pink colour. The treatment is not detectable. Heat drives off the yellow or orange tinge, leaving a purer and more attractive pink. The resulting colour is stable and won’t fade.

 

Clarity
Like aquamarine, another beryl variety, faceted morganite usually does not have inclusions that are visible to the eye. Less-transparent material is often carved or cut as cabochons.

 

Cut
Because morganite has distinct pleochroism—pale pink and a deeper bluish pink—it’s necessary to orient the rough carefully for fashioning. Strong hues in morganite are rare, and gems usually have to be fairly large to achieve the finest color. Morganite is cut in all standard shapes and sizes as well as in unique designer cuts.

 

Carat Weight
Morganite crystals can be very large, so large faceted stones are more common than with many other gemstones. Larger sizes are also more likely to show strong colour.