Alongside emerald and aquamarine, morganite is certainly the best known gemstone from the colourful group of the beryls.
Women the world over love morganite for its fine pink tones which radiate charm, esprit and tenderness.
Gemstones change their name too
Although this gemstone came into being millions of years ago, it has only been known by the name of morganite for less than a hundred years. To be precise, in fact, since 1911, since before that the gemmological world simply viewed the 'pink beryl' as a variety of beryl, not as a gemstone in its own right. But it is not only people that change their name. Gemstones sometimes do it too. And so it was that 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.
Beryls are beryllium aluminium silicates rich in minerals. Pure beryl is colourless. However, on account of its structure, it is in a position to intercalate foreign elements such as iron, manganese, chrome or vanadium. If manganese is intercalated in beryl, the rather plain, colourless gemstone turns into an enchanting pink treasure: morganite. Today, this gemstone mainly comes from deposits in Brazil, Madagascar, Afghanistan and California. Its good hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale is the reason for its excellent wearing qualities.
La vie en rose ...
There are morganites in many fine pink hues. Some are decidedly pink, whilst others tend more to lilac or light violet. Or there may be a hint of orange - when all's said and done, Mother Nature has provided the right gemstone colour for each type and each skin colour. The colour of morganite always emanates charm, esprit and a touch of tenderness. This gemstone has a wonderful gift: even in stressful times, it shows up the brighter aspects of life. Try it out yourself and you'll see: the sight of a morganite will put you in a good mood. A person who chooses this gemstone opts for 'la vie en rose' even in the greyness of everyday life. So it's easy to see why morganite is typically used in gemstone therapy for stress-related problems, radiating as it does a pleasant feeling of relaxation, calm and joie de vivre.
The colour and the cut determine the quality
When determining the quality of a morganite, the colour is the most important criterion. Note that this gemstone should be selected in as large a size as possible, for it is only above a certain size that the beauty of its colour really comes into its own. The rule which says 'the more transparent, the more valuable' only applies to a certain extent, for there are plenty of women who would prefer a morganite with fine inclusions like pure silk. What is certain is that the cut really is a decisive factor, for only a high-quality cut will allow the subtle colour of the morganite to shine out.
Top image: 1 & 2 Photo by Ken Larsen courtesy of The Smithsonian Institution Geo Gallery.