Morganite Buying Guide


morganite buying guide - cushion-cut morganite ring
“Chelsea” ring, rose gold with 3.50 carat cushion-cut morganite and diamonds, and “Ara” band, rose gold with diamonds. © Anye Designs. Used with permission.

With delicate shades of peach and pink, morganite gems have recently gained popularity. This gem, though rare in nature, is available and affordable in large sizes. Its subtle tones create a look of timeless beauty, perfect for engagement rings. Durable enough for everyday wear, yet elegant enough for special events, morganite makes an ideal jewelry stone choice for any occasion.

Morganite Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS beryl value listing includes price guidelines for morganite.

Color

Morganite is the salmon-colored to pink variety of beryl. Although sometimes described as “pink emerald,” this is inaccurate. Gemologists and reputable jewelers discourage this usage. The stone’s color, symbolic of love, arises from the presence of manganese. Heat treatments often enhance this color. Like other colored stones, the most important factor in cost is the gem’s color.

morganite buying guide - necklace
A stunning combination of beryls: pear-cut morganite and aquamarine with a diamond. Pendant measures 1 ¼ inches. © Ben Bridge. Used with permission.

In today’s market, consumers value pink hues most highly. Although purplish morganites command lower prices than the pink variety, slightly purple hues can make gems quite lovely.

morganite buying guide - peach and pink cut stones
Peach-pink to pink morganite gems. © GemGroup Sweden (Ädelstensgruppen). Used with permission.

Morganites always have light tones, only reaching grades of 3 (very light). Nevertheless, consumers favor darker tones. You might encounter some nearly colorless stones sold as morganites. However, these should be labeled goshenites, the colorless variety of beryl. As with other colored stones, even tones earn the highest values.

morganite buying guide - earrings
14.43 carat morganite and diamond earrings. Matching stones with color transitions such as these are rare and stunning. © Kathleen Dughi Jeweler. Used with permission.

Morganites exhibit pleochroism, appearing pale pink from one direction but exhibiting slight purple hues from another. In order to have the best color for the finished product, lapidaries should carefully consider the gem’s orientation and cut.

Clarity

Top-quality morganites should receive clarity grades of VS or VVS, “very small” or “very very small” inclusions. These are considered “eye clean” grades. Due to its light tone, morganite will reveal inclusions more easily. This will reduce the stone’s value. Consumers prefer transparent morganites for faceting. However, gem cutters can cab or carve more opaque, less valuable, material.

Cut

Large, cut morganite makes a popular ring stone choice. The subtlety of its colors lends itself well to large gems. You can find morganites available in most cuts, including intricate designer cuts.

morganite buying guide - designer cut
8.50 carat African morganite. © Satbodha André Gagnon, Gemmes Québec. Used with permission.

Carat

While large morganites are available, the price per carat doesn’t increase exponentially for this gem. In fact, it declines at about 20 carats. Nevertheless, consumers may prefer smaller gems with good color to large stones. Since very large morganites may require large cuts to show good color, they can actually lose color when cut small enough for jewelry.

Morganite Synthetics and Treatments

Hydrothermally grown morganites are available. However, they aren’t grown in large commercial quantities. Synthetic morganites cost significantly less than natural stones. They could make good replacements for natural morganite in jewelry. Consult with a gemological laboratory to distinguish between natural and synthetic gems.

Colorless or very light green to pink beryls may receive radiation as well as heat treatments to produce morganites. The results may vary, based on the origin and chemistry of the original material.

morganite buying guide - treated and untreated comparison
Irradiated and heat treated beryls (left) and natural morganite (right, with black markings for cutting). The treated gems show a greater range in hue than the photo implies, from champagne to pink. In person, they don’t appear as brown. © GemGroup Sweden (Ädelstensgruppen). Used with permission.

Heating salmon or peach-colored morganite is a common practice. This reduces yellow hues. The resulting stone has a more desirable pink color. These stable treatments won’t require further care for the gem. However, consumer tastes do vary. Some buyers prefer the stone’s natural color and will pay to ensure its authenticity.

Buying Rough Morganite

The state of Minas Gerais in Brazil currently produces most gem-quality morganite. The deposit in Madagascar that produced the pink beryl first marketed as morganite has largely ceased production. Gem enthusiasts considered morganites from this deposit to have the finest color and exhibit the deepest magenta tones. However, morganite origin doesn’t impact the price. Morganites with fine color can be obtained in Afghanistan, China, Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Before buying, evaluate morganite rough for clear crystal and good color. Don’t purchase included rough unless the inclusions will easily cut away. Be aware of synthetic stones and treatments discussed above, too.

morganite buying guide - rough
Rough morganite sorted for color. © GemGroup Sweden (Ädelstensgruppen). Used with permission.

About the author
Addison Rice
A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison's interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth's geological processes began in her elementary school's environmental club. When she isn't writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.
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