Morganite Buying Guide
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.