Morganite is a member of the beryl family. This gem’s range of pink colors is due to traces of manganese. Morganite’s popularity and value have recently increased. Like most beryls, morganite makes an excellent jewelry gemstone requiring no special care.
Medium light to medium pink, clean stones with custom cuts are the most valuable. Very light and included stones are on the lower end of the value spectrum. As morganite frequently occurs in larger crystals, there is no exponential increase in price with size. Paradoxically, smaller morganites, if they show good color, can be more valuable than larger ones. In order to show good color, large stones must be so large that they’re impractical for use as jewelry. As is the case with unheated greenish blue aquamarine, a small but growing segment of collectors prefer the unheated peachy color of morganite and are willing to pay a premium to get an unenhanced, natural piece.
The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.
|Is a Variety of||Beryl|
|Colors||Pink or salmon/peachy pink. Morganite is never dark, with a maximum tone of three.|
|Hardness||7.5 - 8|
|Specific Gravity||2.71 - 2.90|
|Luminescence||May fluoresce weak lilac|
|Wearability||* Very Good|
|Enhancements||Heat and light will remove the yellow component from peach beryl, so morganite is often heated to get "pinker" stones. Occasionally, irradiated to improve color but results fade in light.|
|UV Long||Inert to weak pink or purple|
|UV Short||Inert to weak pink or purple|
|Formula||Be3Al2Si6O18 + Mn|
|Pleochroism||Deep bluish-pink/pale pink|
|Optics||RI: o = 1.572-1.592; e = 1.578-1.600; Uniaxial (-)|
|Etymology||Named after J. P. Morgan, American investment banker and financier.|
|Occurrence||Granitic rocks, especially granite pegmatites.|
|Inclusions||Long, hollow tubes, negative crystals, chrysanthemums.|
Morganite entered the American market in 1911 when Tiffany & Co. introduced it and named it in honor of J. P. Morgan (the financier) who was himself reputed to be an avid gem collector.
Very often, near colorless beryl specimens are offered as morganite when they more properly should be labeled goshenite (colorless beryl).
Although violet and peach are possible morganite colors, the most common and preferred color is pink. Heat and light will remove the yellow component from peach beryl, so it’s often heated to get “pinker” stones.
Original deposits from Madagascar are now worked out, but Brazil, Namibia, and other locations produce rough.
- San Diego County, California: in several localities – fine crystals and gem material.
- Thomas Range, Utah: deep rose-red bixbite variety.
- Madagascar: in pegmatites and as alluvial material.
- Minas Gerais, Brazil: fine crystals and gem material.
Morganites are not usually found in sizes as large as other beryls. Crystals have been found up to 6” in diameter.
- Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC): 287 (pink, Brazil) and 235 (pink, Brazil); 178 (pink, California); 113 (peach, California); 56 (pale pink, Madagascar); 330 (dark orange, Brazil)
- Leningrad Museum: 598.7 (Rose-pink, step cut, Madagascar).
- Natural Hist. Museum, Paris: 250 (pink, Madagascar)
- Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Ontario, Canada): 118.6 (pink, catseye)
- British Museum (Natural History) (London England): rose-red crystal from California weighing 9 pounds.
- American Museum of Natural History (New York): 58.8 (heart-shape, Madagascar)
- Private Collection: three very large cut gems with carved tables, total weight ~ 1500 carats, tables carved in religious motifs.
Morganite is sometimes referred to as “pink beryl.”
Consult our gemstone care guide for recommended cleaning methods.