Ninth Anniversary Gift Guide: Morganite
8 Minute Read
Celebrating nine years of marriage is an accomplishment indeed! For your union to last this long, you and your partner have undoubtedly found ways to communicate, compromise, and honor each other. However, when it comes to relationships, the number nine is associated with spontaneity and risk-taking. At this point in a relationship, you need to find ways to keep things fresh and fun!
You may be stumped as to what novel gift to present to your partner on this special occasion. Well, to help give you some ideas, we encourage you to consider the traditional gemstone present for this ninth wedding anniversary - the morganite. This gentle pink gem is a beautiful and affordable option that you can find in all types of jewelry. You are sure to find morganite anniversary jewelry pieces that appeal to all styles, sensibilities, and budgets.
What is Morganite?
Morganite is a delicate pink version of the diverse beryl gemstone family. While the term "beryl" might be unfamiliar, you definitely know about some of the other varieties beyond morganite. How about the green emerald? Maybe you have heard of the sky-blue aquamarine? Collectively, these three gemstone cousins are the most famous (but not the only) members of the beryl family.
Today, most morganite is mined in Brazil but there are smaller deposits in the US, Namibia, Afghanistan, China, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The very first crystals which were originally called "rose beryl" were unearthed in 1910 in Madagascar.
The man who coined the term "morganite" was a famed colored stone specialist at Tiffany & Co., George Kunz. To those in the field, Kunz is something of a legend. During his lifetime, Kunz's opinion could make or break the global reputation of a gemstone or gemstone deposit and he wasn't shy about sharing his thoughts.
Mr. Kunz created the term "morganite" from the name of one of the most influential gem collectors in the world - J.P. Morgan. Most remember Morgan for his substantial work in the financial sector, but gemologists know him as a dedicated gem enthusiast and generous patron. He was so deeply involved in the field that Kunz felt it was appropriate to propose naming the new gem after him at the 1910 meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences.
What Does Morganite Look Like?
Morganite is a pink gemstone that can also show orange. Some gems can express both pink and orange in equal parts and may have hints of yellow or purple. The most popular color expression of morganite is pure pink or pink with subtle hints of orange, but there are fans of all the possible color combinations. Fortunately, any option is flattering to all skin tones. When searching for a ninth anniversary morganite gift, find a stone whose color speaks to you!
As is the case with many gemstone species, heat treatment is an effective way to increase the value of a stone by enhancing its color. With morganites specifically, heat encourages the pink color to shine while diminishing the contribution of the other hues. As such, most gems on the market have been heat treated, so don't worry if you see in the description of a gem that it has been heated.
There is another factor to consider when discussing the color of morganite - the gem is pleochroic. Pleochroism is a feature present in some gemstones where the color expression is different depending on what angle you are looking at the crystal. From one direction, morganite is that valuable pink or orange-pink color. If you tilt the stone, you may see a darker pink color. In some cases, gems can be bluish.
Because that bright pink is preferable to most buyers, cutters often choose to orient gems so that the darker color is hidden, and the pink is visible from the face-up direction.
As the color of most morganite crystals is quite light, gems are often cut to be large and deep to concentrate the hue. The color of the most valuable crystals is strong, but, usually, the gems need to be big to showcase that refined pink hue. Luckily, raw morganite crystals can be massive, with the largest weighing over twenty pounds! When shopping for ninth wedding anniversary gifts, you are likely going to see a lot of options that feature big gems.
Lastly, morganite crystals are famously clear. Even the largest gems are usually at least eye-clean, meaning that you can't see any clarity features without magnification. Don't feel bad about passing on a gem that has an unattractive inclusion - there are lots of better stones out there for you to choose from for your ninth anniversary jewelry!
Value of Morganite
When searching for morganite anniversary jewelry, you will quickly notice that it is a very affordable gemstone. The main reason for this is that the public profile of morganite is relatively low. Although it is a lovely gem, few people actively seek out morganite jewelry. This is great news for fans of the stone because low demand helps keep per-carat prices from rising too high.
Is Morganite A Durable Gemstone?
Fortunately for those who want to enjoy wearing their morganite anniversary jewelry regularly, morganite is a decently durable gem. It has a respectable Mohs hardness score of 7.5-8 which means that its surface is resistant to scratching if you wear and store it with care. Also, morganite has a toughness score of "good", meaning it is moderately resistant to cracking. If you think about its cousin the emerald, one of the issues with that gem is that it is susceptible to breaking if impacted. Overall, morganite is a bit stronger.
Types of Morganite Jewelry
As morganite is a durable gemstone, it is suitable to be set in all types of jewelry. When looking for ninth wedding anniversary gifts, you should feel confident choosing any style you like! Here are a few suggestions to help you in your search for the perfect anniversary jewelry gift.
Rings - Rings are the type of jewelry that take the most abuse. However, as we just learned, morganite is strong enough to withstand normal levels of wear. You should remove your morganite rings during times that carry an extra risk of impact or abrasion (such as playing sports) or exposure to chemicals (as when you are performing household cleanings), but, otherwise, you can wear your rings with confidence!
Bracelets - The gentle nature of morganite naturally lends itself to delicate, unassuming designs that go with everything. Bracelets can easily be worn as an accent to everyday attire or as the perfect finishing touch to an evening ensemble. Your spouse is sure to find tons of ways to wear their morganite anniversary bracelets!
Earrings - Earrings frame the face, so they are likely to be the first jewelry item that someone notices when they look at you. Gifting your spouse morganite earrings for your ninth anniversary is a very intimate gesture.
Necklaces - There are so many ways to wear a necklace! From sweet choker-length strands to long chunky chains, a necklace can dictate the overall style of your whole outfit.
Gemstone sellers sometimes use trade names to help describe the color of their wares. Common terms that you will find associated with morganite are "peach", "rose", and "salmon". These terms are flashy, but not reliable. The general rule with all colored gemstones is to trust your own eyes and buy what you like.
You may see morganite sold as "pink emerald", but, that is a little misleading. While morganite is a cousin of emerald, it does not have exactly the same physical properties.
There is a method of growing synthetic morganite, but it has yet to be widely used. The reason for this is that public awareness and overall demand for morganite gems is relatively low. Generally, synthetic gems are grown to create affordable versions of popular and pricy gemstones like ruby and diamond. Since relatively few people admire and actively seek out morganite, and prices are low, the synthetic stone market is small.
Most morganite is safe to clean using ultrasonic and steam cleaners. However, if you do have gems with visible clarity characteristics, it is best to stick with a soft towel and warm soapy water.
Emily Frontiere is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She is particularly experienced working with estate/antique jewelry.
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