Morganite is the light pink to violet-pink variety of beryl, a mineral that includes emerald and aquamarine. Since beryl is most famous for being the mineral group that green emerald belongs to, pink morganite is sometimes referred to as 'pink emerald'. Along with emerald, morganite is also related to blue aquamarine, golden beryl (heliodor), colorless goshenite and the rare red bixbite. Among the beryls, morganite is one of the rarest forms, second only to red bixbite. Morganite’s subtle color is caused by traces of manganese. Strong color in morganite is rare, and gems usually have to be large to achieve the finest color. Morganite is known primarily as a pastel-colored gem in light, soft shades of pink, purplish pink, and orangy pink. Although light tones are normal for morganite, some stones display strong color.
Pink morganite was first identified in California, USA, in 1910 by George D. Kunz, a famous American gemologist and buyer for Tiffany & Company. At first, it was simply referred to as 'pink beryl', but the year following its discovery, it was renamed by George Kunz in honor of John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, an American banker and avid gemstone collector. Since its discovery, morganite has been prized by gem collectors owing to its rarity
Morganite ranges in color from pale pink to pink, violet-pink, peach, peachy-pink, or salmon color. Its color is thought to be owed to traces of manganese or cesium. Morganite is rarely vivid or intense in color; most stones are very pale or pastel colored. Large stones will typically exhibit stronger colors.
A pure pink morganite is considered most desirable but more recently, peachy and salmon colored stones have been in very high demand simply because it is popular as a substitute for chocolate diamond!
There is also a rare magenta colored morganite from Madagascar that is highly sought after by collectors.
Morganite occurs with excellent transparency. Unlike emerald, it rarely forms with inclusions, thus, eye-clean stones are expected. Morganite exhibits an attractive vitreous luster when cut and polished.
Morganite is typically faceted to maximize its color and brilliance. With its indistinct cleavage, cutters must orient the stone properly to minimize cleavage. Rare materials which exhibit chatoyancy (cat's eye effect) are often cut en cabochon in order to best exhibit desirable effects. Morganite is most often cut into rounds ovals, cushions and pears, as well as trillions, hearts and briolettes.
Morganite is often found unheated and unenhanced. However, many stones today may be routinely heat treated to improve color and remove unwanted yellow tones. Heating is done at relatively low temperatures (about 400 degrees centigrade) to achieve this effect. Mainly the pink stones are heat-treated to improve the pink color. The treatment is not detectable. Heat drives off the yellow or orange tinge, leaving a purer and more attractive pink. The resulting color is stable and won’t fade.
Morganite is a pink stone of love. It is said to carry an energy that can warm the soul of its wearer. It is best used for opening the heart chakra and it is often used to help cleanse the body of stress and anxiety. All beryl gems, including pink morganite, represent purity and potential.
For women, morganite is said to encourage feelings of independence from men and harmony with masculine energy.
For men, it can help them balance masculine and feminine energy. Physically, morganite is believed to help with asthma and emphysema, as well as heart and lung disorders.