Morganite is the pretty, peachy-pink variety of beryl, cousin to more familiar beryls like emerald and aquamarine. Morganite's beautiful, feminine colors are a result of the presence of manganese. After its discoveries in California and Madagascar in the early 20th century, this pink beryl was renamed Morganite as suggested by famed gemologist George F. Kunz. Named in honor of financier and gem enthusiast J. P. Morgan, Morganite has many redeeming qualities, including durability, luster, clarity and brilliance. Though there are also small deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia, quality Morganite remains relatively rare. Ironically, it is Morganite's rarity that keeps it relatively affordable, since there aren't enough standard-sized stones available for use in manufactured jewelry.
Morganite, the sister stone to emerald and aquamarine, didn’t always have a special name. For many years Morganite was known simply as pink beryl. Regarded as an exciting new gem alternative to pink sapphire, pink tourmaline and kunzite, it was Tiffany’s celebrated gemologist, George Frederick Kunz who renamed this unique gemstone Morganite. By selecting this name, he paid tribute to New York banker and personal benefactor, John Pierpont Morgan who was also a great admirer and collector of gemstones.
Since its discovery, Morganite has been primarily prized by collectors due in large part to its limited availability. Morganite is a member of the beryl family, along with emerald, aquamarine, heliodor and goshenite. Typically free of inclusions, it has a good hardness rating on Mohs scale (7.5 – 8) as well as good toughness. Its durability, luster, clarity, brilliance and myriad of beautiful pink hues make Morganite immensely suitable as a jewelry gemstone that is appropriate for everyday wear. The only factor impeding Morganite’s popularity is its scarcity.
When Mother Nature created Morganite, she made the ideal gemstone to complement all skin tones. Colored by trace amounts of manganese, Morganite is easily identified from other pink to salmon colored gems by its luster and brilliance. Coming in pinks from subtle lavenders to hot fuchsias and even pastel pink apricot blends, Morganite exudes charm and tenderness. Morganite is growing in popularity as an engagement ring center stone due to its beautiful pink hue, relative durability and cost effectiveness.