Just a few decades ago, the way to a woman’s heart was paved with only one stone, the all-powerful diamond. Who could really blame a modern girl of the time? Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and countless other starlets were so vocal about their love of these pricey little rocks that buying and selling diamonds grew into one of the world’s largest and most profitable mineral-based industries.
Jewellers these days, of course, still sell diamonds. In fact, selling diamonds may be the lifeblood of many gem-based enterprises. Today’s modern woman, however, is different to her mid-century counterparts in her tastes. She is not satisfied with the merely expensive. Rather, she wants what is rare, vibrant, personal and colourful – and morganite definitely fits the bill.
Quite simply, morganite is a close cousin of the green emerald we’ve all seen before. Both morganite and emerald are formed from beryl, a mineral that expresses a variety of beautiful colours depending on their chemical composition, including green, blue, pink and red. Pink morganite is one of the rarest variations, second only to red beryl (bixbite).
Morganite ranges in colour from pink and violet-pink, to peach and salmon. Unlike emeralds, which often contain inclusions or may be cloudy, morganite is generally quite clean and clear, making it perfect for jewellers who want to experiment with more modern colours for their trendy clients.
Thanks to its excellent transparency, morganite is most often cut and polished into cushion, oval, round and pear-shaped gems which show off its natural fire at its most brilliant. Large stones typically exhibit the strongest colours, and these are prized above all amongst collectors and jewellers. Considering its rarity, morganite is considered very affordable, but may be hard to find in retail stores, which mainly sell diamonds and other well-known stones and tend to ignore the more unusual or inexpensive gem options available.
Its combination of lustre, hardness and transparency makes it perfect for everyday jewellery, although all beryl, including morganite, is more sensitive to damage by harsh chemicals. It is recommended that these stones are cleaned using only soapy water, and never with chemical cleaners or acids. Always remove morganite jewellery before exercising, cleaning or engaging in other vigorous activities, as scratching can occur when morganite comes into contact with harder stones such as diamonds and sapphires.