Morganite is a transparent stone with few inclusions and is usually found in large crystals. In 1989 the world’s largest specimen was uncovered in Maine. Known as ‘the Rose of Maine’ the crystal weighed over 50 pounds and measured 23cm long and 30 cm across. Despite the high carat weight and unusual colour, Morganite is a more affordable gemstone. These qualities make Morganite well suited for use in contemporary jewellery.
Morganite is a form of beryl. Unlike other forms of beryl, such as emerald or aquamarine, Morganite contains traces of manganese. These traces create its distinct rose to salmon pink colour. Shades of morganite can vary from a soft and subtle pink tint to a stronger orange-pink.
Morganite has a pleochroic crystal structure, which requires cut stones to be artfully fashioned to best show off the stone’s colour. Morganite can, however, be heat treated to intensify its natural properties, from colour to hardness.
In 1910 a significant new deposit of rose beryl (Morganite) was discovered in Madagascar. Other sources of Morganite include the east coast of America and Brazil. Gemmologist George Frederick Kunz named Morganite in homage to J.P. Morgan, the famous American financier and fanatical gem collector.