There’s no rule that says diamonds are the only way to go for engagement rings. Morganite rings are a trendy way to break from tradition. This pale, pink stone is unique, and shoppers are rapidly falling in love with it. So many market-created traditions dominate our lives today, so it’s nice to see a trend that breaks from the societal norms.
What is Morganite?
Morganite first came to light in the early part of the 20th century in California. They called it pink beryl until around 1911. Since that first discovery, morganite is mined in Russia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Madagascar and a handful of other places in lower quantities.
It’s not an easy gem to find in large sizes, although it found in large sizes more than any other gemstones, which lends to its rarity. That’s also a reason you may not find one at every jewelry store you visit. It is hard to source, but easy compared to many popular ones.
This pink gemstone is closely related to aquamarines and emeralds.
Technically morganite includes minerals found in both emeralds and aquamarines. It’s actually named vorobevite, but the stones we see in jewelry stores are named morganite after J.P.Morgan and have been since around 1911.
They range in color from salmon to peach to light pink. Morganite stones don’t always come in the colors we see in stores.
They are heat-treated in many cases to get rid of the dingy yellow-orange hue that plagues a lot of the stones. The final pinkish color is a result of the heat. The same heat-treatment is used on many rare gems to improve the color quality. There’s no need to worry about fading colors or the dingy colors returning.
No one can decipher why things start trending or why we love trends; it just happens as a combination of good marketing and a great product in most cases.
There is some mythology behind the morganite stone that helps explain why this stone is so popular for engagement rings. Some cultures say the stone represents love, compassion, commitment, and healing. Those are a good foundation for a marriage.
Should I Buy a Morganite Engagement Ring?
Unless your significant other is a strict traditionalist, there’s no reason not to buy one of these beautiful stones. The stones are rare, so it’s great for anyone that wants to stand out and move their engagement away from tradition. They’re not going out of style, and the stones are stunning. You won’t wake up one day wish you bought a diamond instead.
Morganite is strong and durable, so it will last a lifetime without wearing down or pitting like softer stones. You can have it mounted in any setting like platinum, gold, rose gold, or even silver and it won’t look out of place. You can take it a step further and surround the morganite with diamonds to keep a little tradition alive. It pairs well with almost any setting material or gemstone.
Is Morganite Better Than a Diamond?
From an aesthetic point of view, it can go either way depending on your tastes. They aren’t as hard as diamonds, but only by a little bit. The 10-point hardness scale used to grade stones for hardness ranks morganite just below an eight and diamonds at 10. The scale only goes from one to ten which means morganite is hard and will last as long as a diamond. So pretty much forever.
The pink morganite is pretty and can hold its own in the brilliance category. Typically, morganite has a high degree of brilliance. It will sparkle and shine for the eye, and only slightly less than a diamond. It outshines most other stones made up of the same minerals. Since it has pink and rosy tones less light is reflected by the surface of the stone, but you won’t notice it unless you have a jeweler’s eye.
If we ignore the fact that they’re not the same mineral, the most significant difference between morganite and diamond is the price. A custom cut morganite with excellent color quality costs about $300 to $500 a carat depending on where you buy it.
Pale stones with less vibrancy are cheaper but are considered a lower quality stone.
Along these same comparison lines, a diamond costs over $3,000 a carat. You can’t put a price on love, but you can make it more affordable.
Morganite is rare, and diamonds are rare, but somehow the rarity of morganite keeps the price lower. That’s due to the color and the fact that most people still buy diamonds by default.
A good quality diamond is around $3,000 a carat, as mentioned above, but pink diamonds are more expensive. Morganite is commonly available in light to dark pinkish colors, so it is an affordable alternative to a pink diamond.
How to Choose a Morganite Gem
An industry-wide accepted scale for grading morganite does not exist. Most popular jewelers use their own scale for this gem, and luckily, they are pretty similar. Most jewelers grade them using a scale of natural, A, AA, or AAA. Ask the jeweler about their grading scale and get them to explain how they rank compared to diamonds. That gives you a base to start on and helps make the decision easier.
Color is the most critical factor to consider. This is true with any gem and morganite is no different. The thing about color is our idea, your idea, and your jeweler’s idea of color are different. The lighter pink is the most popular color according to jewelers that have a lot of experience with morganite.
The slightly darker rosy pink is the second-place favorite. Salmon and peach colored stones are less popular, probably because they tend to look dingy or impure to the naked eye.
Morganite is a type two gemstone, which only means something to your jeweler. To us, a type two one looks cleaner and sparkles. Type two gemstones don’t have many inclusions.
Inclusions are tiny imperfections in the gem caused by foreign minerals getting trapped in it but can include other natural flaws. They can also be created by the person that cut the stone if they do it wrong.
Morganite, much like diamonds, is worth more if it has fewer inclusions. You may not see the inclusions, but your jeweler can and will grade the gem accordingly. Inclusions may be practically invisible to the naked eye, but they can have a significant effect on luster and clarity. Your goal here is to find a gem with the fewest inclusions at a price you can afford.
The cut is something you’ll need to figure out for yourself. Some cuts improve brilliance and look better overall. How the gem gets cut significantly improves the quality of the gem through enhanced brilliance and beauty, but don’t pick one because it’s the most popular. This is the one part of choosing a gemstone that is the most forgiving, so pick a cut you like and skip the trend.
Bigger is not always better, but with gemstones, we favor the larger ones. Fortunately, morganite is usually found in large sizes. One reason some gemstones fetch high prices is that they generally occur in small sizes, so a large example is rare, and thus worth more money.
Madagascar and Brazil produce the largest morganites, but they’re regularly mined in about eight other places around the world including two locations in the USA. All of this works together to keep the price per carat low so that you can buy a larger gemstone.
If it matters to you, your jeweler can tell you where the morganite came from initially. This doesn’t matter as much today, but in the past, some gemstones arrived on the market from questionable sources.
Today, getting a beautiful morganite gemstone from a specific place might have sentimental value. This factor isn’t really part of choosing a gem, so consider it friendly advice. The little things matter.
Care and Cleaning
Morganite doesn’t require any special cleaning or care. The gem is durable and almost hard as a diamond. Your jeweler will sell you jewelry cleaner or have advice on cleaning and caring for the gemstone, but warm soapy water and a soft cloth are all you need.
Never use a chemical unless you know it’s safe for cleaning jewelry. Gemstones react to some solutions poorly, and you can ruin it this way.
Some Final Notes
Like any rare gemstone, imposters make their way onto the market. Morganites are rare, so fakes are out there. Be sure the gemstone you buy is the real thing. Ask for a gemological certificate if you’re face to face with a jeweler. Online jewelers can provide similar proof, so check the evidence and make sure you are getting a real morganite.
According to jewelers, light pink morganites in a rose gold are the most popular. They are stunning, and there’s no reason to overlook the most popular color and setting. However, one of our favorite things about morganite is the low cost allows for more creativity. Get creative if you want to and design your version of the perfect ring.