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The most prominent feature of a piece of jewelry is the gemstone at its center.
While diamonds are considered the traditional gem found in every style, morganite is regarded for its striking shades of pink and use in engagement rings, necklaces, earrings, and more.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of morganite, the details of each, and how to know whether this gemstone is right for you.
What is Morganite?
Morganite is a gemstone related to emerald and aquamarine. They’re minerals known as beryl, but the aspect that makes morganite stand out is its color.
Morganite gemstones come in a variety of colors from pink to orange-pink.
Usually, the iterations of morganite in the deepest shades of pink are the most valuable.
The stone was discovered in Madagascar in 1910 by George Kunz, the chief Gemologist of Tiffany & Co.
He proposed to name the new gem after his friend and loyal customer, J.P. Morgan, who was an avid supporter of the arts and sciences and one of the most important gem collectors in the early 1900s.
Pros of Morganite
Alongside other non-traditional gems, morganite is becoming a more popular choice for engagement rings and other types of jewelry.
We’ll explore the pros of morganite below.
The Mohs Hardness Scale classifies minerals based on their ability to resist scratching. It’s an important consideration when choosing gems for jewelry you plan to wear every day, because it could encounter scratching.
Diamonds, the hardest gem on Earth, score a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale.
Morganite isn’t far behind on the scale, though the gap between the durability of diamond and morganite is significant.
It scores a 7.5 to 8 on the scale, meaning it’s fairly resistant and can hold up well to daily wear and tear.
But it’s prudent to take a few precautions.
Ensuring your morganite jewelry will last for years to come can be as simple as choosing to remove it when engaging in physical activity, cooking, or any other activity that might result in direct impact to the piece.
If morganite is at the center of your ring, choosing the right setting can compensate for its potential to scratch. A quality setting protects the stone and eases worries about chips or breaks.
It’s common to see diamonds used as an accent to surround a morganite stone, such as in the form of a halo.
This isn’t only a style choice, because the hardness of the surrounding diamonds can protect the morganite in the center.
Available in a Variety of Color Shades
Morganite’s popularity is also attributable to its rich color. It’s available in a range of colors from pink to purplish pink or even with tints of orange.
Most iterations of the stone are lighter in tone. Dark tones are rare but coveted.
Naturally, morganite often has a yellowish or orange tint. Many are heat treated to get rid of these tones and purify the red or pink.
If you’re browsing morganite at an online jewelry store, view firsthand their differences in color.
For example, the images below are from Brilliant Earth’s selection of morganite. The piece in the middle has a stronger shade of orange than the other two, which are noticeably pink in comparison.
But even two pieces of morganite with obvious pink can differ in their shade.
To illustrate, check out this one.
Now compare it to this variation.
The latter is a premium piece in a radiant cut. Its deep shade of pink results in a price premium compared to lighter pieces.
Complements Rose Gold Settings
Due to its pink hue, morganite gemstones pair beautifully with rose gold settings.
They still sit well with neutral metals like silver or platinum, but rose gold provides the best complement in color because it mimics the color of the stone itself.
Yellow gold settings provide a unique contrast to the color of morganite, since they’re both warm colors.
The type of gemstone you choose for your jewelry often has the most impact on its price.
Diamonds are the most expensive per carat, and gems like sapphires, rubies, emerald, and morganite present a more affordable option.
For example, this 8mm morganite gemstone costs $850.
This one-carat diamond, on the other hand, has a diameter of 6.2mm and costs $4,950.
That’s more than five times the price for a diamond versus morganite, even when the diamond is slightly larger.
Even if you’re set on including diamonds in your jewelry, you don’t have to pay that premium. Instead, place morganite in the middle and surround it with diamonds.
For example, here’s a 14K rose gold morganite and diamond ring.
An 8mm x 8mm piece of morganite is centered between a halo of small diamonds.
It only costs $1,230 because the diamonds have a low carat weight, and the large piece of morganite costs far less per carat.
Often Lacks Visible Inclusions
Inclusions refer to small imperfections found in diamonds or other gemstones.
They’re created by the intense pressure and heat during formation and take the form of pinpoints, feathers, cloudiness, crystals, cavities, and more.
Most diamonds have flaws, but in some instances, they’re only visible with magnification. It’s known as an eye-clean gem.
Morganite, however, naturally has few inclusions, and any blemishes that do form in the gemstone usually are not visible without magnification.
It’s more likely you’ll find morganite that looks nearly flawless to the naked eye.
This also lowers the price of morganite. Since the majority of these gems look clean, you’ll rarely find a price jump for characteristics such as strong clarity.
Cons of Morganite
Not every gemstone is perfect, and morganite is no different. Here are the details on cons of morganite and why you may consider an alternative.
Lacks Brilliance Compared to Diamonds
Most gemstones exhibit a degree of sparkle, but not to the same extent. There’s actually a way to measure the brilliance of a stone.
It’s called the refractive index. This measurement indicates how fast light travels through an object compared to how fast it travels through air.
Diamonds have a refractive index of 2.417, meaning light travels through it 2.417 times slower than through air.
Morganite, on the other hand, has a refractive index between 2.71 and 2.90, indicating light travels even more slowly through it than a diamond.
While it might have more shine than some other pink-hued stones, it’s lacking compared to the brilliance of a diamond.
To maximize the light performance of your morganite, choose a larger piece that’s free of inclusions. Flaws have the potential to distort the way light travels through a gem.
Requires Frequent Cleaning
Morganite stones lose their sparkle when dirt or debris starts to accumulate. It can even start to appear cloudy.
It’s a type of gem that requires cleaning more often, but the process is similar to other precious or semi-precious gemstones.
Keep it away from lotion, perfume, or makeup, but if it does get covered, there’s a simple solution.
Soak it with warm, soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to wipe away debris or dirt that builds up in and around the setting.
You can also have your morganite professionally cleaned once a year to help it maintain its shine.
What you want to avoid is accumulation within any of the morganite’s cracks. If the stone has cavities or crevices, it’s easier for dirt to build.
Less Popular Than Diamond Rings
There’s something to be said for a classic diamond engagement ring. Usually, when someone sees a diamond ring, they know exactly what it means.
Engagement rings with other gemstones, such as morganite, might spark conversation or require explanation. For example, check out this pear-shaped morganite and diamond halo ring.
It may not immediately be recognized as an engagement ring, even though its overall shape matches one. But when paired with a wedding ring on the same finger, it’ll be apparent the role it’s serving.
One reason diamonds are popular is because they go with any style, whether an everyday look or formal attire. Their lack of color also keep them from clashing with other colors.
Morganite, on the other hand, is a better fit for certain styles or occasions. You could find yourself mindful of which color it pairs with best when choosing your attire for the day.
GIA Doesn’t Grade Quality
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the industry’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls.
It’s the go-to institute for grading the qualities of diamonds, and they consider aspects of the gems like carat weight, clarity, cut, and other qualities.
I always recommend choosing a diamond with a GIA report, so you have confidence in its traits.
Unfortunately, the GIA doesn’t grade the quality of morganite. They do evaluate it, but their gemologists don’t grade it the same way as diamonds.
Instead, they complete a Colored Stone Identification Report. This report assesses characteristics of polished, rough, mounted, or loose gems. It includes weight, measurements, shape, cutting style, and color.
Below is an example of one of these reports on morganite.
Notice how it identifies the shape, cutting style, transparency, and color. Each of these factors is relevant to its overall value.
The report also identifies whether the the morganite is natural or laboratory-grown, and it records any detectable modifications, such as common heat treatments.
Is Morganite Right For You?
If you’re considering morganite for your engagement ring or another piece of jewelry, it’s important to understand each of its pros and cons.
While it can capture attention by offering an alternative to a traditional diamond, there are also downsides to choosing the gem.
Here are some guidelines to decide whether morganite is right for you.
You should opt for morganite if:
- Its pink color is appealing
- You’re interested in an affordable substitute for a diamond
- You’re searching for a fashionable piece of jewelry that’s appropriate for more casual occasions
- You choose a setting that will protect the morganite from any durability issues
Explore loose morganite gemstones at online and in-person retailers. Discover how those stones fit within a variety of settings, and you’ll create the right piece of morganite jewelry for you.