Morganite is a pastel-colored pinkish and orange gemstone often referred to as “salmon” colored. It’s a variety of mineral beryl. Morganite has grown in popularity over the past few years, and this gemstone can be found in all kinds of jewelry now, ranging from stunning rings to necklaces.
Morganite is known to be connected to the heart, and is a symbol of good things such as love and romance, along with sweetness and even innocence.
How are Morganites graded?
There’s no standard process for grading morganites. However, like most gemstones, morganites are evaluated based on the 4cs - color, clarity, cut and carat. We’ll go through the different options for each of these four things now.
Morganites can come in a variety of shades of pink and orange. This can be anything from rose-colored to peach. Today, pink and rose-tinted gemstones are considered to be more fashionable, which makes them more valuable.
Even though the peach and salmon-colored morganites aren’t as popular, some gemstone collectors really value them, especially in their untreated form. Almost all of the pink gemstones undergo heat treatment to enhance their pinkish color. There is no sign of this treatment being done though, it simply drives off any excess orange tinge to bring out more of the pink color that the gemstone naturally has. Once morganite is heat treated, the pink color will remain that way and will not fade.
Most morganite gemstones don’t have inclusions that are visible. If the gemstone is less transparent, it will usually be cut into cabochons. Even though most morganites are eye-clean, there are still some with inclusions. There are three main types of inclusions typically found in morganites - liquid inclusions, feathers, and other crystals.
Liquid inclusions are the most common. They can also contain gas bubbles inside. These will look like round bubbles or even tube-like shapes in the gemstone.
Feathers are thinner and more delicate inclusions - they appear like lines in the gemstone. If a morganite has many feathers, it will look much more opaque than transparent. However, since they are so thin, light can still pass through them.
Apart from liquid inclusions and feathers, morganite can have inclusions of other substances as well, such as manganese inclusions. Too many manganese inclusions can cause the morganite to change colors depending on what angle it’s viewed from.
Morganite can be cut into all the typical cuts that other gemstones come in. This includes cushion cut, round cut, oval cut, princess cut, pear cut, marquise cut and more. It can also be found in designer cuts. Due to the pleochroism that morganite can contain (often a light pink and a deeper pink with a shade of blue), the gemstone has to be cut very carefully.
Morganites can come in quite large sizes compared to other gemstones. This means that it’s easier to find more affordable large-faceted morganites than it can be of other gemstones that are typically only found in smaller sizes. The larger sizes of morganite also show the strongest colors.
Morganite Grading Chart
Unlike diamonds, morganites don’t have a standard grading chart. However, there’s still a guideline for how to grade them. Most morganites are bifurcated as follows with four main grades. These are not followed universally, however, they are the only standardized grades that exist when looking to grade morganites.
- Good (A): Morganites that fall under the “Good” grade are a very light peach hue. They will have anywhere from slight to moderate inclusions. 75% of the top available morganites fall into this category.
- Better: A “better” pink sapphire’s color exudes a light to medium pink hue. A limited amount of light passes through the gemstone. You’ll see small, natural inclusions with the naked eye.
- Better (AA): Morganites in the “Better” category are a light peach color. They only have slight inclusions. This represents the top 33% of available morganites.
- Best (AAA): If a morganite is graded “Best,” it will have a peach hue that’s a warm shade. It has to be eye-clean without any inclusions showing. Nearly 10% of natural morganites that are available fall into this grade.
- Heirloom (AAAA): Heirloom is the best grade of morganite that exists. Only very rare morganite gemstones fall into this category. It comprises just 1% of them. They are a peachy pink hue, and very eye-clean. Their brilliance is exceptional and immensely better than the other three grades. Only the top boutiques worldwide offer this grade.
Morganite pricing varies a bit depending on what grade it is. The higher the grade, the more pricey it will be. On average, morganites cost around 1/10th of what a diamond would cost for the same amount of carats.
Custom-cut morganites are usually the most valuable and expensive, due to their uniqueness. Morganites with more inclusions are more affordable than those that are eye-clean.
Since morganite is commonly found in larger sizes, its price doesn’t significantly increase with its size. For example, a smaller morganite with better color will be much more valuable and pricier than a larger gemstone with a less desirable hue.
How to pick a good quality morganite?
Consider the grading system we described in the article. A morganite that is considered the grade Best or Better is likely a good quality one.
Is morganite an expensive gem?
No, morganite is not typically considered to be an expensive gemstone. It is around one-tenth the price of a diamond gemstone for the same weight.
What is the best shade of morganite?
Morganites that are pure pink with good saturation are the best shade.
Can morganite be used for an engagement ring?
Yes, morganite can be used for an engagement ring. It symbolizes love and romance, which makes it a great choice for one.