Natural vs. Synthetic Morganite

You’ve likely heard about morganite, but might be curious what it is because it’s not as familiar as other gemstones. It’s a gemstone with varying colors in a subtle hue, from soft pink to orange-pink. Morganite’s popularity has continued to increase over the last few years for all types of fine jewelry.

What is Morganite?

Morganite is a variety of beryl, a mineral that includes emerald and aquamarine. It’s called rose beryl–the pink, salmon-colored variety of the beryl gem family. This subtly-hued gem gets its pink color from the minerals manganese and/or cesium. A higher content of manganese or cesium will yield a more saturated pink. Lower content translates to a lighter pink stone. Even a saturated morganite will be subtle because strong color, such as intense pinks or purplish pinks, in morganite is rare.

The highest quality morganite stones will be a strong pink color. The color range for these gems includes pink, rose, salmon, and peach. Pink and rose-tinted stones tend to be more fashionable, which makes the peach and salmon stones less popular in the market.

Morganite Jewelry

Morganite is a special, uniquely-colored gemstone that you can find in a variety of colors. It’s often associated with innocence, sweetness, romance, and love. For this reason, it’s becoming more popular as a stone for engagement rings because of its subtle hue and meaning. Plus, it’s more affordable than diamonds. You can also find morganite earrings, necklaces, and wedding rings. Some women purchase morganite rings or other jewelry to celebrate their own self-love and self-confidence.

Where Did Morganite Come From?

In 1908, a deposit of Morganite was discovered in Madagascar. It featured exceptionally saturated and beautiful color. Tiffany’s gemologist George Kunz believed this newly discovered, rose-colored gem needed a unique name. In 1910, Kunz proposed to the New York Academy of Sciences that pink beryl be named morganite in honor of financier and gem collector J.P. Morgan, who was creating one of the world’s greatest mineral collections for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The Academy of Sciences agreed with Kunz’s proposal, and morganite was officially named a new gem variety.

While originally discovered in Madagascar, today’s morganite comes from pegmatite mines in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Afghanistan, Mozambique, Namibia, and the U.S. have smaller and inconsistent morganite sources.

Natural Morganite vs. Synthetic Morganite – What’s the difference?

Like most gemstones, there’s a synthetic version of morganite. Also like other synthetic stones, the synthetic morganite has the same chemical composition as naturally occurring morganites. The difference is that it’s created in the lab instead of in the earth. Lab-created morganites can come in a larger variety of colors outside of the subtle pink shades of natural morganites. Synthetic morganite is produced, but it’s not yet made in large quantities. As natural morganite’s popularity continues to increase, perhaps more lab-made morganites will become available.

You might be asking how you can tell the difference between natural and synthetic morganite. This can be tricky! If you’re relying only on visual appearance it can be difficult to tell apart a real morganite from a stimulated one. Look at the stone’s clarity. Many morganites are heat-treated to reduce the number of inclusions present on or within the stone. So if you notice cracks, dots, scratches, or tiny fractures on the gem, then it may not be authentic. Similarly, use a light and a jeweler’s loupe to look for tiny bubbles beneath the surface of the stone. If you see any, then the stone is likely not a natural stone. You can take morganite to a professional to have it evaluated. If you’re looking to buy a morganite ring, look for certified stones that guarantee their authenticity.

Caring for Morganites

Warm, soapy water is always a safe cleaning method for morganite. You can use a soft brush to clean any debris from your stone. Cleaning by ultrasonic and steam cleaners also is usually safe, unless the stone has liquid inclusions or fractures. While this is rare, don’t place fracture-filled morganite in any ultrasonic cleaners. Lined jewelry boxes are best for storing your morganite jewelry. You don’t want other pieces to scratch your jewelry or have your morganite scratch more delicate fine jewelry.


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