Morganite is a mineral with a hardness of 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Hexagonally structured gems are made of beryllium aluminum silicate, their full chemical compound being Be3Al2(SiO3)6.
Morganite is a pale red-purple, rose, salmon to purplish red, slightly pink, cesium-bearing variety of Beryl.
The Beryl group of silicates includes the important gem varieties emerald, blue aquamarine, pink morganite, and red and yellow beryl.
The color of morganite is usually a soft pink without any overtones. It has glassy luster, like other beryls, but its pleochroism is not noticeable. The pink color is caused by trace quantities of the element manganese. Heat treatment turns its color to yellow.
Morganite has distinct dichroism and the stones are usually free of inclusions. Sometimes though, irregular liquid and gaseous inclusions, of very uneven shape, are just visible.
Also characteristic of morganite is the presence of small quantities of caesium and lithium, which, in contrast with aquamarine, give the mineral a higher specific gravity.
It occurs, associated with tourmaline and albite, in the form of short prismatic, or tabular crystals terminated by basal planes and striated pyramidal forms in precious gem pegmatites.
Most morganites come from Minas Gerais (Brazil), Antsirabe (Madagascar), Ramona and Pala, San Diego County (California, USA), and Namibia.
It is not easily distinguished from kunzite, pink topaz, and the more attractively colored pink tourmalines, except by its physical characteristics.
Some prominent samples are the Brazil Morganite, a step-cut morganite of 235 carats from Brazil; the Malagasy Morganite, a step-cut morganite of 123.58 carats from Malagasy; both on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, (USA).
Morganite is the same as vorobyevite.
Morganite is named after the New York financier and gem enthusiast, John Pierpont Morgan.
Morganite is cut as faceted gemstones. It is not a common gem, but specimens are often medium to large. Like aquamarine and yellow beryl, morganite needs to be cut as stones of some size if the colour is to be strong enough for the stones to be attractive. As always with light-colored stones, the more richly-colored specimens are in greater demand.
In modern practice it is usual to cut beryls into the trap-cut style (the emerald cut) and such stones are mounted as important centre stones in rings, brooches, pendants and earrings.
Not being widely known, morganite is not imitated, nor is it produced synthetically.