Morganite was first discovered alongside other gems, including Tourmaline and Aquamarine, in Pala, California in the early 20th century. News spread quickly about this new and exciting discovery and it became of special interest to George Frederick Kunz, a well-known and respected gemmologist and gem collector from New York. In 1911, Kunz later discovered the gem in Madagascar and suggested naming this pink variety of Beryl “Morganite”, after his biggest customer and banker J.P. Morgan. Although this gemstone began its life millions of years ago, it has only been known and recognised in its own right since this time.
Morganite, along with Emerald and Aquamarine, is now one of the most popular gemstones from the colourful Beryl family (the name Beryl is derived from its chemical make-up beryllium aluminium silicates). Pure Beryl is essentially colourless; however, its structure enables it to integrate foreign elements such as iron, manganese, chrome or vanadium. It all sounds a bit technical, but basically when manganese is found in Beryl, the colourless gemstone turns into the enchanting pink treasure, Morganite.
Its depth of colour determines the quality and value of Morganite. When discovered in its rough form the gem is a pale salmon colour, but when heated its pink hues become more prominent. Sometimes the gem can be confused with Kunzite, however Kunzite is more of a bluish pink, whilst Morganite is more of an orangey, brownish pink.
The rule which says ‘the more transparent, the more valuable’ only applies to a certain extent. It depends on personal preference; there are plenty of women who prefer a Morganite with small inclusions, as it gives the appearance of fine silk.
The attributes of this gem are said to enable the wearer to focus on the joy in life, alleviate stress and pressure and open the heart chakra, which is not surprising, as even the mere sight of a Morganite cannot fail to cheer you up!