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MORGANITE INFORMATION

Morganite is the pink variety of beryl. It is found in Madagascar, Brazil and various parts of the U.S.A.; Its refractive index is 1.57 to 1.60 and the crystal system is hexagonal. The hardness is rated at 7.5 to 8.0 on the mohs scale. Click here for more information on Morganite. To view our loose morganite gemstones, click here.

MORGANITE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Chemical composition Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Class cyclosilicates
Crystal system hexagonal; 6/m2/m2/m
Crystal habit prismatic crystals, typically flattened on {0001}, smaller crystals often dihexagonal with bipyramidal faces.
Twinning twinning is very rare and simple on pyramidal planes{3141} or{4041}
Specific gravity 2.71 - 2.90
Index of refraction 1.572 - 1.600
Birefringence weak (0.008 - 0.009)
Pleochroism distinct, pale pink/bluish pink
Hardness 7.5 - 8.0
Color pink, peach, rose or salmon
Luster vitreous
Transparency transparent to translucent
Cleavage imperfect, parallel to the basal pinacoid {0001}
Fracture conchoidal to uneven, brittle
Streak white

Beryl (Be3Al2(Si6O18) is a relatively common mineral although it does contain the rare element beryllium. It is most well known however for its gem varieties: the pale green to blue aquamarine , the intense green emerald , the pale yellow to yellowish-orange heliodor and the pale pink to salmon colored morganite. Beryl also occurs as the colorless gem variety goshenite, and as the very rare red gem beryl variety bixbite.

OCCURRENCE AND DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES

Morganite (Be3Al2(Si6O18)) occurs primarily in complex granitic pegmatites. Morganite is typically associated with quartz, albite and muscovite, and can occur with other pegmatite accessory minerals such as garnet, spodumene, columbite-tantalite, lepidolite, amblygonite, tourmaline, petalite, beryllonite and other berylium minerals. Because of morganite's relatively high hardness and specific gravity, it is sometimes found in eluvial and aluvial deposits.

The pink color of morganite is due to trace amounts of manganese impurities in the beryl structure. The color of morganite ranges from pale pink to orange-pink depending on the relative concentrations of Mn2+ to Fe3+. The Fe3+ adds yellow to the pink thereby producing an orange-pink color. Heating orange-pink morganite to approximately 250 - 450 degrees Celcius reduces the Fe3+ to Fe2+, thereby eliminating the yellow color leaving only the pure pink color that is most popular today. Irradiation can reverse this process restoring the orange-pink color.

Morganite is usually recognized by its form, color and specific gravity. It is distinguished from apatite by its greater hardness.

METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Morganite is said to instill and nurture love. It is also said to give patience, and to enhance one's communication skills.

Morganite is said to help remedy respiratory ailments and to increase the supply of oxygen to cells.

With pink a fashion favorite, morganite is a gem that is much in demand. It has a dazzling brilliance and soft color that ranges from clear pink to a lovely peach. If it reminds you of the beauty of aquamarine, that's not surprising since they are the same mineral: morganite is the pastel pink color and aquamarine is the pastel blue color of beryl.

There is something rich and dazzling about morganite. Although its color is pastel, it has a lushness rare in pink gems. And its brilliance makes it a dazzling addition to your jewelry wardrobe, adding a feminine touch to black, gray, earth tones, and navy. Like many other pink gems, morganite looks beautiful set in white gold. The warmth of its color means it also works well in yellow gold, blending beautifully with blue, celadon, peach, yellow, lilac and other rich pastels.

Morganite was first discovered in California in the early twentieth century. A rich gem find of tourmaline, kunzite, and other gems outside San Diego started a gem rush in the region. Morganite was an exciting new discovery, one that drew the attention of the world's most important gem buyer: George Kunz of Tiffany & Co.

Kunz knew that this rich pink gem was something exceptional and he bought all he could. He decided to name it in honor of his biggest customer: millionaire bank tycoon J.P. Morgan, who was an avid gem collector.

Although morganite was also discovered in 1908 in Madagascar and there are also deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia, it remains relatively rare. In fact, its rarity keeps it relatively affordable, since it isn't available in enough quantity to cut in standard sizes and use in manufactured jewelry. Morganite remains a connoisseur gem, for those who are willing to seek it out for its unique combination of soft shades and dazzling brilliance.

Morganite is occasionally be found in large sizes: the largest faceted morganite is a 598.70-carat cushion-shape from Madagascar in the collection of the British Museum.

With a hardness of 7.5, morganite is a durable gem perfect for everyday wear. Clean with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.

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