The lovely pink gemstone, Morganite, is in the beryl family, which makes it a cousin to emeralds and aquamarines. Discovered in 1910, on an island off the coast of Madagascar, Morganite was named for legendary financier and gem collector, J.P. Morgan, after being called simply pink beryl for the first year or so it was around. Morganite is the official name of this beryl, but there has been some attempt in the jewelry trade to change the name to pink emerald, to make it sound more valuable. Morganite can also be found in colors from peachy pink, violet pink or a light lilac, and a light salmon color.
On the Moh scale, Morganite has a good hardness of 7.5 to 8. Unlike
emeralds, which often have inclusions, Morganite is usually quite
clean and clear. Heat treating is the most common way to bring out
the pink in this gemstone. It also removes any yellow shading that
might be in the stone.
Most Morganite today, comes from Pala, California, but is also
found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, and
Zimbabwe. It is also found in Maine, in the U.S.. In October of 1989,
the Rose of Maine, was found at the Buckfield Quarry in Buckfield,
Maine. This stone was somewhat orange in hue, and measured 9 inches
(23 cm.) long, and about 12 inches (30 cm.) across.
Along with the matrix, it weighed just over 50 lbs. (23 kg.).
Morganite is valued first and foremost for the intensity and
saturation of color, followed by size and clarity. The beautiful rosy
hues are most often found in larger stones. Pink is the most popular
color for jewelry, but the unheated peach and salmon stones have
found popularity among collectors. Rare, magenta colored Morganite
from the original deposit in Madagascar is still considered to be the
finest and the rarest variety of this gemstone.
It is believed that Morganite can foster love, tolerance and
empathy, acceptance, and a live and let live attitude.
The Rose of Maine.