Diamond alternatives are becoming more and more fashionable for engagement rings, especially among the younger generations. There are several reasons for this ranging from budget, to eco-consciousness, to simply wanting something unique.
These reasons could all explain why morganite is trending right now. Once deemed tacky (probably by the snobby diamond industry), morganite is definitely having a moment. Its romantic pink color is perfect for any bride-to-be who wants to stand out—and its wallet-friendly price makes it a no-brainer!
What Is Morganite?
If you’ve never seen it, morganite is a rose-colored variation of the mineral beryl and a newly discovered precious gemstone. It was originally found in California and Madagascar around the year 1910. In fact, it was once known as “pink beryl,” but renamed in honor of the financier and gemologist J.P. Morgan (yes, the same guy who started the bank).
Its color comes from the mineral manganese, which gives it a variety of shades in the peach, pink, or even purplish family. Occasionally, morganite can even be found with no color at all—like a diamond itself.
Morganite’s best quality is its clarity. Unlike many other stones, including diamonds, morganites tend to be free of inclusions, meaning they’re as close to perfection as you can get.
Where Does Morganite Come From?
Like other gemstones, morganite comes from mines. Morganite can be made in a lab, although most of the stones on the market are natural. Today, it’s mostly mined in Brazil. However, the stone also comes from other countries around the world including the United States, Afghanistan, Mozambique, and Namibia.
Does Morganite Have a Special Meaning?
Morganite symbolizes inner power, confidence, and growth—quite fitting for an engagement ring, don’t you think? By many, it’s considered a “crystal of love” and associated with the heart chakra. Supposedly, it aids in improving communication between you and your partner.
Is Morganite Expensive?
Compared to diamonds, morganites are a bargain. A one-carat morganite stone can run you about $300, while a diamond typically costs around almost 10 times that. This makes it a very budget-friendly option for couples that don’t want to spend a lot.
The downside is that its value does not generally appreciate over time, meaning it’s not the best investment, so to speak. However, smaller stones tend to be a bit more valuable than larger ones, especially if they have a great shade—go figure!
Interestingly enough, morganite is technically more rare than a diamond, assuming that it’s natural.
Is Morganite Durable?
Morganite is rated around 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, much like an emerald. For comparison, a sapphire is a 9 while a diamond is a 10. Generally speaking, this rating makes morganite quite suitable for everyday wear without the fear of tear. However, it can chip if exposed to enough force—but this is more of an issue only if you have a stone that’s more than two carats. In this case, it’s important to have a good setting that will protect the stone from falling out.
Worst case scenario, even if your morganite ring does get a scratch, you can always take it to a jeweler to be repolished. Accidents aside, you likely won’t need to do any major maintenance on the stone. Although jewelers recommend taking it in for a touch-up every 20 years—if even that.
Does Morganite Require Special Care?
Depending on where you wear your morganite ring, you will likely need to clean it once a week or two. Basic jewelry cleaner will do the trick and help the ring maintain its sparkle. If you’re a low-maintenance person, it’s recommended to take it off whenever you get your hands dirty, so to speak.
What Precious Metal Does Morganite Pair Best With?
Morganite looks most exquisite in a rose gold setting. However, its pink hue will fit with any other colored metal band, including gold and silver variations.