Pink beryl is known as morganite in the trade, or even “pink emerald,” although many in the trade consider the latter term to be misleading. George Kunz, then Tiffany’s colored stone specialist and a noted gem scholar in his own right, named pink beryl for J.P. Morgan, an American banker and gem enthusiast.
The morganite’s color is caused by traces of manganese. Because morganite has distinct pleochroism—pale pink and deeper bluish pink—it’s necessary to orient the rough carefully for fashioning.
Morganite’s color range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. Strong hues morganite are rare, and gems usually have to be fairly large to achieve the finest color.
In today’s market:
Because morganite has distinct pleochroism—pale pink and a deeper bluish pink—it’s necessary to orient morganite rough carefully for fashioning.
Heat treatment drives off the yellow or orange tinge, leaving a purer and more attractive pink color in morganite. The resulting color is stable and won’t fade.
Another treatment that is widely used in the gem industry to change from pale brown to pink or peach is radiating stone using high energy electron beam and then annealing it to turn them to adorable pink color. The result from treatment is stable at normal wearing condition.
Most of the morganite on the market comes from pegmatite mines in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Afghanistan, Mozambique, Madagascar, and the US have been minor and inconsistent sources. While it’s only a minor producer today, the original Madagascar deposit still sets the standard for the best material. That location’s yield of magenta-colored rough was superior to crystals from other sources.
Like many gems found in pegmatite, morganite can form as large crystals. Miners in Brazil have found crystals as large as 22 lbs. (10 kg). There are two faceted gems weighing 236 cts and 250 cts in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Although morganite is rarer than aquamarine, large cut stones are readily available on today’s market. That’s probably because morganite hasn’t been promoted to the jewelry-buying public nearly as widely as aquamarine or emerald. In early 2012, wholesale prices for top-quality morganite up to 10 cts ranged from $35 to $60 per carat. While wholesale price for smaller size between 8x6mm and 12x10mm ranging from $12 to 22/ct.
Per-carat prices rise until stones reach about 20 cts., then begin to decline. The decline is due to the fact that larger sizes are difficult to use in jewelry.