Morganite is a rare, pink semi-precious gemstone of the beryl family of minerals. Beryl is the mineral beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate, and its hexagonal crystals are transparent, except when another mineral is present that adds color. In the case of morganite, which is also called pink or rose beryl, it's manganese that gives it it's pinkish hue. The larger gemstones are more prized since their transparent pink color tends to be more pleasantly intense than the colors of smaller stones. Many large stones are a cool light pink to medium rose that is paired with white gold in jewelry designs, while those that are a warm salmon pink better suit yellow gold jewelry settings.
While this stone is suitable for use in many different types of jewelry, it shouldn't be used for rings worn daily because these are likely to become scratched or chipped. Harder gems, like diamonds, are better for rings. The diamond rates a perfect 10 for hardness on the Mohs scale, which is used to evaluate the hardness of gemstones to determine their durability for use in jewelry. Morganite only measures a 7.5. This gemstone can be used in a necklace or earrings because such jewelry usually receive less wear and tear.
A morganite stone should never be marketed as a pink emerald because it isn't one and it's illegal to represent it as such. Emeralds are in the same beryl family, as are aquamarines and heliodors, but they are different stones. Aquamarines have an icy green-blue color, while heliodors are more of a rich green-yellow. Morganites are usually sold at a reasonable price, but they are rare and not easy to find on the market.
These stones are found naturally in countries such as Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia and Russia. Some American states are good sources as well, including California and North Carolina. Due to its rarity, this gem tends to be collected more than it's sold.
The gem was known as pink beryl until 1911, when it was named for the gemstone collector and banker John Pierpont Morgan, by the gemologist George Frederick Kunz. At the time, Morgan was the biggest customer of Tiffany's, the New York jewelry company. Cool pinkish morganite stones are still often sold as pink or rose beryl, while warmer stones may be marketed as peach or champagne beryl.