There’s a huge trend in bridal jewelry and engagement rings, and it’s not what you’re thinking. Yes, the halo is still hot hot hot. But things are getting warmer with a rosy outlook. Rose gold and pink and rosy hued gems are climbing in popularity with brides. The warm tones of pink gold enchant many an engagement ring shopper, and the soft pink tones of sapphires, diamonds, and one other particular stone evoke romance in their minds. That stone has exploded in popularity since the dawn of Pinterest: Morganite.
Morganite was first discovered off the coast of Madagascar in 1910 and named for financier JP Morgan. Morgan avidly collected gemstones, as rich dudes are wont to do. His buddy George Kunz, famed Tiffany & Co. gemologist, helped him assemble one of the most famous and award winning collections of gemstones exhibited at the Paris World Fair in 1889. After this, Morgan commissioned Kunz to hunt down and buy the finest and rarest gems around the world, resulting in the 2,176 piece Tiffany-Morgan collection, part deux. So when the rare form of pink beryl was discovered, Kunz suggested it be named for Morgan, in honor of his support for and contributions to gemology.
So, let’s just say that you’re not considering a morganite engagement ring to honor a Wall Street Titan/your bank. Let’s say you just love the warm, feminine tones of morganite. Or its myriad options for cut. Or the fact that it stands out in a crowd, even a crowd of halos. Is a morganite engagement ring right for you?
Durability: Morganite, as referenced above, is a variety of beryl, like emerald and aquamarine. Its Mohs scale rating is 7.5-8, so it’s definitely durable enough to be an engagement ring, though still softer than a diamond. If you’re concerned at all that your ring would scratch due to occupational hazard, just don’t wear your engagement ring to work. Or get one of these.
Cost: Do you want a rock? But your budget is more conducive to a high quality pebble? Don’t sacrifice cut, color and clarity just to achieve major carat weight, to the point where your 6+ carat diamond looks like “frozen spit” as one of RLJ’s Instagram followers once eloquently put it. Think outside the diamond box! Gemstone rings are hotter than ever and morganite leads the pack for trend setters. It’s more neutral than a sapphire, its soft hues blend perfectly with anything you’re wearing. Its color is remarkable – literally, people will ask you about your ring 24/7. And it’s considerably less expensive than a diamond. You’ll still need to make an investment, it’s still a precious gem, but a high quality, large morganite stone will cost you thousands, possibly tens of thousands (depending on how big we’re talking) less than a high quality diamond.
Quality Factors: As you can see, morganite is a pink-tinted gemstone, usually very faint in color and almost always heat treated to enhance the hue. The process involves heating the stone to diminish orange and yellow tones, leaving a purer, more desirable pink. The heat treatment is undetectable and won’t fade. Morganite ranges in color from soft pink to salmon, with warmer peachy hues of varying degrees in between. The shade of morganite is a personal preference. Gemstone quality morganite’s inclusions are usually tiny and undetectable to the naked eye, so it’s easier to find one of excellent clarity (versus a diamond.) When morganite is cloudy or opaque it’s typically cut into cabochons. Because there’s an abundance of eye-clean morganite, there are an abundance of cut options to choose from. That being said, they do need to be cut larger to best display any color, because of something called pleochroism: the property of a crystal of showing different colors when viewed by light polarized in different direction. So, happily, when it comes to morganite, the bigger the better.
Design: As you can see, the en vogue way to set morganite is in a rose gold halo setting. This enhances morganite’s blush tones, and looks gorgeous with accent diamonds. If you still have your heart set on a diamond (or happen to have one waiting for you, courtesy of Grandma) you can still get the look of a rosy engagement ring with a pink gold setting.
Conclusion: Morganite makes for a gorgeous engagement ring! It’s durable enough to last a life time – its Mohs rating is still harder than steel, so unless you’re actively trying to scratch it with a diamond, you should be fine in most situations. And you wouldn’t treat a diamond ring carelessly anyway, this ring will be just as precious to you and just as suitable for most people to wear daily. It’s considerably less expensive than diamond, and you can have a big engagement ring without skimping on quality. It’s lovely on every.single.skin tone. Universally flattering, people. And it’s trendy, yes, but I have a feeling it will endure as classic, just like a sapphire or emerald engagement ring would. Bonus points: hubs can match you with a rose gold men’s wedding band. I say if you love morganite engagement rings, go for it!