Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gem of the Week: Morganite

A morganite ring weighing nearly 40 carats.
From Lang Estate and Antique Jewelry, San Francisco

A member of the beryl family along with aquamarine (which is pale blue) and heliodor (which is greenish), morganite is a pink stone revered for its clarity and fire. also known as "pink beryl," "rose beryl," "pink emerald," and "cesian beryl," morganite can exhibit “color-banding” by showing stripes of orange and/or yellow.

The stone gets its name from financier, J.P. Morgan and was so christened by the New York Academy of Sciences in 1910. The largest morganite specimen found to date is “The Rose of Maine,” found in Bennett Quarry in Buckfield, Maine in 1989. This massive stone weighs 50 pounds—not carats, pounds.

Morganite became a popular stone in jewelry designs of the late Edwardian era and into the 1930’s. Prized for its delicate color, this particularly feminine stone was the favorite for cocktail rings such as the one pictured here.

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