Gems, Morganite

Morganite

Morganite is definitely a very popular gem at the moment, especially in vintage-style rings and surrounded by smaller diamonds.

It is not difficult to see the appeal of Morganite. Its soft peach to pink colour and attractive transparency really shows off nicely, especially in rose gold settings, a metal that has also become more popular in recent years. In addition, it is one of the more durable semi-precious gems available to consumers, achieving a hardness of between 7.5 and 8 on Mohs scale.

However, there is one drawback of Morganite that I have been consistently disclosing to customers. If you intend to buy a Morganite ring as an engagement ring or a ring that will be worn every day, you have to know that your Morganite will become dull and lifeless very quickly as the grime of day-to-day living accumulates on its bottom facets.

At first this does not seem like a big deal; rings with gems can be cleaned can’t they? Yes they can, but cleaning an item of jewellery very often is rarely very high up on a modern human’s priority list, as any jeweller who does repairs can tell you…

Consider the gorgeous ring pictured below. The photograph shows the ring after being worn for a few months…

 

Morganite appears cloudy after being worn for a few months.
Designed by Johann Bothma, Altin Jewellers.

 

These pictures show another morganite ring, before and after a good clean.

The difference is quite marked, and definitely something a buyer needs to be aware of to avoid disappointment with the product later.

There are of course other transparent gems that have the same problem. Blue topaz and aquamarine comes to mind, as well as badly cut diamonds.

Generally, diamonds and good diamond simulants such as moissanite hold their sparkle well even as your jewellery becomes dirty with wear. This is because these gems are cut to reflect light back to the viewer, rather than the light falling through the crystal. The optical properties of the crystal itself also plays a role of course. The refractive index of topaz is pretty low compared to diamond. Transparent gemstones will also show dirt more easily than opaque gems, obviously…

So, when choosing a morganite jewellery item consider this: will it be an item that you will wear every day, and are you then ready to clean it regularly to keep it looking fresh and new? Or should you rather opt for another gem altogether for your ring, and rather wear morganite in pendants or earrings where they will be less exposed to dirt and grime? At least your decision will be an informed one now…