Morganite vs Diamond: What’s the Difference?

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but there are other gemstones that are entering the friend group and vying for diamond’s #1 spot. Morganite is one of these gemstones. This peachy-pink-hued stone is naturally romantic and relatively affordable. These are just a few of the reasons morganite has gained popularity in the realm of fine jewelry, even becoming a sought-after replacement for the diamond in engagement rings. 

What is morganite, where did it come from, and why is it becoming a popular diamond alternative? We compare morganite vs diamond to answer all of those questions so you can walk away with all the knowledge you need to select a stone. See how morganite stacks up and if this pink stone is right for you. 

What Is Morganite?

Morganite is a gemstone that is derived from the mineral beryl. Other members of the beryl family include emerald and aquamarine. The color of morganite is very different from its family members; Also called rose beryl or pink beryl, it is various shades of pink, ranging from pale to orange-pink to salmon. 

George Kunz, the chief gemologist of Tiffany & Co. discovered morganite in Madagascar in 1910. At the time, however, it didn’t yet have its name. Kunz later called it morganite after his friend and customer, J.P. Morgan, the financier, supporter of the arts, and collector of gems.

While it was discovered over a century ago, morganite didn’t rise in popularity until rather recently. In 2010, morganite was found in Brazil. This new source of the gemstone, as well as changing tastes favoring the pink hue of rose gold, which pairs beautifully with morganite, suddenly made morganite a sought-after gemstone, especially for unique engagement rings. 

How Is Morganite Made?

Natural morganite is formed in rocks and is often found in granite, shale, limestone, and marble where the mineral beryllium is present. While morganite was initially discovered in Madagascar, it has since been found all over the world.    

What gives morganite its lovely pink hue while other gems in the beryl family are green or blue? The orangey-pink color comes from traces of the mineral manganese. Morganite can be treated with heat to alter its color. This is common with stones used for morganite engagement rings, as it removes hints of yellow or orange to create a more covetable shade of pink. 

In addition to natural morganite, there is also man-made morganite, which is created in a lab to match  the natural composition of the rare gem. With the surge in popularity of morganite, synthetic morganite makes this semi precious stone more attainable.  

Morganite vs Diamond

When selecting a precious gemstone or semiprecious stone for your engagement ring, or any piece of fine jewelry, it’s important to understand what factors contribute to the quality of the stone. Here, we’ll compare morganite vs diamond, the most popular gemstone for engagement rings and fine jewelry in terms of color, sparkle, durability, and affordability. 

Color

The most noticeable difference between morganite stone and diamond is the color. While diamonds do range in color, ranging from bright white to yellow or brown on the D to Z color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and can even come in fancy colors such as pink or black, they are more commonly a shade of white. Morganite, on the other hand, is a shade of pink.  

Where color is concerned, these gemstones aren’t interchangeable. If you love the look of a pink gem or a pink diamond, then morganite may be right for you, but if you want the bright white look of a diamond, morganite isn’t the best option. Consider moissanite or man made diamonds if you are looking for a diamond alternative with a bright white color. 

Sparkle

A lot goes into how much a gemstone sparkles, from its clarity to its cut to its size. Sparkle comes down to how light hits and travels through the stone. Nothing compares to a round brilliant-cut diamond when it comes to sparkle. This is the cut to which all other diamond cuts are compared because it has maximum light return. 

For all diamonds, the greater the cut grade and the greater the clarity grade of the stone, the more it will sparkle. The sparkle of a diamond with an excellent cut and high clarity is unmatched. However, morganite does sparkle brilliantly. And similar to a diamond, the greater the cut and clarity, the greater the sparkle. Additionally, attaining ideal cut and clarity within a budget is easier with more affordable morganite stones than it is with expensive diamond stones. It’s also possible to emphasize the sparkle of morganite with a halo engagement ring.

Durability

When selecting a gemstone for an engagement ring, durability is important. This is where diamonds shine; they’re the hardest gemstone, coming in at a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, which is the highest rating. This means diamonds are incredibly resistant to scratching. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond. 

Morganite is also quite durable, ranking 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. While less scratch-resistant than a diamond, morganite is still very scratch-resistant and can last a lifetime when cared for properly and contained in a protective setting. 

Affordability

Diamonds are notoriously expensive, which is just one reason to consider diamond alternatives and other gemstones, such as morganite. The greater the clarity grade, color grade, and carat weight of a diamond, the more expensive it will be. These qualities enhance the quality and appearance of a diamond, and thus, its desirability. 

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, a 2-carat diamond ring could cost thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars. Fancy colored diamonds, such as pink diamonds, can be even more expensive than white diamonds. 

Morganite gem, on the other hand, is a relatively affordable gemstone. A 2-carat morganite could cost from a few hundred dollars to $1000. Unlike diamonds, morganite often doesn’t increase as exponentially in price with size. This is because larger morganite stones are actually quite abundant. If you are seeking a larger morganite gemstone, perhaps for an engagement ring, you won’t have to expand your budget to attain it. 

If you love the look of pink diamonds, morganite can be a wonderful diamond alternative, and much more affordable. 

How Much Does Morganite Cost?

One of the biggest pros of morganite is its relatively affordable cost. Similar to diamonds, morganite gemstones that are of better quality will cost more. This means those stones that have incredible clarity, color, and excellent cut will be more expensive. Thankfully, because morganite is more affordable than diamond, it’s possible to get a much higher quality stone for your budget.  

While all hues of morganite are beautiful, morganite stones with a deeper color are typically more expensive than lighter-hued morganite. The shade of pink, however, doesn’t deter from the quality, so it is entirely your personal preference which hue you choose. If you love the look of a paler pink morganite, you could easily find a more affordable stone.  

At a friendly price point, morganite isn’t only great for a wedding ring, but for other pieces of jewelry as well. Morganite jewelry, such as earrings, rings, and necklaces, is much more budget-friendly than its diamond counterparts, making it great for gifts for special occasions.  

Is Morganite a Diamond Alternative?

Morganite can certainly be a diamond alternative. A morganite engagement ring will have a beautiful pink color, sparkle brilliantly, and stand the test of time, all at a relatively affordable cost. It’s important to note, however, that morganite and diamond look very different. If you are looking for a gemstone that mimics the appearance of a diamond, you should instead consider lab grown diamonds or diamond simulants.  

The Nexus Diamond Alternative, for instance, is a patented lab-created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. If your motivation for considering a morganite ring is its friendly price point, you may want to pursue this alternative to mined diamonds. Other alternatives to consider are moissanite vs diamond and white topaz vs diamond, as other affordable and comparable options. For more alternatives or if you’re wondering what is a moissanite, visit our blog. 

Browse our collection of engagement rings, wedding rings, and fine jewelry, all created with diamond simulants, to discover the beauty of diamond simulants. 

Sources: 

GIA

GIA

Wedding Wire

Teach Jewelry 

Geology

International Gem Society

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