Morganite, a little secret
Found on an island in the Indian Ocean, Morganite remains a well-hidden secret over 100 years after its discovery. “Morganite … rings are not typically something you’d find at the average jewelry store. … Morganite is a rare, light pink-colored stone,” writes Margeaux Klein from the Huffington Post.
Something the Gemological Institut of America noticed as well. Stating in an article that “morganite is rarer than aquamarine … That’s probably because morganite hasn’t been promoted to the jewelry-buying public nearly as widely as aquamarine or emerald. … Most of the [gems] come from … mines in Minas Gerais, Brazil. … While it’s only a minor producer today, the original Madagascar deposit still sets the standard for the best material.”
“I think, the scarcity of excellent gems is one of the major reasons this gemstone has not penetrated the mainstream, yet. Excellent pieces can be found in Mozambique, close to Madagascar, as well. However, miners are reluctant to sell their best quality,” says Stefan Kreis.
In fact, one specimen of extraordinary quality has been placed on permanent display at the Vault of Natural History Museum in London.
Made of the same material as emerald, beryl, the gem derives it’s color through traces of manganese, giving it slight, elegant, pinkish hues. The name Cor-De-Rosa, meaning “pink”, has its origin in the Portuguese language. This is due to Madagascar’s discovery by the western world. The first European to set foot on Madagascar was the Portuguese captain Diogo Dias. Originally on his way to India, he was forced to alter his route due to strong winds. Looking for a safe haven, Dias took course to an island we know as Madagascar today and named it St. Lawrence. That was on August 10, 1500.
The wide range in the climate and the rich mineral sources increased the island’s attractiveness. In 1883, France invaded Madagascar and by 1896 had established rule over the island. Thus became the world’s 4th largest island a colony of France. It is because of this part of Madagascar’s history that French is the official language. But Portuguese influences, such as the name Cor-de-Rosa remain and carry forward a part of Madagascar’s history.
[Natural History Museum London – Entrance Hall]