The World's Most Useful
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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Morganite, Not Pink
This month we answer
another recently received question... Is there really a pink emerald?
Morganite is the proper name for the pink variety of
the beryl family of gems and minerals. Like other families, beryl has
several members. Some are famous and popular... and some are less well known, but just as beautiful.
We're all familiar with emerald, the vibrant green
variety of the beryls. Its the most famous and popular. Another well known
member of the family is the blue variety - aquamarine, affectionately known as Aqua.
Morganite was found in the Pala Mining District,
near San Diego, California, back in the early 1900's.
At that time, George Frederick Kunz, known as the
"Gem Expert for Tiffany & Company" was working with tourmaline and
other gems coming from mines in the Pala District, and thus became aware of this new
Kunz suggested that this gem known simply as pink beryl be
named after tycoon J.P. Morgan, a prolific donor of gems to the American
Museum of Natural History. and a gem fancier. Thus the gem was christened...
Morganite is now mined in such diverse localities as
Madagascar, Africa, Afghanistan, and Brazil, as well as California. Even though
it is found in several places around the world, it is only found in small quantities,
and is classified as a rare gem.
Morganite is a connoisseur gem, for those who are
willing to seek it out for its unique combination of soft shades and dazzling
Chemically the beryl family is beryllium aluminum
silicate. In its pure state, beryl is colorless. When nature adds minute traces of manganese the result is pink
morganite. When nature adds a little more manganese the result is known as red
beryl, or bixbite.
If nature adds chromium or vanadium instead of manganese, the result is green,
From there the beryl family colors become somewhat more
complicated. Minute traces of iron can color beryl blue (aqua), yellow
(helidor), or light green (green beryl). In these gems the color depends
on the oxidation state of the iron present in the gem.
Now, for the pink emerald part of this article - I'll make
it short, in keeping with how the gem industry handled this marketing train
In the 1990's a company set out to corner the morganite
market by buying up much of the
available supply and marketing it as pink emerald. The gem industry met
this change with what I would describe as open hostility. After all, everyone
knows emerald is green, emerald green to be exact.
I believe the company recognized that the wear
characteristics of pink beryl makes it an excellent jewelry stone and a
beautiful, rare gem, and thought that imaginative marketing.
However, the gem industry defines emerald as beryl
containing chromium or vanadium... period! So, the industry not only declined to
join the marketing campaign, they actively opposed it.
The company exhibited at the Tucson Gem Shows for one or two
years, but I haven't seen them there since.
A Google search for the keyword phrase pink emerald
returns a number of listings and ads. Most of them refer to pink emerald cut
stones, and not morganite.
Gem Industry News...
Popular Gem Colors For 2006
ColoredStone Magazine reports on the color industry's
predictions for popular colors for 2006.
According to this article we'll say goodbye to neon
orange, chartreuse, and hot pinks — this coming spring, colors in fashion and
industry will be softer and more soothing. Instead of psychedelics,
colors in 2006 are influenced by water (blues, blue-green, and teal), nature
(beige, yellow-green, and creamy white), and milder shades of primary colors
(coral, lilac, and peach).
“Color is very emotional. It’s directed by how we live
our lives. We want colors around us; they make us feel good,” says Melanie
Wood, past president of Color
Marketing Group (CMG), a color forecasting association.
“Colors are becoming very comforting. We have enough
craziness in the world to have jarring colors around us. For the most part,
colors are softening. For example, orange is moving into the peach family.”
“Warmer, clearer, and brighter” is how CMG describes
the colors we’ll be seeing in fashion next spring. Colors won’t be neon, nor
pastel, but “mid-tone bold. They’re going to be just where people are going
to be,” says Wood.
Several of our bargain priced stud
earrings fit right in with these color projections.
How was your business year? Since you sell jewelry, a
popular fashion accessory, your year should have been fabulous. We had a great
year also, thank you very much!
The economy is strong, people are working and have
money to spend, and it looks like the economy will maintain that strong momentum
for at least another year.
Now you and I can take care of those little leftover
things we didn't have time to do during the busy Christmas sales season... then
we can take a little vacation.
Soon you and I will turn our attention to planning for
2006, and rebuilding inventory.
The Tucson Gem Shows are coming up in about a month. We'll
be there looking for new gems... or possibly known gems in newly
discovered colors. We'll buy some gem rough and have it faceted for sale in
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