Morganite History and Lore

Morganite was named to honor American financier and gem enthusiast J.P. Morgan. - Corbis
Following the discovery of a new locality for rose beryl in Madagascar in 1910, George Kunz proposed the name morganite at a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences on 5 December 1910 to honor his friend and customer J.P. Morgan for his financial support for the arts and sciences, and his important gifts of gems to the American Museum of Natural History in New York and  to the Museum of Natural History in Paris.  Morgan was one of the most important gem collectors in the early 1900s – his collection was partly assembled by Tiffany and Company and their chief gemologist, Kunz.
One of the interesting properties of morganite noted by Kunz was its intense red-colored fluorescence when exposed to X-rays, but no phosphorescence when the X-ray source was turned off.
On October 7th, 1989, one of the largest specimens of Morganite was uncovered. It was found in the Bennet Quarry of Buckfield, Maine, and it was somewhat orangish in hue and about 23 cm long and 30 cm across. This well-formed crystal weighed in at just more than 50 pounds, and was called ‘The Rose of Maine’.

Miners discovered the first morganite specimens in Madagascar in 1911. Magenta-colored rough from those deposits still sets the color standard for the variety. This sample weighs about 12 oz. (349 g). - Maha Tannous