Even though they have some similarities, morganites and diamonds have distinct differences. While diamonds are more expensive and traditional, morganite is more budget-friendly and an up-and-coming gem for jewelry. Diamonds also have more clarity and are harder, whereas morganite can be scratched or chipped easier.
Our ultimate guide on morganite vs. diamond will cover everything you need to know. We’ll go beyond the basics to discuss everything from brilliance to density to color and clarity and, of course, price.
We’ll clarify the differences between these two gemstones so you can make an informed, confident decision when considering morganite vs. diamond.
- Basics of Morganite
- Basics of Diamonds
- Hardness of Morganite vs. Diamonds
- Pricing of Morganite vs. Diamonds
- Key Differences of Morganite vs. Diamond
- Is a Morganite or Diamond a Better Purchase?
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Basics of Morganite
Morganite is a pink to an orange-pink gem from the beryl family. As such, this gemstone is directly related to both aquamarine and emerald . For more information check our guide on Blue Topaz vs. Aquamarine.
This gem can range in color from coral to bright pink to dark pink and rose. Morganite that’s a darker shade of pink is the most valuable. Even though this gemstone usually has a natural orange or yellow color, these tints are rendered with heat so as to hone in on those aforementioned colors. Heat treatment makes the gem less likely to fade over the course of its lifetime. (Source)
Morganite was discovered in the country of Madagascar in 1910 by George Kunz. Kunz was Tiffany & Co.’s chief gemologist and J.P. Morgan’s personal gemologist. The name “morganite” comes from his legacy. The primary countries morganite is mined in include Madagascar and Brazil.
Although it’s pretty durable, morganite can still break, chip, or become scratched, so it needs to be taken care of. Jewelry made with morganite also needs to be cleaned every so often with soap and warm water to remove dirt and other particles.
Morganite comes in many various shapes, such as princess, pear, and cushion cuts. Round cuts are the most popular.
Through the years, its popularity has grown exponentially (especially for engagement rings) due in part because it sells for a lower cost per carat.
Basics of Diamonds
Diamonds are the only gem known to man (besides graphite) that’s made from just one element: pure carbon. These special gemstones are naturally made far below the planet’s surface and are brought to the surface by volcanic activity. For almost a hundred years, the most common gem for proposals has been the diamond.
Prior to the 1900s, diamonds were mostly found in India. Although diamonds are mined in many countries — namely Australia, Russia, and Canada — they’re found all over the globe. Only about 30% of diamonds are “gem quality,” though. Perhaps not surprisingly, the United States is the largest diamond market in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, diamonds also come in all different colors, from green to red to blue and even orange.
Diamonds that are the most sought-after have high-quality round cuts, are colorless, and lack inclusions. Still, these diamond expectations are beginning to shift, and people enjoy this gem in a variety of settings, shapes, and colors.
These gems are also exceptionally hard and can’t be chipped or scratched easily. The word “diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which roughly translates to “indestructible” or “invincible.”
Though diamonds come in many shapes — from emerald to oval — round cuts are the most common.
Hardness of Morganite vs. Diamonds
Mineral hardness is determined using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which evaluates how scratch-resistant minerals are to ascertain their durability and hardness.
Diamonds are the hardest natural mineral on the planet. On the Mohs scale, this gem scores highest at 10. They’re not likely to scratch, chip, or become damaged. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is — you guessed it — another diamond. Diamonds are not only wear-and-tear resistant but also retain their polish for many years.
In comparison, morganite ranges from 7.5 to 8. In fact, with regard to morganite, diamonds are around six to eight times harder. That being said, morganite is much more likely to chip or scratch.
To further put the morganite vs. diamond hardness into perspective, we can use other scales. Hardness can also be measured with the Knoop hardness scale, a linear scale that measures durability. While morganite scores a 1,000 on the Knoop hardness scale, a diamond is scored at a whopping 7,000. This means morganite is roughly 1/7 as hard as a diamond.
But that doesn’t mean you have to cross morganite off your list; in fact, it’s the opposite.
Morganite can still last a lifetime, especially if you take good care of it.
Pricing of Morganite vs. Diamonds
When considering pricing, you’ll usually want to consider the four C’s: color, carat weight, clarity, and cut. These factors will affect the price of gems. For example, the more carat weight a gemstone has, the more expensive it is. With regard to cut, a poorly cut gem will sell for much less than a high quality cut gem.
In general, the pricing of morganite vs. diamonds is straightforward. Diamonds will almost always sell for a higher price when evaluating the cost of gems of the same carat weight.
For example, if you compare a one-carat diamond to a one-carat morganite, the diamond can be sold for a couple thousand dollars, whereas a morganite might be a couple hundred dollars. It’s important to note, though, that most of the time, you’ll see morganite measured in millimeters instead of its carat weight.
The demand for diamonds is also much higher than for morganite. In fact, the latter can be difficult to find since it’s not as commonly used in jewelry.
For those looking for a more budget-friendly option for an engagement ring or other types of jewelry, morganite is a great choice. You’ll save more money by choosing morganite over a diamond and could potentially put some of those savings toward a nicer setting or bigger gemstone.
Key Differences of Morganite vs. Diamond
Although morganite and diamond are two gems worthy of consideration, there are some key differences between the two.
As diamonds are famous for their striking brilliance, you might’ve guessed that they have more brilliance than morganite. If you guessed that, you’d be correct.
Diamonds have existed as the king gem of jewelry, and when compared to morganite, the diamond’s brilliance (its sparkle and shine) takes the cake. Manufacturers will usually include a premium for well cut, colorless diamonds. Quality diamonds should have an impressive caliber of fire, scintillation, and brilliance.
A gem’s brilliance is due to the light refracted within the stone. This is measured using a refractive index to calculate the speed at which light travels through the gem.
For example, while morganite’s refractive index is around 2.71 to 2.90, a diamond’s refractive index comes through at about 2.417.
When you take a look at morganite in comparison to other pink gems, morganite has a more noticeable brilliance. For maximum brilliance, choose a larger morganite. But in terms of morganite vs. diamonds, diamonds triumph.
Diamonds are more dense than morganite, a critical fact when analyzing two gems of the same size.
To be more specific, a diamond’s density is 3.5, while a morganite’s density ranges from 2.71 to 2.90. So, the diamond might be 15% to 30% heavier if you weigh both gemstones that are the same size. In order to have the same carat weight as a diamond, morganite would need to be a bigger size than the former. Still, this difference in weight isn’t really noticeable since the weights aren’t heavy enough to detect.
If you’re comparing diamonds and morganite, color is a pretty significant feature.
While diamonds are usually colorless (unlike pink diamonds), morganite has warmer tones of pink. The latter can range in tones from bright pink to rose to peach and violet, and these tints also range in terms of color concentration. If you’re looking for the most valuable morganite, it’ll be a dark pink color.
With diamonds, they’ll be evaluated on a color scale that ranges from completely colorless (D) to light (Z). A diamond that’s graded D will be the most valuable, thanks to its significant light refraction capabilities. You’ll see more brown and yellow tones as you go along the scale.
That being said, even if you choose a G grade diamond, the hints of brown or yellow aren’t going to be really noticeable to the naked eye.
Clarity — the gem’s amount and size of inclusions — is a critical part of evaluating gems. Inclusions can refer to how cloudy a gem looks, or they can refer to other imperfections. Either way, inclusions can negatively affect the gemstone’s brilliance.
One of a morganite’s best qualities is its clarity. It almost never has serious inclusions, and you usually can’t see them with the naked eye.
However, clarity is one of the drawbacks of a diamond. It’s pretty difficult to find a diamond that’s immaculate.
Clarity is one of the main reasons people might choose morganite over a diamond; its naturally impeccable clarity is a huge draw.
The durability of morganite vs. diamond is hardly a contest. Diamonds, which score a 10 on the Mohs scale, are Earth’s hardest natural mineral. On the other hand, morganite can vary from 7.5 to 8.
However, you shouldn’t discount morganite because it’s not as durable as a diamond. If taken care of properly, morganite can still last for years, even if worn around the clock. This gem probably won’t break on impact if dropped on the ground; however, getting the right setting can protect morganite better.
Value and Return on Investment
Diamonds are very durable and can last lifetimes. In terms of value and return on investment, it depends. Diamonds will definitely lose value through the years. For lab-grown diamonds, there’s even less return on investment as synthetic diamonds don’t retain value well.
Morganite’s value can vary, but dark pink morganite will be the most valuable. In general, morganite is a great investment.
But which gemstone makes the best purchase?
Is a Morganite or Diamond a Better Purchase?
If you’re looking for a traditional, popular gem option, diamonds are classic. They’ve never gone out of fashion and are still the most commonly used today. Diamonds are also the most durable, meaning they’re scratch-resistant and won’t break or chip easily.
However, diamonds are more expensive than morganite, so they won’t make a good budget-friendly purchase. Diamonds also have a considerable environmental impact. Besides the fact that there’s rough stone wasted when cutting diamonds, the diamond industry is also famous for not only illegal mining but also exploiting workers.
Morganite is a more affordable gem, so if you’re on a budget, this stone might be perfect for you. The range of pink-toned colors is also a huge draw, as a morganite’s clarity and brilliance make these hues pop.
Unfortunately, morganite becomes dirty easier, so careful cleaning is a must. It also runs the risk of getting damaged, scratched, or chipped since it’s not as hard as a diamond. The quality of this gem can vary greatly, as well.
Whether a morganite or a diamond is a better purchase will totally depend on your budget and personal preference. However, in general, a diamond is a better investment in the long run. It’s also considered a higher quality gem.
Morganite and diamond are two stunning gems that make for dazzling jewelry.
If you’re on a budget, morganite will probably be the best choice. It’s colorful, affordable, and becoming more and more trendy every year, especially as a diamond alternative. If cost isn’t an issue, diamonds are an elegant, durable, and valuable gem that’ll last lifetimes.
The good news is either of these gems can make a stunning piece of jewelry.
Our Team of 10 includes jewelry experts, antique Buyers & Sellers, baseball card collectors, and other appraisal experts.