Pink gems are all the rage, and two of the most famous ones are pink sapphire and morganite. Morganite has been the public’s favorite for the past decade or so, especially for engagement rings. Pink sapphire is less known than morganite, but regarded as a very good alternative to pink diamonds.
So let’s take a look at pink sapphire and morganite, see how the two differ from one another and which one you’d rather pick.
Pink sapphire vs morganite
Pink sapphire is a tougher gemstone than morganite, and offers a brighter, more vivid pink than morganite. Morganite tends to be a subtle pink with orange undertones, and is always a very clear gemstone. There is a big price difference, with even the lightest color pink sapphire being far more expensive than a fine quality morganite.
Overall, pink sapphire and morganite are two great pink gems, but they offer hat pink in very different ways. Read on to find out more about their differences.
What is pink sapphire ?
Pink sapphire is a version of corundum that does not have enough chromium in it to be called a ruby. Instead, it is classed as a sapphire, and it also has slight blue-purple tones, due to trace amounts of titanium and iron. Pink sapphires come in some very impressive shades of pink, and they’ve been quite popular among celebrities.
Read also: Diamond Engagement Ring Alternatives
What is morganite ?
Morganite is a type of beryl, in the same family as emeralds and aquamarines. This gem has an orange-pink color thanks to its small amounts of manganese in its chemical makeup. The color range for morganite is more along the lines of soft baby pink, rose pink, and peachy salmon pink. Morganites are exceptionally clear, so their color is not very strong.
1. Pink sapphire is a more vivid pink, morganite is always pale
Color is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when talking about pink sapphire and morganite. And when you’re looking for pink gemstones, the intensity of the color is likely one of the key factors.
Pink sapphires come in very strong shades of pink, from bright, hot pink to baby pink, you’ll find that pink sapphire can get you the color you like. Morganite has a much more subdued, romantic feel to it. Morganites are not known for their striking color, but more for their elegance and subtlety.
So while a morganite can be noticeably pink, it’s more like a clear light pink champagne, while a pink sapphire steals the spotlight immediately.
2. Morganite is orange pink, pink sapphire is purple-pink
The hues of your pink gem are also something to think about, as not all pinks are created equal. A pink sapphire is usually bright pink, yes, but it also has quite a bit of a blue undertone.
This makes the pink border on purple sometimes, and those sapphires are usually heat-treated to soften the purple tones and bring out more of the pink and red. Even so, when you put a pink sapphire and a morganite next to each other, you’ll notice the pink sapphire still has a bit of a purple hue.
Morganite has an interesting color by comparison, as it tends to have an orange undertone. This means most of the time a morganite will appear peachy-pink or even salmon pink, but always in a very clear, subdued color. Some morganites don’t manage much of a pink tone and instead have more of a light orange or skin color.
3. Pink sapphire is tougher than morganite
Your gemstone’s hardness always matters, since you’re likely thinking of jewelry that you’re planning to wear for a long, long time. So you should know that pink sapphire is a far better choice for long-term daily wear than morganite.
Pink sapphire is still a sapphire, and as such scores a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. This is a very tough gem that won’t take scratches, unless you hit it with a diamond or moissanite which are both harder.
Morganite is a beryl, so it scores lower in hardness, a 7.5-8 just like emeralds. This means you can still wear morganite but can’t treat it like a diamond or sapphire. You have to mind where you place your hands and remember to take off the ring when doing heavy work that might damage the gem.
4. Morganite is more affordable than pink sapphire
Pricing is also important when it comes to gems, because you’re simply going to want to get the best deal possible for your gem. So, you’re wondering just how much more affordable a morganite is.
A pink sapphire with a medium color sells for about $6,000 per carat, eye-clean. A very vivid color boosts the price to $17,000 per carat. If you’re wondering how much a pink diamond is, it ranges from $200,000 to $1,000,000 per carat depending on color intensity and clarity. So yes a pink sapphire is quite a good deal.
But what about morganite ? A medium-color morganite with eye-clean clarity is usually around $150 per carat. Very rare, colorful morganite sells for almost $800 per carat, but even those are lighter in color than a pink sapphire.
So overall morganite is far, far more affordable than pink sapphire. It offers a very different type of pink, but it’s definitely pink and it really depends on what you’re going for.
5. Pink sapphire is often included, morganite is always clear
There is often a difference in clarity between morganite and pink sapphire. All gems are a bit included, it’s just how they are. Some gems have more noticeable ones, some are eye-clean. Morganites are always eye-clean, meaning what you can’t see a single inclusion of flaw within the gemstone when you look at it with your own two eyes. A jeweler’s loupe usually works with a 10x magnification, and any inclusions may be seen there, if any are present.
Pink sapphires often have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. This is simply a byproduct of them being sapphires. The inclusions are usually tiny fragments of rutile, and they appear whitish. Most of the time pink sapphires are heat-treated to intensify their pink color, and the rutile tends to disappear after these treatments. Still, some bit may survive and still make the sapphire appear included.
So if clarity is very, very important to you, a morganite is a better match. This also means it would look great in a step-cut, which is the best way to emphasize a gem’s perfect clarity.
Can you use morganite in place of pink sapphire ?
Do not try to use a morganite in place of pink sapphire, as they are very different in color, undertone, and clarity. The morganite will also scratch and get cloudy in time, which is something the pink morganite would not end up doing. If you want a better alternative for pink sapphire you should try pink tourmaline or pink topaz, as they have a more appropriate color.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.