I was lucky enough to secure a beautiful piece of Morganite rough from the Zambezia Province, (Alto Ligonha District) Mutala pegmatite area in Mozambique. A good friend of mine had just returned from a trip there and he managed to find this piece of rough for me. It started at 19.85 cts, one huge piece of Morganite ready to be cut. To get the most out of the stone I knew I had to cut at least 2 separate gems from it. One smaller square or cushion cut gemstone and a large slightly rectangular gem. I put it on the saw and cut off a smaller 7.1cts square piece that I would use for my first cut.
Morganite is the pinkish peachy variety of the mineral Beryl. The Beryl family also includes Aquamarine (Blue Beryl) and Emerald (Green Beryl). Beryl can be a very difficult gemstone to polish similar to Quartz. My aim was to try and use my 50,000 grit diamond powder on my type metal lap, but if that didn’t polish properly I was going to have to use an ultra lap as a backup.
As luck would have it, the day before I cut the piece of rough into two stones, a jeweler from down south approached me for a 7 – 8 mm cushion cut Morganite. Perfect timing, I had a piece of rough and he was in no hurry.
Together we looked over a few designs and finally decided on simple Barion Square cushion cut.
Cutting the pavilion was straight forward with the meets coming together nicely. I had a fair bit of material to remove so I started on the 360 grit lap (very coarse) to remove most of the junk I didn’t need. I pulled everything together with the 3000 grit copper lap and everything was falling into place nicely. Finally it was time to polish. I got the type metal lap out, charged it up with a little bit of 50,000 grit diamond powder and started to polish. I noticed that there was small scratches in the facets so I thought to myself that I needed to try a different polishing technique. I pulled out the ultra lap and polished up one of the facets. What do you know, a beautiful smooth polish. Thank god for the ultra lap!
Once the pavilion was done I started to cut the crown. As I started to polish it I could see small iridescent reflections coming from inside the stone. I was hoping that these inclusions wouldn’t be visible to the naked eye and luckily they weren’t. However, I manged to get the stone under the microscope and I took this photo of some beautiful liquid filled tubes inside the stone that follow the crystal structure of Beryl. These were creating the reflections I could see.
The final stone came in at 2.50 cts. It is a nice soft pinkish peach colour and the jeweler was extremely happy with it.
Cutting Sequence: Morganite – Mozambique