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Buying Guide: Watermelon Tourmaline Jewelry

April 14, 2020 5 min read

Shop our exclusive collection of genuine Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry, or, read on for information about Watermelon Tourmalines, where to buy Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry and how to care for these amazing gems.

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Is Watermelon Tourmaline Rare?

Genuine Watermelon Tourmaline is one of the most rare and collectible gems, and despite looking as if it can’t possibly be a real gem, it is 100% natural.

Usually cut into slices to demonstrate the natural color variation of the gem, Watermelon Tourmaline slices display a pink core surrounded by a pale green ring and then a darker green ring, making this rare gem appear similar to a slice of watermelon.

The origins of the Watermelon Tourmaline gem:

When the first (green) Tourmaline gems were found in the 16th century in Brazil, they were initially confused with Emeralds. It wasn’t until the following century that these beautiful gems were recognized as Tourmaline.

There are many varieties of different Tourmaline gems and one of the most famous and collectible is Watermelon Tourmaline.

Watermelon Tourmaline gems are now found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Madagascar, and the US, specifically in Maine where it was discovered in 1902. Some of the absolute finest Watermelon Tourmaline gems are mined in Maine.

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Is Watermelon Tourmaline Valuable?

Watermelon Tourmaline slices usually have a rounded triangular shape with a highly polished front and back and rougher edges. The most desirable and valuable Watermelon Tourmaline slices display intact rings in two shades of green surrounding a hot pink core. This type of Watermelon Tourmaline is often referred to as ‘true’ Watermelon Tourmaline.

More often, Watermelon Tourmaline gems are found with partial rings and less intense colors; these gems are also valuable however significantly less valuable than ‘perfect’ or ‘true’ Watermelon Tourmaline slices.

Watermelon Tourmaline can also be found in other color combinations, for example, a reverse watermelon with a green core and pink outer rings, or tones of rare blue Tourmaline.

Most Watermelon Tourmaline gems are found in smaller sizes, weighing less than 3 carats. Genuine Watermelon Tourmaline gems in larger sizes than 4 carats are extremely valuable and rarely found. Here at Biographie we have worked with genuine Watermelon Tourmaline slices up to 50 carats in weight, and most of our Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry features gems of at least 2 carats.

Watermelon Tourmaline gems can be transparent or opaque, and although transparent gems command the highest prices, opaque Watermelon Tourmaline slices with perfect intact rings and a bright pink core command prices just as high no matter how opaque the gem.

Tourmaline is a gem that often displays many inclusions. Often Tourmaline gems display large inclusions that can be confused for flaws in the gem.

Watermelon Tourmaline is also often cut into cabochons (flat back with a rounded dome) and sometimes into beads. When used in cuts other than slices, the gem usually displays two colors and is usually referred to as ‘bi-color’ Tourmaline.

Watermelon Tourmaline is also sometimes cut into a butterfly wing shape; an unusual cut that few gems are cut into. This particular cut is hard to find and very valuable.

Watermelon Tourmalines (and other Tourmalines) are not color enhanced or dyed as they are found in such intense natural colors.

The value of genuine Watermelon Tourmaline gems has increased significantly in the last few years as mines have become depleted and these rare gems harder to source.

How Can You Tell If Watermelon Tourmaline Is Real?

Genuine Watermelon Tourmaline can be found in every color of the rainbow, so how can you tell whether a Watermelon Tourmaline gem is real or fake? Fake Watermelon Tourmaline will almost always be created in the most popular and valuable color combination of hot pink and green, and the colors will always be a bright vibrant tone that looks too 'perfect'; genuine Watermelon Tourmaline always has inclusions except for the very finest stones costing thousands of dollars each. The color separation between the pink and green tones will usually have a sharp line rather than a fade between colors as seen in genuine earth mined Watermelon Tourmaline. Fake Watermelon Tourmaline is usually cut into faceted stones for rings; we have never seen a fake Watermelon Tourmaline slice. If you're looking at a Watermelon Tourmaline gem that looks a little too perfect, with no inclusions, a sharp line separating the colors and at a relatively low price, you are almost certainly looking at a fake Watermelon Tourmaline. Usually, if you think a Tourmaline might be fake, it most likely is.

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Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry:

Watermelon Tourmaline is a particularly durable gem making it ideal for use in designer jewelry. If you’re searching for a piece of jewelry with Watermelon Tourmaline, it’s important to know what to look for.

A piece of jewelry set with a Watermelon Tourmaline gem may look great when photographed or on a display in store, however, this can be due to the gem having light pass through it, highlighting the color variation; when worn, the style of jewelry may block the ability of light to pass through it, making it appear plain. For example, when set into rings, Watermelon Tourmaline slices look best when set in a raised setting that enables light to pass behind the gem. Therefore, it is important to purchase Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry from a jeweler who often works with this rare gem in their designs and knows how the gem must be set to properly showcase its color.

When buying Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry you should look out for gems with obvious cracks. Tourmaline is a gem with lots of natural inclusions so it can be hard to differentiate between an inclusion and a crack so it’s wise to feel the surface of the gem for flaws as well as to look at it under strong lighting to check for these flaws.

Here at Biographie we have been working with Watermelon Tourmalines since we launched in 2007. We actively source these rare gems at all times, building up matching sets from individual gems purchased years apart. We have an extensive selection of these gems waiting to be made into fine jewelry, so if you don’t see the perfect Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry design on our website, please reach out to us as we probably have the gem or gems that you’re looking for.

A piece of genuine Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry can provide an excellent investment piece that will be passed down between generations. It is also a great talking piece that always attracts interest from jewelry and gem lovers.

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Caring for Watermelon Tourmaline Jewelry:

As with all gems, you should avoid contact with chemicals, for example cleaning products or perfume. To clean your Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry simply use a damp non-abrasive cloth and gently wipe the gem. It is fine to get your Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry wet, however, you shouldn't bathe or swim wearing it and should dry it off as soon as possible. 

Healing properties of Watermelon Tourmaline:

Watermelon Tourmaline is used to encourage calmness and a centered state of mind. Watermelon Tourmalines are known for their stress relieving and healing energies.

Tourmaline is the birthstone for those born in October and just as Libra’s symbol is the scales, representing balance, Watermelon Tourmaline is known to provide balance to those who wear it.

Shop our exclusive collection of one of a kind Watermelon Tourmaline slice jewelry.