Home Tourmaline Is Watermelon Tourmaline Natural: What You need To Know

Is Watermelon Tourmaline Natural: What You need To Know

by Madonna

Watermelon Tourmaline, with its striking appearance resembling the juicy fruit it is named after, has captivated gemstone enthusiasts and collectors alike. This captivating gemstone exhibits a unique combination of pink and green hues that mimic the colors of a watermelon slice. But as with any gemstone that boasts such mesmerizing beauty, questions arise about its authenticity and origin. In this article, we delve into the intriguing world of Watermelon Tourmaline to answer the question: Is it a natural gemstone, or does its beauty stem from human intervention?

Understanding the Origins of Tourmaline

Before exploring the nature of Watermelon Tourmaline, it’s crucial to comprehend the origins of Tourmaline gemstones. Tourmaline is a boron silicate mineral that forms in various geological environments. It can be found in granitic rocks, pegmatites, metamorphic rocks, and even in alluvial deposits. Its diverse chemical composition is responsible for the array of colors it exhibits, ranging from pink and green to blue, yellow, and even black.


The Allure of Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon Tourmaline is undoubtedly one of the most visually captivating gemstones, drawing attention with its delightful color play. The gem displays a distinct banding pattern, with a pink core surrounded by a green outer layer. This enchanting combination is the result of unique mineral compositions present during its formation. The gemstone belongs to the Tourmaline family, which encompasses a wide range of colors, but the Watermelon variety stands out for its extraordinary beauty.


Is watermelon tourmaline a natural gemstone?

Watermelon Tourmaline is a natural gemstone. It is a variety of Tourmaline, a boron silicate mineral that forms in various geological environments. The unique color combination of Watermelon Tourmaline, with its pink core surrounded by a green outer layer, occurs naturally due to the presence of different trace elements during its formation. The pink color is often attributed to the presence of manganese, while the green color results from traces of iron. As a result of these natural processes, Watermelon Tourmaline displays its enchanting and distinct appearance, making it a highly sought-after gemstone for its rare and captivating beauty.


The Value of Natural Watermelon Tourmaline

Natural Watermelon Tourmaline is a rare and highly desirable gemstone, prized for its genuine color combination and distinct beauty. Its rarity and authenticity contribute significantly to its value, making it a sought-after gemstone in the world of fine jewelry and gem collecting.

Treated Watermelon Tourmaline

The allure of Watermelon Tourmaline has led to various treatments and enhancements to imitate its unique coloration artificially. Some of the common treatments include:

1. Dyeing:

Some Tourmalines, especially those with pale or colorless cores, may be subjected to dyeing processes to enhance their pink or green hues, mimicking the appearance of Watermelon Tourmaline. These treated stones are not considered natural Watermelon Tourmaline.

2. Lattice Diffusion:

In this treatment, chemicals are introduced to the gemstone’s lattice structure, altering its color. While lattice diffusion can create Watermelon-like colors, the resulting gemstones are considered treated rather than natural Watermelon Tourmaline.

3. Assembling:

Some jewelers may assemble individual pink and green Tourmaline crystals together to create a Watermelon Tourmaline appearance. These gemstones are not naturally formed in this way.

Detecting Natural Watermelon Tourmaline

To ensure the authenticity of Watermelon Tourmaline, gemologists employ various methods to distinguish natural gemstones from treated or assembled ones. Some of the techniques used include:

1. Microscopic Examination:

Gemologists closely inspect the gemstone under a microscope to identify any signs of dyeing or lattice diffusion. Treated gemstones may display uneven coloration or unusual inclusions.

2. Spectroscopy:

Spectroscopic analysis can reveal the presence of specific elements or dyes used in treatments.

3. X-ray Diffraction:

X-ray diffraction helps determine the gemstone’s crystal structure, which can indicate any unnatural treatments.

How do I know if my watermelon tourmaline is real?

To determine if your watermelon tourmaline is real, you can consider the following factors:

1. Color:

Watermelon tourmaline is named after its resemblance to a watermelon’s colors—green the outside and pink or red on the inside. Look for distinct bands or zones of color in the stone. The transition between the green and pink/red should be well-defined.

2. Transparency:

Watermelon tourmaline is typically transparent or translucent. Hold the stone up to light and check if you can see through it. However, keep in mind that some watermelon tourmalines may have inclusions natural imperfections, which can affect transparency.

3. Crystal Structure:

Watermelon tourmaline belongs to the tourmaline mineral group, which has a trigonal crystal structure. If you have access a gemological microscope or loupe, examine the crystal structure of the stone. It should exhibit the characteristic prismatic shape and striations often seen in tourines.

4. Hardness:

Watermelon tourmaline has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. You can perform a simple scratch test by trying to scratch the surface of the stone with a material of known hardness, such as a steel nail (hardness of 6.5-7). If the stone scratches easily, it may not be genuine tourmaline.

5. Weight and Density:

Genuine watermelon tourmaline should have a specific gravity ranging from 3.06 to 3.25. You can measure the weight of the stone and compare it to its volume by performing a displacement test. If the density significantly deviates from the expected range, it could indicate a different material.

6. Professional Evaluation:

If you’re still uncertain about the authenticity of your watermelon tourmaline, it’s advisable to consult a professional gemologist or take the stone to a reputable jeweler. They have the expertise and tools to accurately identify gemstones.

Remember that these methods can provide some initial indications, but for a definitive identification, it’s best to seek professional assistance.


Watermelon Tourmaline, with its mesmerizing color combination and resemblance to the refreshing fruit it is named after, is a captivating gemstone. When seeking Watermelon Tourmaline, it is crucial to verify its authenticity and distinguish between natural gemstones and those subjected to treatments. Embracing the genuine beauty of natural Watermelon Tourmaline adds value and significance to this already enchanting gemstone, making it a cherished and valuable addition to any jewelry collection.


1. Where did the watermelon tourmaline come from?

Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, Afghanistan and the United States all produce watermelon tourmalines. The North American state of Maine, where the gem was first discovered at a mine in Newry in 1902, is renowned for its stunning watermelon tourmaline.

2. Are watermelon tourmalines expensive?

Rough watermelon tourmaline averages between $3 and $8 per carat. However, you can find lower-quality specimens for as low as $1.70 per carat. Some higher-quality specimens can fetch as much as $17 per carat.

3. What is the rarest type of tourmaline?

The rarest Tourmaline is called Paraiba. Along with being the rarest, it is also the most expensive. We only come across great Paraiba one every few years. The easiest way to see if a Tourmaline is Paraiba is by the neon-like blue and green with traces of copper.


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