Home Knowledges Watermelon Tourmaline: A Unique Gemstone of Natural Beauty

Watermelon Tourmaline: A Unique Gemstone of Natural Beauty

by Madonna

The world of gemstones is filled with a kaleidoscope of colors, each gem possessing its own unique charm and allure. Among these captivating gemstones, watermelon tourmaline stands out as a true marvel of nature. With its stunning appearance reminiscent of the delectable fruit, watermelon tourmaline has earned its place as a beloved gemstone. In this article, we will explore the captivating world of watermelon tourmaline, delving into its origins, properties, and the reasons why it has become a cherished gem among collectors and enthusiasts.

The Origin of Watermelon Tourmaline

Tourmaline, a gemstone known for its wide variety of colors, has an interesting geological history. It derives its name from the Sinhalese word “turamali,” which means “stone with mixed colors.” This name aptly describes tourmaline’s characteristic feature of displaying multiple colors in one gemstone.


Watermelon tourmaline is a specific variety of tourmaline that exhibits a unique coloration pattern, resembling the pink, green, and white layers of a watermelon. These enchanting color zones set watermelon tourmaline apart from other gemstones, making it a true wonder of the mineral world.


See Also: Is Tourmaline a Gemstone: Things You Need To Know


Watermelon Tourmaline’s Coloration

Watermelon tourmaline is admired for its distinct and delightful coloration. This gemstone typically features a pink center, surrounded by a green outer layer, akin to the cross-section of a ripe watermelon. The transition from pink to green is often gradual, creating a mesmerizing visual effect.

The pink color is attributed to the presence of manganese in the crystal structure of the tourmaline, while the green hue results from the presence of iron. The combination of these elements results in the watermelon-like color pattern that has captivated gemstone enthusiasts and collectors.

Varieties of Watermelon Tourmaline

Within the watermelon tourmaline family, several varieties and classifications exist, depending on the specific color patterns and inclusions present. These include:

1. Bicolor Watermelon Tourmaline: This type of watermelon tourmaline exhibits distinct pink and green zones, often with a clear boundary between the colors. Bicolor watermelon tourmalines are highly sought after for their vibrant and well-defined coloration.

2. Tricolor Watermelon Tourmaline: Some watermelon tourmalines display an additional white or colorless zone between the pink and green layers, creating a tricolor effect. The contrast between the three colors enhances the gem’s visual appeal.

3. Cat’s Eye Watermelon Tourmaline: In this variety, chatoyancy, or the cat’s eye effect, is visible when the gem is cut en cabochon. The pink and green colors in the cat’s eye watermelon tourmaline create a captivating optical effect that resembles the eye of a cat.

4. Rubellite Watermelon Tourmaline: When the pink center of watermelon tourmaline is deep and vivid, it is often referred to as rubellite, which is a term commonly used for pink tourmaline. Rubellite watermelon tourmaline combines the beauty of pink and green in one gem.

Properties of Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon tourmaline is not only prized for its captivating coloration but also for its impressive properties. Let’s delve into some of the key characteristics that make this gemstone unique:

1. Durability: Watermelon tourmaline is a relatively hard gemstone, with a rating of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This makes it suitable for various types of jewelry, from rings and necklaces to earrings.

2. Birefringence: Watermelon tourmaline is a doubly refractive gemstone, meaning it can split light into two rays as it passes through the crystal. This property can enhance the gem’s brilliance and create optical effects when expertly cut.

3. Transparency: Watermelon tourmaline is often transparent or translucent, allowing light to pass through and showcase its striking coloration. The quality of transparency can vary among individual gemstones.

4. Fluorescence: Some watermelon tourmalines exhibit fluorescence under ultraviolet (UV) light, which can add an extra dimension to their beauty.

5. Optical Phenomena: Watermelon tourmaline can display unique optical phenomena, such as pleochroism, where the gem shows different colors when viewed from different angles.

Watermelon Tourmaline Sources

Watermelon tourmaline is found in various locations worldwide, with notable sources including:

1. Brazil: Brazil is renowned for producing watermelon tourmalines of exceptional quality. These gems are highly sought after by collectors and jewelry designers for their vibrant color and clarity.

2. Nigeria: Nigerian watermelon tourmalines are prized for their vivid pink and green coloration. They are known for their striking and well-defined color zones.

3. Mozambique: Watermelon tourmalines from Mozambique often display rich and intense colors. They are widely used in jewelry and are appreciated for their overall quality.

4. Afghanistan: Afghan watermelon tourmalines are known for their beautiful coloration and are a popular choice for collectors and gemstone enthusiasts.

5. United States: In the U.S., watermelon tourmalines can be found in various states, including California and Maine. These gems are valued for their domestic origin.

Uses of Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon tourmaline has a range of uses in the world of gemstones and jewelry. Some of its applications include:

1. Jewelry: Watermelon tourmaline is often used in the creation of fine jewelry, including rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. The gem’s unique coloration and the potential for eye-catching designs make it a popular choice among jewelry designers.

2. Collectibles: Watermelon tourmaline is highly collectible, and enthusiasts seek out exceptional specimens for their unique coloration and rarity.

3. Healing and Metaphysical Properties: In the realm of alternative healing and metaphysical practices, watermelon tourmaline is believed to have spiritual and therapeutic properties. It is associated with heart chakra energy and is thought to bring balance, compassion, and love.

4. Lapidary Art: Watermelon tourmaline’s striking color zones and transparency make it a favorite among lapidaries and artisans who create carvings and sculptures from gemstones.

5. Investment: Exceptional watermelon tourmalines can appreciate in value over time, making them an attractive investment for collectors and investors.

See Also: How Much is a Tourmaline Stone Worth: A Quick Guide

Caring for Watermelon Tourmaline

Like other gemstones, watermelon tourmaline requires proper care to maintain its beauty and durability:

1. Cleaning: Clean watermelon tourmaline with mild soap and warm water. Avoid harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners, which can damage the gem.

2. Storage: Store watermelon tourmaline separately from other jewelry to prevent scratches. A fabric pouch or a jewelry box with individual compartments is a good choice.

3. Avoid Extreme Heat and Light: Protect your watermelon tourmaline from prolonged exposure to high temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause color fading.

4. Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your watermelon tourmaline jewelry for loose settings or damage to ensure it remains in excellent condition.


Watermelon tourmaline is a gemstone that enchants with its unique and delightful coloration, reminiscent of its namesake fruit. Its captivating pink, green, and sometimes white or colorless layers make it a beloved gem for collectors, jewelry designers, and enthusiasts alike.

The rarity and exquisite beauty of watermelon tourmaline, coupled with its durability and range of applications, make it a gemstone of enduring appeal. Whether it graces a piece of fine jewelry, becomes a cherished collectible, or is used in lapidary art, watermelon tourmaline is a true testament to the wonders of nature’s creations.

As you explore the world of gemstones, watermelon tourmaline stands as a shining example of nature’s artistry, offering a feast for the eyes and a testament to the diversity and beauty found within the Earth’s crust.


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