Moh's Hardness: 7-7.5
The watermelon tourmaline is a highly sought after gemstone, easily identifiable by its striking bi or tri coloured appearance. It typically displays the colours of a slice of watermelon and examples of this gem contain a pink core with a green exterior and sometime with white (clear) between the two. The crystal structure is long which means it’s often cut into elongated shapes like baguettes and emerald cuts. This gem often has visible inclusion which add to their character. Watermelon tourmaline is a great gem if you are looking for something unusual, no two are the same.
Known as the gem of joy, it is said to bring energy to the wearer and heal past emotional wounds and stress. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word 'turamali', meaning mixed gems. For many years, the various colours of tourmaline were often incorrectly thought to be other gems. This goes back to the 1500s when a Spanish conquistador in Brazil mistook a green tourmaline for an emerald. It wasn't until the development of modern gemmology in the 1800s that tourmalines were correctly identified.
Watermelon tourmaline is a suitable gemstone for jewellery but at 7-7.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness it is less hard than a sapphire and certainly softer than a diamond. For this reason, it needs to be treated carefully. Be careful not to knock the stone as it can crack. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials and harsh chemicals.
To clean, soak your watermelon tourmaline jewellery in a dish of warm soapy water and use a toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. Alternatively use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on tourmalines. Ultrasonic machines are not recommended for all kinds of tourmalines.