It’s nearly October (already!), and naturally that opens the floodgates for a host of opal spotlights. How could one not celebrate what is perhaps one of the most exquisitely beautiful, mesmerizing gemstones out there? But because October babies are fortunate enough not only to be born in the best month (apples and pumpkins! Changing leaves! Halloween!) and to enjoy one of the most beautiful gems as a birthstone, they’re blessed with one more: their other birthstone, tourmaline.
Tourmaline is a gem that’s just so full of surprises and changing faces, you can’t help but be whisked away by it. Say paraiba’s not your thing (if that’s even possible)—you’ve got a cornucopia of other shades to choose from. Since this stone has one of the widest color ranges on earth, there really is a tourmaline for everyone.
Today I’d like to celebrate watermelon tourmaline in particular, that delicious, irresistible gem. As October draws near, the colors we tend to gravitate toward are a little warmer, like the reds and golds of the changing leaves. But I’ll see your pumpkin spice and raise you that juicy duo of pink and green any day, any season. Even for me, for whom the iconic black-and-orange combo is like a beacon I can’t turn away from this time of year, that mouthwatering color scheme and the way it’s drawn together in a tie-dye-like blend are just tops.
As far as fruit goes, watermelon season is definitely over (though it’s always so hit-and-miss, isn’t it?). That carefree time of year when you sit outside until the sun goes down, well into the night, savoring that juicy fruit for dessert, letting your kids drip the juice all over the place, even between their toes. It’s more than just a messy meal of fruit. It’s a feeling, a nostalgic tradition associated with summer that we can tuck away and travel back to in our minds in the dead of winter, the memory sustaining us as we await the warmer seasons. There’s a reason watermelon decorates jewelry and clothing and school supplies and whatever else. It’s not just because it’s a tasty treat. It’s symbolic.
For me and many others, October can’t ever come fast enough. But there’s a bit of melancholy to this month, because it brings with it the cold, and the knowledge that once it’s over, it will soon be winter. And that’s when those watermelon-soaked memories come in handy.
So for October babies (and anyone just shopping for gemstones for themselves), watermelon tourmaline is highlighted at the perfect time. It’s that time when we’re all too eager to let summer go in favor of those autumn leaves and spiced treats, but often find we didn’t enjoy summer enough while we had it. A stone like watermelon tourmaline can be that yearlong reminder, and if you don’t find the memories of summers past flashing before your eyes in its presence, well, at least the colors are bright and cheerful.
And damn, do designers know what to do with this gemstone.
Top: One-of-a-kind Heirloom bezel charm in 14k yellow gold with bicolor tourmaline, $3,510; RetrouvaíFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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