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Watermelon Tourmaline Goddess Earrings


I had a few precious watermelon tourmaline crystals to start with.  I carefully examined each of them and with a fine lapidary saw, cut along the cracks to separate out the gems.  As I did this, as often happens in lapidary endeavors, more cracks revealed and the gems got smaller and fewer.  This is why large, complete, highly saturated watermelon tourmaline slices are so rare.  The two slices chosen for these earrings weigh approximately 25 carats total.  They are deep and dramatic.

I looked at them a long time and felt that their wide form, hanging from the ear next to the chin would need a visual counterbalance,a line that runs parallel to the neck, elongating it - and pulling focus to the stone...


I loved the way the tourmaline looked against the highly polished silver, but I also wanted light to come through the back...

I shaped the silver wire, millimeter by millimeter to render the exact outline of each individual tourmaline slice, and planned to leave part of the silver sheet, highly polished, behind the stones, and cut out a hexagonal shape in the middle to let light through the back.

The long silver line evolved in my hand as I created it.  Each one was forged, then carved with files and gravers.  As I shaped it, I continuously looked for opportunities to incorporate 120 degree angles - again to reflect the threefold symmetry of the tourmaline.

This is the back of the earrings.  The prongs on the other side are 18kt gold. 

The fabrication is complete and the diamond is set.  You can see the small cut out at the top I made to accommodate the left-hand slices outline.  

These earrings are the grandest culmination of my tourmaline exploration.  I used threes and triangles and 120 degree angles in every aspect of them.  They are the only pair like them in the world.

See them here: Watermelon Tourmaline Earrings

The Tourmaline Series

I am inspired by tourmaline - its ubiquitous three-fold symmetry which is beautiful, but also strong and stable, allowing for limitless transformation of the chemical composition, resulting in a literal rainbow of colors.I sliced the tourmaline crystals I had perpendicular to their c-axis to reveal both the striking evolution of colors and their threefold symmetry.  [...]

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This fall I have been exploring tourmaline.  I began with rough crystals.  After months of looking at them, I cut them into gems.  The first thing that impacts me about tourmaline is its three-fold symmetry.  Tourmaline crystals seem to grow in layers and spirals of triangles.  Three-fold symmetry means that as the crystal is rotated (on it's [...]

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