Tourmalines are probably the most versatile gems in the jewelry game. Bright, bold and beautiful, these semiprecious stones come in just about every color imaginable, often with multiple hues within one stone. This multifaceted aspect of the stone allows for designers to explore their creative side when creating these tiny sculptures. One such designer, Palm Beach County native Natalie Lambert, specializes in a rather juicy-sounding stone: the watermelon tourmaline.
“I had worked in the jewelry business most of my life, but the first time I came across a watermelon tourmaline, I immediately connected with it,” says Lambert, who launched her eponymous line in 2004. “The colors, the brightness and uniqueness of it really jumped out at me.”
Specializing in watermelon tourmaline, a stone made of a milieu of greens and pinks, giving the resemblance of a slice of the large melon. Lambert is one of just a handful of jewelers who works primarily with the bi-colored stone.
“No two are alike,” says Lambert, who utilizes a proprietary mount for her designs, allowing for the stone’s natural beauty to shine through. “These stones are really one-of-a-kind. They can’t be massed produced.”
Tourmalines are found in just about every continent; Lambert (left) gathers hers from Brazil, in the foothills of Minas Gerais. “In my experience, the most beautiful and unique stones are coming from Brazil,” she says.
Through a coordinated effort and a career of cultivating relationships with mine owners, Lambert hand selects each of the stones directly from the mine, with an eye and mind for color, quality, vibrancy and, most of all, inspiration.
“When I connect with a stone, it inspires me to create a design that captures the essence and brilliance of the stone,” she says.
Utilizing what Lambert calls a “three-dimensional” design, the stone is set in a golden mount, but instead of laying flat against the backing it is set apart, allowing light to refract and bounce off the stone and gold. This fiery display “captures the essence of each stone,” she says.
Lambert’s designs are largely dictated by the stone and the cut itself. But when it comes to her commissioned pieces, Lambert has the unique ability to match the perfect stone with a client. “I like to create based off my client’s personality,” she says. Picking up on the subtle cues from each client, Lambert adds a dash of artistic intuition to create something wholly one-of-a-kind and unique.
Although Lambert is one of the few jewelry designers who specializes in watermelon tourmaline, the stone does not define her. Pulling from a array of hand-selected tourmalines in a rainbow of colors, Lambert’s creations are limited only to her imagination.
- Lambert will be in Palm Beach showcasing her designs November 17 for a designer trunk show at Neiman Marcus Palm Beach from 10 a.m. to5 p.m.
* Jewelry Photography by Zoé Alexander Photography