Watermelon Tourmaline Koi Fish (錦鯉) Carving

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Watermelon Tourmaline Koi Fish (錦鯉) Carving

Mineral: Tourmaline var. Watermelon

Origin: Unknown

Color: Green and Pink

Treatment: None Known

Approximate dimensions: 2.4cm x 2.3cm x 0.5cm

Weight: 5g

Note: Does NOT stand on it's own.


10% of this purchase will be donated to GreenPeace East Asia 


The koi carp represents fame, family harmony and wealth in Chinese culture. It is a feng shui favourite, symbolising abundance as well as perseverance and strength

According to tradition, a carp that could swim upstream and then leap the falls of the Yellow River at Dragon Gate (Longmen) would be transformed into a dragon. This motif symbolizes success in the civil service examinations. The Dragon Gate is located at the border of Shanxi and Shaanxi where the Yellow River flows through a cleft in the Longmen mountains, supposedly made by Yu the Great, who cut through the mountain.

According to one account, forceful water brought many carp down the river, and the carp could not swim back. The carp complained to Yu the Great. His wife, the Jade Emperor's daughter, explained to her father on behalf of the carp. The Jade Emperor promised that if those carp could leap over the Dragon Gate, then they would become mighty dragons. Thus, all the carp competed at a yearly competition to leap the Longmen falls; those who succeeded were immediately transformed into dragons and flew off into the sky.

Pictures of carp attempting to leap the Longmen falls have been enduringly popular in China and other parts of Asia. There are other Dragon Gates (Longmen) in China's rivers, typically with steep narrows, and the mythological geography does not depend upon an actual location. Many other waterfalls in China also have the name Dragon Gate and much the same is said about them. Other famous Dragon Gates are on the Wei River where it passes through the Lung Sheu Mountains and at Tsin in Shanxi Province.


Brightly colored Ceylonese gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. Tourmaline was sometimes called the "Ceylonese Sri Lankan Magnet" because it could attract and then repel hot ashes due to its pyroelectric properties.

Tourmalines were used by chemists in the 19th century to polarize light by shining rays onto a cut and polished surface of the gem.

The Empress Dowager Tzu-hsi (1835-1908), the last Empress of China, was obsessed with pink tourmaline, and bought virtually the entire production of gem quality material from the mines in San Diego County during the last years of her life.


Color may vary in images and videos due to different lightings and angles.

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