What you need to know about coral

Like pearls and amber, coral is an organic gemstone, created from living matter, rather than minerals. It grows in branch-like forms in tropical and subtropical oceans, mostly in the Mediterranean Sea, and off the coast of Japan and China.

The variety of coral that is used in jewelry, is known as precious coral or red coral.
A stunning complement to warm and dark skin tones, fashionistas favour coral for its vibrant pop of colour. Gold and rose gold are the perfect setting materials for coral.

Coral tends to fade over time when exposed to heat and light and as it is a soft gem, it is easily scratched and harmed by chemicals. So take good care of your coral jewelry by storing them separately in a pouch.

Coral by name and colour

Coral, like turquoise and aquamarine, is named after its colour; a luscious pinkish-orange colour. Carotene is the cause of the colour in pink-to-red-hued coral. Corals grow in many colours from white, which is the most common, to pink, salmon pink, orange, pale red to deeper rose reds, and the rare gold, blue and black. The colour of coral used in jewelry ranges from pink-to-red.

The clarity of coral varies from translucent to opaque. As it is a soft gemstone, coral does not cut well. Coral is usually set as a cabochon in jewelry and the stone is polished and waxed to give it its beautiful lustre and sheen.

When you buy coral jewelry, be aware that the availability of natural red coral has declined recently due to over-harvesting, environmental factors, and legal controls. Often, red-dyed, pale-coloured and white coral is passed off as the more expensive type of natural coral. Raman analysis is used to determine whether a coral is naturally coloured pink-to-red or not.

Interesting facts about coral

Coral, sometimes known as a gem of the sea, is composed of the skeletal remains of a colony of tiny marine animals called coral polyps. Coral has acquired spiritual meaning and symbolises protection, healing, relaxation, and transformation. When worn, it is said to free you from negative thoughts and create a sense of calm with its healing properties.

These gems measure 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them soft and prone to scratching and fracture. View a beautiful range of ethically sourced, genuine coral jewelry at The Jewellery Room, including cabochon-cut red coral rings, beaded coral necklaces, multi-coloured charm bracelets with a pop of coral colour, pale pink beads and exquisitely handcrafted red coral drop earring pendants.