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Coral - The Different Colors, Shapes, and Sizes

Coral is a wonderful material to create ornamental jewelry from. It is extremely attractive, very hard, can be polished nicely and comes in stunning colors. Many times Coral is mistaken as a gemstone or a mineral that occurs in the earth’s crust; in fact it is created from living organisms.

Coral comes in a variety of colors including white, black, orange, salmon, pale pink and red. While salmon or pale pink are perhaps the most popular colors associated with Coral, red Coral is the most rare and valuable. Red Coral is sometimes referred to as fire Coral and is many times used in Tibetan jewelry.

Coral can be cut and created into an enormous amount of shapes and sizes, for the most part; Coral is usually designed into beads or cameos. It is also left in its natural shape which is branch like. Coral in its original shape just needs a good polishing to make it ready for commercial sale.

Coral is a great material to create large jewelry pieces with. Coral even comes as Coral rag, which are big bricks that are found in prehistoric Coral reefs. These reefs are now located on land. Because Coral is made from calcium carbonate, Coral rag makes the perfect building blocks for homes and large structures. Calcium carbonate is the same material as marble and aragonite.

It should be noted that besides natural Coral, there is also artificial Coral that comes in materials such as glass, porcelain and plastic.


How and where is Coral formed and found?

Coral is an interesting material, it is not a mineral or gemstone, in fact it doesn’t come from the earth’s crust, it is created from living organisms. Coral is an extremely interesting material that is hard, can have a smooth texture when polished and comes in a variety of very attractive colors.

Coral is actually a form of calcium carbonate. You might be aware of calcium carbonate as it is the same type of material as marble or aragonite. Very small sea organisms called Coral polyps that live in the ocean in large colonies secrete these strands creating a habitat that protects them. Coral is a wonderful material that comes in many beautiful colors, most notably white, orange, black, pink or salmon which may be called angelskin and red. Red Coral is extremely beautiful and very rare. It is sometimes referred to as Fire Coral and it is used in lots of Tibetan jewelry.

Coral can be found all over the world, however for the most part, the Coral that is used for ornamental jewelry usually comes from Italy, specifically Sicily and off the coasts of Sardinia. Coral is also found off of Australia, near Japan and even as far north as Norway. However, the finest qualities are usually located in the warmer waters.

Coral is created by polyps that secrete Coral only a few millimeters in thickness, usually it can take a few years for Coral to grow into large enough pieces for jewelry. Jewelry is usually fashioned into beads, cameos and other types of shapes. It is also used for jewelry in its natural shape which is branch like. Usually it is first polished. There are artificial Coral which is created by glass, plastic and porcelain; however, you can tell the real Coral by dropping a drop of acid on it, real Coral with effervesce.

Continue reading about Coral
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