Gemstone Profiles: Coral

Navajo Angel Skin Coral Necklace

When you think of Coral, do you think about huge reefs that are teeming with marine life? Colorful fish, lazy sea stars, and the occasional gliding stingray? All these creatures live in one of the most interesting and intricate gems of all, the Coral Reef community.  While technically not stones, coral is formed through a biological process and thus belongs to an elite class of organic gems.  It can be found all over the world and has been important in jewelry throughout history!

Navajo Ladies' BraceletZuni LW Coral Cuff BraceletZuni DL Chavez Coral Dangling Earrings

The most sought-after coral comes from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Naples, Italy. This harvest ground has been the leader of jewelry-ready Coral for almost two hundred years, and accounts for three-fourths of the world’s supply. The most common colors of Coral are the lovely pinkish-red shades. However, this reef-borne stone comes in many different colors including white and black. It is somewhat common practice to dye white Coral red to offer a more reasonable price, so due diligence is required to ensure you are getting what you are paying for.

Coral, unlike other gemstones, is harvested as opposed to being mined. Coming from an organic source, the world’s natural supply of Coral was being reduced due to over-harvesting.  Jewelry is beautiful, but preservation and moderation is just as important. International restrictions on harvesting has made Coral much more desirable and a must have piece for your collection.  Naturally grown and harvested Coral can make for a one of a kind piece reflecting your own little bit of ocean life. There are still plenty of quality samples out there, and we have a number of wonderful pieces available in our shop!

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