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Coral Jewelry

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Coral Jewelry

Some of the most beautiful jewelry is made using coral. Coral is an active calcium carbonate deposit that is also organic. It originates from the coral polyp which is a marine creature. Polyps thrive and grow within tropical oceans in such locations as Cape Verde, Taiwan, the Red Sea, Japan, Bay of Biscay, and the Mediterranean and in many more places. Once these coral die, there are skeletal remains that are fossilized beneath the waters. Collections of these fossil remnants become coral branch islands. These are not the same as coral reefs.

Harvesting Coral

Jewelry experts and craftsman seek coral for many of their creations. Those who gather the coral are known as harvesters throughout the industry. These individuals dredge the bottom of the sea using a net known as a ingegno. This is a web like tool made of ropes that is attached to a wooden cross or even a beam that is weighted. This tool is used by dragging it across the floor of the ocean. A large boat is used to drag the ingegno. It works by tearing the coral from the floor of the ocean and bringing it to the surface. 

After harvesting the coral, it is refined by using a hydrochloric acid and water solution for cleansing. Coral is tumbled using sharp sand. It is then cut and ground before sanding and polishing. After the refining process, coral is cut to make many different components for making jewelry. 

Brief History

Around the world, coral holds great importance in many cultures. It has a deep symbolism and has been used since the prehistoric period. Coral has a color that last and gives durability. One of the most expensive forms of coral is red coral. This form is widely used in the making of jewelry. Red coral is rather a soft variety. Many contemporary forms of coral are used in today’s jewelry making. These are often blue, golden, black and pink corals. Coral can be made into earrings, carved cameos, cabochons, beads, pendants, rings, tie bars, jewelry boxes, beads and much more. 

Mythology of Coral

Coral’s origin is detailed in much of the mythology of the Greeks. A story of Perseus helps to explain its origin. When a sea monster had petrified a character known as Cetus, the monster also threatened Andromeda. Medusa’s head was placed on a riverbank by Perseus as he stooped to wash his hands. As he picked her head back up into his arms, he discovered Medusa’s blood had miraculously transformed seaweed into beautiful red coral. Coral is known as Gorgeia by the Greeks. Poseidon lived in a gorgeous palace that was crafted of gems and beautiful coral. In Greek history, the first work of Hephaestus was made of coral.  

Types of Jewelry Made of Coral

Splendid coral jewelry is widely available. There are different styles and designs to choose from. Pendants for necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings are often crafted from different types of coral. Some coral designs have fine etchings that make them more desirable and often more expensive. Different colors of coral make for amazing creations by jewelry crafters.