Coral
 
35th Anniversary Representation.
 
History tells us the oldest Coral to be used in jewelry was around 3,000 B.C.   For almost 2,000 years the Romans used the Coral gemstone extensively and made it popular.
 
As to the origin of the name, some say it comes from the Greek word 'korallion', which denotes the hard, calcareous skeleton of the coral animals, or from 'kura-halos', for 'mermaid', as the fine branches of Coral sometimes look like small figures.   Others think it more likely that the word is derived from the Hebrew 'goral' (a small stone used in the drawing of lots), as Coral branches were used in oracles in Palestine, Asia Minor and around the Mediterranean.
 
Coral lives at depths between 3 and 300 metres in the waters around the Archipelago in Malaysia, the Red Sea, the Bay of Biscay and around the Canary Islands, as well as in Japan, Taiwan, North East Australia and the Midway Islands.   In the Mediterranean, there are Coral banks in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the coast of Sardinia, Tunisia and Algeria (formerly Yugoslavia and Turkey).
 
Precious Coral or Red Coral are called "corallium rubrum", a word that is derived from a Latin word which is related to the Greek word Koralliom. The hard skeletons of the Red Coral branches have a matte look and are therefore dull.   These can be polished to a beautiful shine for use as precious gems.   A Coral, like a Pearl, can be categorized as an organic gem material.   Interestingly, both are products of the water and chemically closely related with each other.   Both consist of more than 90 percent calcium carbonate.   It really is miraculous that God has created both Red Coral and Pearl from the same, unprepossessing raw material.
 
 
What is Coral?
 
Coral is the product of tiny living beings which settled in enormous colonies in the depths of warm seas.   The polyps, surrounded by a fleshy skin, excrete a carbonic substance from which the Coral grows like trees and branches.   These can attain a height of up to sixteen inches (40 cm), though the actual branches seldom exceed one and a half inches (4 cm), being thicker where they fork.   It is from these parts that the precious raw material for jewelry items is obtained.
 
Traditionally, the fragile little Coral trees were brought up from the depths with trawl nets.   However, since first-class Coral has now become rather rare, divers are required in a less destructive process which involves their going down and harvesting the sensitive Coral branches.   The branches are then cleaned, sorted and processed by means of saws, knives, files or drills.   Coral is not usually ground or cut on a wheel.
 
Unprocessed, Coral has a matte finish.   It is not until it has been polished that it takes on a beautiful shine.   It is often porous, full of holes or cracked.   Coral of that kind is sometimes filled with colored wax to improve its appearance.   High-quality Coral is of an even color and free of cracks, blotches, striations and holes.   Since genuine untreated Coral is rare, it is more expensive.   For that reason, anyone being offered what appears to be high-quality Coral at inexpensive prices would do well to carefully examine the product.   The best thing to do is to purchase high-quality Coral jewelry from a reputable merchant.
 
 
The Colorful and Sensitive World of Coral
 
Coral does not necessarily have to be red, even though red is thought of as their typical color.   Coral grows naturally in a wide range of colors ranging from red to white and from blue and brown to black.   The most popular are the red hues such as pale pink, salmon and dark red.   Black Coral and Gold Coral are the most common while Blue Coral is extremely rare.   The white of the Angel Skin Coral, suffused with pink, is regarded as particularly precious.   Other well known colors are the rich red Japanese Moro, the pale pink 'Boke' and the red 'Sardegna' Coral.   Coral from Japan is said to have the 'ox-blood' red color.    This specific color of the coral is valued highly and has a relatively higher demand in the gemstone market for jewelry like rings, earrings and necklaces.   Typically the pink to orange-pink variety do not have uniform color, so are less popular.   When the orange or orange-pink color is uniform, then Pink Coral jewelry has a fair amount of demand in the market.   The Blue Coral is found in shades that range from bright to grey blue.   The Black Coral can have brownish-yellow streaks on it.    Coral carved into the shape of a rose is also popular and are often used in gold jewelry.   The Blue Coral is not used as much in jewelry, but often used in bead necklaces.   Black Coral has a horny structure and the thin tentacle-like branches are used in multi-strand necklaces and bracelets.
 
Coral has a hardness of only 3.5 making them much softer than any other gemstone material.   Their beauty can easily be impaired by the wrong treatment (i.e. cosmetics, hot water, bright light, etc.)   Coral jewelry should be kept in a safe place and cleaned with a soft, damp towel.   If the surface of the Coral does get scratched a jeweler can have it repolished.
 
 
Attractive Light-weights:   Root and Foam Coral
 
Root or Foam Coral is lighter and more reasonably priced than precious Coral.   Root Coral is actually a Coral species which is a special kind of Coral growth.   They are sometimes confused with Foam Coral.   Foam Coral is the part of the Japanese Momo Coral which remains fixed in the sand or mud and forms the transition from the foot of the Coral to the main part of the growth.   It is heavier than Root Coral and somewhat more expensive.   Both kinds find their way into the trade in large quantities from China and Japan.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GB Jewelers, Inc.
Under the Clock Tower
675 SE Marlin Avenue, Suite 1  /  PO Box 999
Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

Latitude:  46.159033 / Longitude: -123.9055280
 
 
Store Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Monday - Saturday
 
Copyright 1974