Coral: The Secrets of Deep Waters
The splendor of the eye-catching red color and its vibrating energy is what defines coral.
Formed in deep waters, usually over 500 feet, coral is an organic gem. Unlike most gems that are formed by minerals, coral is formed by water organisms called coral polyps. Once they die and their skeleton remains, they form what is known as a coral gemstone.
Although the majority of coral is white, the gem does come in gray, black, orange, pink, and its signature red color, which is the most recognizable of them all. Red coral is also known as precious coral.
As all organic materials, coral is not particularly strong or durable, but that is the beauty of it. It ranks between 3 and 4 on Mohs scale of hardness.
Precious coral is found in many locations around the world but over 75% of it comes from Tore del Greco, near Naples in Italy. Western Mediterranean Sea cultivates a lot of coral especially around the Sardinia. Other notable deposits are found in the Red Sea, the Bay of Biscay, the Malaysian Archipelago, the Midway Islands, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Believed to be the gem of mystery and power, coral was regarded as divine gemstone by Egyptians and Romans who used it for all sorts of powers from helping with fertility to protecting children from the danger.
Coral was also extremely praised in Native American culture symbolizing the “road of life.” Pueblo Indians, especially Zuni and Hopi tribes, considered it one of the four elemental stones besides jet, abalone, and turquoise.