The coral is a semi-precious stone used in jewelry to create beautiful accessories, due to the intricate forms already adopting its soft color. This marine jewel could disappear in the near future, due to the intense removal that is being carried out, both by the coral, as by poachers.
What is coral?
Coral is a small marine animal belonging to the same phylum jellyfish (phylum Cnidaria) and are collected in large colonies. Each animal does not measure more than a few millimeters, and thanks to the calcium content in seawater, secretes a shell composed of calcium carbonate, which is what gives rise to the jewel that we see in the shop windows.
Red coral is endemic of the Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic African waters where it lives in colonies in a tree. Growth of these colonies takes diverse forms and is very slow, just a centimeter in height per year. Corals are an important marine resource, as its grouping leads to coral reefs, which harbor a high biodiversity of animals and plants. Sometimes these reefs are so great that even emerge to the surface, forming a kind of island called atoll. Currently, there are many initiatives in place to protect these special ecosystems and fragile.
The coral can be red, black, pink, white, and blues. Of these, the most appreciated is the red coral, of which the most valuable are the dark shades. Pink tones and black coral are also quite appreciated.
Its extraction is not as complex as it may seem at first glance; in fact, the coral has been used as adornment since prehistoric times, and there are vestiges of jewels of this type date from the Iron Age, and Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations. The Celts also used the coral, especially for their mounts ornaments. It was also used in ancient Greece, Turkey and China.