What is Coral?
Coral is considered an organic gemstone stone because it originates from the hardened tissue of a Coral Polyp. Corals are marine animals, which are found in tropical oceans, they are an important in the support and creation of ocean reefs. Corals produce a hard skeleton made from calcium carbonate secretions. This hardened skeleton is what is collected and used to form the gemstone.
Coral is found in many different colors. It has become difficult collect many of the varieties due to the diminishing populations of coral. Coral reefs have become an endangered ecosystem and are strictly regulated. Some types of coral have been brought inland for farming and commercial use. One of the most modern and now commonly seen today is Chinese white coral, which is stained red for a more natural look. This processed coral is shipped all over the world for jewel crafting and other arts.
Coral jewelry has been produced by cultures from around the world. It comes in many different beautiful colors from black to white and from blue to red. Coral jewelry has a history of being strongly connected with religious and spiritual meaning in the Italian, Chinese and Celtic cultures. It is also one treasure in the Buddhist scriptures. The southwestern Native American tribes quickly acknowledged the value of this jewel.
Coral gems are softer than most other gemstones and can be easily shaped in to beads, center stones and other small shapes. It is seen in different types of jewelry that requires intricate sculpting such as inlay jewelry. Small samples of the gem can run up to $1000 per 1 mm diameter for some of the rare forms, to about $5 at the low end. The market for coral is doing very well, but the supply is slowly depleting which makes the prices for this precious gem continue to rise.
Buy Native American Coral Jewelry
Native Americans prefer to use red corals in their jewelry, which pairs well with blue turquoise. Because natural red coral is becoming so scarce, some of the dyed processed gem is used to give that deep red look. One of the most valuable red versions is Oxblood Coral, which is farmed in the Mediterranean. The pairing of its natural deep red color, in contrast with a well selected turquoise stone, can bring out the blues and greens and makes it one of the most desired Native American jewelry styles.