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Pink Coral Jewelry - beauty and delicacy merged!

Sunday, 21 September 2008
pink coral jewelryPerhaps coral is among the very few precious stones that have been associated with numerous myths and connotations through ages and round the globe. It is the earliest gem to be used as a jewelry medium and coral jewelry and inlays have been found even from the Iron Age. People from the ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire and the Etruscans used to revere coral very highly and it is one among the seven treasures in the Buddhist scriptures. It also found its way as a sacred jewelry in India and China. Besides, coral has a long history of religious as well as cultural significance - it was esteemed as a talisman against evil, to be a harbinger of health and prosperity, a ward of hurricane and even as a panacea.

Pink coral (Corrallium Secundum) is known as Peau d'ange or the angel skin coral and one of the three prominent varieties of coral. Pink coral takes in all the varieties of pink color - ranging from a slight salmon red to a hibiscus pink to a pale whitish pink as well. Besides, some large corals naturally have appealing marbled and shaded complexion and these stones remind you of the beautiful and fragrant blossoms of the Polynesian islands. Pink coral has been believed to be a harbinger of sound health and jewelry made of this delicate gem is traditionally regarded as a souvenir for the 35th marriage anniversary. And though the value of pink coral stones depends on its rarity, all its shades are highly valued for the touch of delicacy and fineness.

Formation and locales

Pink corals were first discovered near Makapuu Point in Oahu in mid sixties and these days most corals used for jewelry come from the Mediterranean Sea or form the Pacific Ocean near the Japan or Taiwan. Corals are known to grow in deep submarine colonies at a pretty slow pace and are very sensitive to the temperature. They can breed only in water temperature between 13 to 16 degrees celcius.

Now, this precious gem is actually fossilized skeletons. Corals are formed deep under the sea by the deposition of the skeletons of certain polyps and marine invertebrates. In the natural state, corals have a tree-like appearance that facilitates nutrients for maximum number of polyps. Millions of polyps build their skeletons on the abandoned remains of other polyps and that creates a massive carpet of coral reefs on the ocean floor. A distinctive feature of the precious corals is that they take a perfect polish.

Pink corals reigned fashion vogues

Historically, Naples was the centre of fashioning of coral into lovely jewelry. All the varieties of coral were immensely popular during the Victorian era but later during the Napoleon's campaign the pink variety was most adored and thus earned its prominence over others. The rose pink variety was fashioned into flowers - roses, chrysanthemums, cherubs, grotesque masks, leaves and fruits. A popular theme during the time was hand, in various styles - forming clasps with golden rings on the fingers and decoration on cuffs, or sometimes grasping a loop with various carved coral charms attached.

Later though coral lost its prominence during the end of the nineteenth century due to excessive use by people, it reappeared as a complement to the geometric forms in jewelry design towards the early twentieth century and gradually regained its fame. These days pink coral comes to be one of the most popular media for superior jewelry - it's often produced in rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches, pendants and even belt buckles and pillboxes.

Caring chores for pink corals

Coral measures a meager 3.5 in Mohs scale and as a gem it's softer than others. So, you've got to be very conscious to handle this delicate stone made of Calcium Carbonate. Pink corals, as well, are pretty prone to scratches and thus only use soft moist cloth to clean it. But never dare to wash it by dipping it in to water.  Corals are porous stones and thus get damaged if put in chemicals or in water for long period and lose its natural patina. Mind the following things while handling pink corals or jewelry made of them:

  • Store pink coral jewelry in pouches. This will save your precious gem from scratches.
  • When wearing pink or any other coral jewelry, it'd be better if you can avoid using strong sprays or cosmetics as these may damage the luster of coral.
  • If you lose a coral piece from your jewelry, it's wise that you fix that as soon as possible.
  • And whenever you need to restring your coral necklace, prefer a professional jeweler.

These tips won't just serve your pink coral jewelry, they will equally take care any of your coral jewelry. It's crucial that you be pretty caring about your coral jewelry and pieces as corals are becoming less available as their natural habitats are increasingly dying out. Pollution, rapid warming of the ocean water, vicious fishing method, harmful bacteria ...... these all have their roles to injure the coral reefs and due to the enormous global demand, the underwater stocks are declining pretty fast.

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