How To Recognize Red Coral

For centuries, red coral gemstone has been coveted around the world for its brilliant hue. In many cultures it is also believed that this unique substance has sacred powers that can protect the wearer and provide health benefits. Although it is not particularly rare, red coral is still highly sought after by jewelry designers and gemstone lovers. These are a few things to know about red coral gemstone.

What is Red Coral?

Just like the name suggests, red coral is a type of coral that has the scientific name of Corallium. Also called ‘precious coral’, this marine coral consists of calcium carbonate colored pink or red hues from carotenoid pigments. These pigments come from algae and they are the same ones that give flamingos, shrimp, and lobsters their pink and red colors. Red coral typically grows underwater in dark places and has been found anywhere from 30 to 1,500 feet below sea level. It can be found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Mediterranean waters. Red coral ranges from light pink to deep vermilion.

The History of Red Coral

Red coral has been harvested going back as far as the first millennium. At that time, people in the Mediterranean traded the coral in India, where it was highly sought after for its perceived mystical powers. Red coral has been found in grave sites in prehistoric Europe and ancient Egypt, which signifies its value in ancient times. In 1790, the Royal Society of Coral was created in Torre del Greco in Italy. Today people still fish for red coral around the world. However, some colonies are at risk due to overfishing and climate change.

Myths and Superstitions About Red Coral

Many cultures have strong beliefs about the powers of red coral. In the Vedic tradition in India it is believed that red coral is ruled by Mars and can give one the courage to overcome their enemies. Some also believe that it can help ward off lethargy, depression, acne, and injuries. The Romans believed that children who wore necklaces of red coral would be protected against danger and that it could cure snake and scorpion bites. In Greek mythology, red coral was created when the hero Perseus set Medusa’s dismembered head on a riverbank and the flowing blood turned the seaweed into red coral.

When polished, red coral is a beautiful substance that shines with a glossy sheen. It is often used in jewelry both in its original form and cut forms. Red coral gemstones may not be as expensive as diamonds, but they are still considered valuable materials.

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