Red Coral, also known as ‘Precious Coral’ has been used as jewellery for the last 30,000 years. This timeless fascination with Red Coral, is a striking testimony to its popularity. Unlike the colourful minerals of most gemstones, Red Coral is the skeleton of the marine species Corallium. Precious Coral can be distinguished by its unique, vibrantly hued, pink-tinged orange or intense red colour.
Red Coral’s rich tradition contributes to its perennial demand. From diversely shaped cabochons to sculpting and carvings, Precious Coral has been worn around the world and across cultures because it is believed to usher in good fortune and forestall evil. It is said to be able to absorb negativity, invoke optimism, and promote overall healing and well-being. Red Coral is also believed to be able to protect the wearer from depression by offering a sense of calm and peace. Precious Coral is said to represent the magnanimity of the sea and is considered to be a source of universal energy.
Coral can be found in a wide array of colours ranging from white and cream to pale shades of “lavender”, vibrant pink, and diverse tints of oranges and darker vivid reds. Red Coral, also known as “Ox Blood”, has a historical reputation of being the most highly sought-after and most expensive of all jewellery quality corals. A gem-quality piece of Precious Coral displays uniform colour.
Coral typically grows in the rocky depths of the sea in darker environments. Found largely in the Mediterranean Sea, particular areas of the Atlantic and the western areas of the Pacific ocean. However, extreme harvesting of Red Coral has led to its massive depletion. Coral reefs grow extremely slowly with primary reef formation starting millions of years ago. The present reef composition on the famous Great Barrier Reef dates back 6,000 to 8,000 years.
Human encroachment, rising ocean pollution and temperature, swelling sea levels, and overfishing have resulted in the destruction of many reefs globally. Due to this unfortunate and human intervention, the United Nations has restricted sales of red as well as pink coral.
Keeping in mind the scarce status of Red Coral, every piece of coral sold around the world should obey international trade agreements as well as local legal regulations. When you are buying a piece of Precious Coral, make sure your seller provides you with the requisite official documentation proving the exact origin of the coral. In case you decide to purchase coral jewellery, it is important to make an informed purchase decision.
Chemical treatments are rampant when it comes to enhancing the appearance and colour of a piece of coral. Any treatment, whether it is bleaching, plastic stabilisation, wax saturation, or colour dyeing must be disclosed in an authentication document. Owing to the increasing rarity of this species, imitation corals have been flooding the market as an alternative.
The price of a piece of natural, legally sourced Coral can vary from US$50 to US$250 per carat depending on its origin, presence of artificial treatment, carat weight, as well as the depth and flamboyance of colour. Red-coloured Corals are considered the most valuable.
We have used a stunning piece of Red Coral in our Simian Splendour Handcrafted Coral and Diamond Necklace
If you are interested in buying bespoke jewellery online, call us at +65 6733 4100 to discuss your options. We are able to work with you remotely to create your dream piece of fine jewellery.