All you need to know about Coral
Coral is a natural gemstone made from skeletons of small, cylindrical, tube-like colonizing marine animals called polyps which are related to jellyfish and anemones. Coral is composed primarily of calcium carbonate or Aragonite. Calcium Carbonate is a chemical compound, (formula CaCO3) commonly found in rocks in all parts of the world. It is the main component of marine organisms, shells, snails and pearls. Its colour comes from natural pigments such as Carotene.
After harvesting from the ocean, coral goes through a series of processing steps prior to being used for making jewellery, including chemical treatment, tumbling, heating, sawing, and polishing.
Coral is a very soft gemstone, and needs to be treated gently.
Clean by wiping gently with a moist soft cloth. Because it is naturally porous, coral can be damaged by exposure to chemicals such as perfumes and hair styling aids. Store carefully to avoid scratches.
Sponge coral looks like a sponge with a distinct fan-shaped appearance. The holes of sponge coral are the homes of individual polyps and rarely close; the open vacant homes give sponge coral its name. Found mainly in the South China Sea, 95% of all sponge coral is stabilized and filled; some is also dyed.
Sea Bamboo Coral
Sea Bamboo coral looks like branches with joints made of protein (like the bamboo it gets its name from). The natural colour is creamy white with brown or black highlights. The harder sections are cut out and dyed to make small beads or Cabochons, while larger pieces are used with the original banded patterning.
Gem corals are hard tree-like structures usually found attached to sea floors.
Import and sales of Natural Red Coral is prohibited in Australia.
Fossilized coral occurs through the process of turning organic material into stone, also known as being petrified.