Naturally appearing in creamy white, pink, red, and blue, coral comes from the skeletal remains of the sea creatures that form coral reefs. Made of the soft mineral calcium carbonate, coral is quite delicate.

Black Coral

Black and golden "corals" are actually made of an organic horn-like substance called conchiolin.

Red and Pink Coral

The most valuable coral, called Moro, is harvested from the Mediterranean. Moro is a uniform oxblood red color and in precious short supply. Angelskin coral is a blushing pink variety. Most red and pink coral on the market today is dyed.

Caring for Coral

Coral is much softer than any other gemstone material. Its beauty can easily be impaired by cosmetics, hot water, or bright light. Coral jewelry should be kept in a safe place.


Widely traded throughout Europe and Asia, coral has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Naples Italy was—and is—the center of coral craftsmanship.


Red Jewel of the Sea

Known as the Red Jewel of the Sea, coral is also held as a strong talisman against hurricanes and evil spirits. Coral is also known for its ability to stop bleeding and as a protector of children. Perpetuating this belief is a long held custom of giving small children and young girls a fine coral necklace as their first piece of jewelry. In many cultures, red coral is worn to protect against evil spirits. Coral is also said to relieve tension and fear.

Dreaming of Coral

In Victorian times, dreaming of coral foretold of a recovery from an illness.


Birthstone, pre-1900, Hindu: October

Wedding anniversary, pre-1900: 35th

Angel: Uriel

Zodiac: Libra

US States:  
Florida: fossilized coral, official state fossil
Hawaii: black coral, official state gemstone
Michigan: Peteosky stone, official state stone
West Virginia: fossilized coral, official state gemstone

Countries: Algeria, Italy, Morocco and the Republic of Serbia

See also

calcite and mother of pearl

living red coral

natural red coral branch

natural blue coral

cross-section of a natural black coral branch

gold pin made with black coral branches, pink coral and a white pearl

natural red (moro) coral branches

pink "angelskin" coral pin

Victorian coral cameo

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