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Coral, chemically similar to a pearl, is an organic gem that is the product of small sea animals that existed long ago. Coral often grows as branches inside dark caves or crevices found on the rocky sea bottom.
Coral is one of the most ancient of gems and has been used for decoration since prehistoric times. Coral ornaments have been unearthed in tombs dating from 500 B.C. In ancient China, red coral was a symbol of wealth and status. Chinese emperors often wore red coral accessories like belts and necklaces. In ancient Buddhist scriptures, coral is named one of the seven treasures and was believed to offer protection from evil spirits. In early Rome, it was a tradition to hang branches of coral around the necks of children to protect them from harm.
Today coral is thought to help create harmony, relieve tension and soothe fear.
Coral has been a treasured gemstone since ancient times and remains a popular choice for jewelry designs. Coral can appear exotic, elegant, earthy or Southwestern, depending on the setting. Visit the Ross-Simons web site to browse our entire Coral jewelry collection, including exclusive Estate pieces.
Coral comes in a range of colors with red and pink being some of the most popular for jewelry designs. When finished, coral jewelry has a beautiful shiny gloss. Coral is usually cut into beads and cabochons for use in necklaces, bracelets, earrings and coral rings. Coral can also be carved to make unique brooches and pendants. When so inspired, Ross-Simons' designers feature coral with an organic, freeform shape to create a unique piece of jewelry with natural appeal.
Most coral is found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan and Taiwan.
Coral is much softer than other gemstones (3.5 on the Mohs scale) and should be treated with care. Coral jewelry should be protected from scratches and sharp blows. Coral is porous so exposure to hot water, chemicals, cosmetics and perfumes should be avoided. To clean your coral jewelry, wipe with a damp cloth and dry. Store your coral rings, earrings, coral necklaces and bracelets in your Ross-Simons presentation box when not in use.