Monday, 7 January 2019

Gem Coral

Unlike most other gemstones which are mineral origin, coral is organic, formed by living organisms. It forms from branching structures created from coral polyps in tropical and subtropical ocean waters. When the coral polyps die, the hardened skeleton remains, and this is used as a gem material.
Most coral is white, but some coral can be found in several other colors, including the popular orange to red forms. This 'Red Coral', or 'Precious Coral', is the most often used for gems. Coral is an ancient gemstone, and has been used for thousands of years. Coral is naturally dull; polishing is required to bring out its glassy luster. Coral is used most often as cabochons and beads. It is also sculpted into small carvings.
Coral is very soft and brittle, and does not make a durable gemstone. (3 to 4 on the mohs scale) It is also prone to scratches and chipping. Due to environmental protection laws worldwide, production of coral for the gemstone trade is declining.