The word Coral comes from the ancient Greek word ‘Korallion’. The Coral stone is a lovely, semi-precious, red stone which is also known as the ‘munga’. It is widely used in making jewellery as it has an attractive, bright red colour and appearance. It goes well with silver as well as gold thus making it an ideal choice as a gemstone to be used in jewellery making.
It comes in many colours such as red (most common), pink, white etc. This stone is formed by a tiny marine animal called the coral polyp. This animal lives in big colonies. The raw corals obtained from the seas are actually homes of this animal which they create by extracting calcium carbonate from the sea and exuding it through their base. Since it is widely obtained across sea beds and floors it is usually collected by dragging wide nets across the sea bed.
Corals can be found all over the world’s oceans, sea beds, etc. The world’s most famous corals are widely obtained widely from the Persian Seas, Mediterranean Sea, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Italy, France, Silicy, etc. In India, corals are found at Gulf of Mannar, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep, etc.
Usually raw corals obtained from sea beds are dull in colour and appearance and have to be polished, shaped and dyed in order to make it usable in making jewellery. The best known natural Coral is precious coral or the red coral (Corallium rubrum). It is the most highly valued coral in the market due to its natural dense colour and durability.
The coral stone is available in different varieties and types depending on its texture, colour, etc. The two main types of coral are Calcareous and conchiolin.
Calcareous: They have wavy and fibrous structure and contain calcite in a large proportion which is why they have whites, reds, pinks and similar shades. These types of corals can be brittle and more likely to break than the conchiolin ones.
Conchiolin: These have a substance which often found in other semi-precious stones like pearls, shells etc. These can be differentiated from the above variety by their concentric, circular growth patterns etc. They occur in colours other than those of the calcareous types such as gold, brown, etc.
There is another type of variation often known as the rare blue coral with different hues and colour than those in the above types.
Based on opacity and colours they can be classified into semi-translucent to opaque in white, pink, orange, red, blue, violet, golden, and black. Japan has a rose-coloured coral called “boke.”
The coral-stone has many spiritual and healing properties which benefit the wearer. Some of these are listed below;
- Physically, the Coral stone helps in general healing, circulatory problems and blood issues, respiratory system, bone marrow, eyes, etc.
- It instils courage and strength into the wearer and brings inner peace and understanding.
- The coral-stone brings out creativity.
- Corals also have different properties based on their colours.