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People once thought that coral was a stone. Coral is said to protect children, and historically given to other countries as gifts. Today, imitation coral is produced using such as plastic, glass, porcelain, and stained bone, and is used to make coral necklaces. Natural coral has a distinctive wood grain texture which is used to identify the real thing. Silica in ocean water hardens coral, turning it into the gemstone agate over thousands of years, with the coral appearing as beautiful flowers in the stone.
Coral is used to combat difficulties of the lungs and digestion. It relates to the circulation of the blood and to the heart. Coral is said to restore harmony in the event of emotional conflict, works against nutritional deficiencies, depression, and lethargy. As to its mystical capabilities, it's said to cure madness, give wisdom, and build an emotional foundation.
Formed in sub tropical waters, coral thrives in a narrow temperature range of 13 to 16 degrees centigrade. The highest quality coral comes from the Mediterranean Sea, particularly off the coasts of Algeria and Tunisia. A black coral growth that is believed to be conchiolin, which hardens on exposure to air, has been farmed off the islands of Hawaii. Natural Bamboo Coral is usually gray in color and is porous; therefore, it readily takes dye and is colored either pink or red.
Coral is a semi-precious gemstone symbolizing 35 years of marriage that comes in a variety of colors that include red, blue, orange, rose, white, and black. Red and pink are the most valued colors. Coral ranges in color from a blush pale pink shade, known as Angel Skin, which is the rarest form of coral in the world, to an orange or deep red shade, known as Oxblood, which is the second rarest color, to white, which is popular. The best orange red color comes from the Mediterranean around Algeria and Tunisia. It is also found in the sea near Naples and off the coast of the Italian islands and Japan.