Coral is one of the most beautiful wonders of the sea. Red coral in particular is known for its rare beauty and can be found in jewelry shops all over the world. These reefs are endangered, making it illegal to mine or harvest most of them, thus making them even more precious and rare. Red coral has been sought after since the beginning of mankind due to its "mysterious" properties and advantageous results to the wearer.
Coral is a substance that may be perceived as a plant, due to its branch-like nature. In actuality it is an animal. Coral reefs are made up of many tiny polyps that bond together and stay in the same place for long periods of time. The specific properties and colors are greatly influenced by the organic composition of the ocean environment. As long as they are not affected by too much sunlight, heat or fishing nets, they continue to grow in size and multiply. Red coral contains iron oxide, which creates the red hue, but algae can contribute to its color as well.
Red coral grows in warm, tropical, salty water. Red coral can be found mostly in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of France, and in the Red Sea as well as off the northwestern coast of Africa. It can also be found sparingly around the coasts of Japan.
The primary function of the reef is to provide food, protection or permanent homes for the animals. Another important function of the coral reefs is to prevent land from eroding away into the ocean. They help the currents by protecting land during hurricanes by slowing down the violent churning of the waves. Their function doesn't stop there, for these reefs provide oxygen. The reefs function in a similar way that trees do on land.
In ancient lore and modern belief the magical effect of red coral increased with its depth of color. Red coral has been used for many years for its various healing abilities. It can help with the overall mental stability as it is known for helping with depression. Perhaps it is due to the color producing a natural chemical reaction in the body. Red is known to elevate the heart rate and cause excitement, resulting in energy production within the body. Color therapy suggests to you can use this color to wake yourself up in the morning and keep sadness at bay. Red coral is also believed to protect the wearer from evil.
The use of this precious material can be traced all the way back to the beginning of civilization. Those who wore coral considered it a symbol of stature and prominence. It was believed to have "magical" powers that contributed to health, thus creating a long life for the wearer. These gems were highly sought after by the other new settlers and often used this material as a currency for bartering and trading. Coral has been used for religious purposes and as adornment for thousands of years. As far as we know coral is one of the oldest structures/creatures on the planet.