Precious Coral is considered an organic gem. It is made up of the skeletal remains of marine animals called coral polyps. The vivid red and pink variety can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, African coasts, red sea, waters of Japan and Malaysia. Black and gold forms are found around the Pacific Islands, Australia and the West Indies. Distinctive patterns made by the polyps can be seen on the coral that are either striped or resemble wood grain. Precious coral is usually found quite dull but once it is polished it has a beautiful vitreous sheen to it. Fossil Coral is also quite popular and can often be seen on the market cut into cabochons. These cabs display beautiful star like patterns throughout the stone.
Precious coral has been used in the oldest forms of gemstone jewelry with pieces in museums that date back 25'000 years. It is said that parents would give a gift of precious coral to their children which in turn would protect them from evil. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it protected against the evil eye and it has been used by Tibetan Buddhists in their rosaries.
Whether it is the red, pink, gold or black variety, Precious coral can be found in elegant tree branch like formations, cabochons or used as inlay material. Look for vivid colours and high sheen
Indian Name: Mangala(Mars) or Munga
Color: Mostly Red or Pink