Coral was a highly prized item two thousand years ago, and there was a significant trade of it between Europe and India. It was highly prized, and was believed to has special properties; the Gauls used it for ornamentation on helmets and weapons, and the Romans believed to protected children from danger.
The skeleton of coral is of a matt sheen, but it can be polished to a glassy finish. The colours is comes in range from a warm red to a pale pink. In ancient times it was plentiful, but today, due to pollution, over-harvesting, and strong conservation regulations, supply is very limited.
Below is a wonderful piece of Victorian coral jewellery, a pendant with pearl and coral. Of note is the superb colour, and how all of them match perfectly. In general, the better all of the stones match in terms of shape, colour and lustre, the better. It also illustrates how well the piece was looked after over the years. The box is the original fitted case, by Hancock’s.