Mediterranean Coral For Sale
Eco-Friendly Source


(Ecologically friendly source)

Mediterranean coral is a precious coral called Corallium Rubrum (formerly Gorgonia nobilis) and is known for its slow rate of growth and strong colourings. Precious coral is found either in the Mediterranean or in Japan and included red corals as well as pink, 'Angel Skin' being an example of the latter. Also included are gold, black and bamboo corals. 

Mediterranean coral grows in rocky areas and caverns at depths of 100-300m, although the shallower depths have mostly been depleted of coral due to largely uncontrolled harvesting. Coral can grow as slowly as 1cm a year, meaning coral reefs have taken thousands of years to develop.

Coral is a simple marine animal that happens to resemble a tree, bush or plant. It has a nervous system, can reproduce, eats microoganisms from the sea around it and forms colonies. It is a polyp that covers itself in either hard or soft ecoskeleton. There are many varieties of Mediterranean coral. 

The structure of Mediterranean coral is much like a topiary bush without leaves with fine and intricate branches. These corals can grow to one meter in height. The coral is naturally matte but often appears very shiny in jewellery due to being polished. Precious corals are more colorful, less porous, harder, more lustrous and far rarer than the semi-precious corals.

Precious coral has been a popular material for jewellery making since pre-historic times and was particularly popular in Victorian days when it was used to ward off eil spirits, often given to children as protection. Ancient Romans also hung coral branches from the necks of their children. Due to this claimed protection, India became a huge market for Mediterranean coral.

Mediterranean coral is almost extinct, Italian divers are risking their lives to get deep enough to reach the remaining coral and the price is sky rocketing due to its scarcity. Most coral jewellery sold today is made of tropical coral as it grows relatively quickly and is relatively cheap.

Unfortunately, coral reefs are amongst the most endangered ecosystems on the planet, especially in the Mediterranean. They are threatened by rapidly warming ocean waters, harmful bacteria, pollution and destructive fishing methods. Harvests of red corals from the Mediterranean have fallen by 66% between 1985 and 2001. Depleted stocks have forced many jewellery makers in the Mediterranean of sourcing coral from abroad when, once, it would come from their own sea. 

From the New York Times...
“In the ’50s, the Italians were harvesting incredible amounts of coral, tons of it in very shallow water,” said Georgios Tsounis, a marine biologist who has studied Mediterranean coral since 2002. The result of such activity, he said, has transformed the seabed from “a forest landscape into a grassland.”

When the stock of Med' coral becomes completely deleted, the price of already farmed coral will shoot up, some saying it will be worth more than the price of gold, hence the reason why it is now known as 'Red Gold' by those in the know.  Investing in Mediterranean Coral is a sound move but please try to buy ecologically friendly coral, either antique and vintage jewellery or beads or coral from controlled farms.

At Fab Fings, we offer Mediterranean coral in the form of beads, chips and branches ready for jewellery making. We also offer antique and vintage coral jewellery in its original condition. In addition, we have for sale a selection of unique jewellery made using reclaimed Mediterranean coral.