Gemstone - Coral Dyed
Coral is not a mined stone or mineral, but an organic gemstone. It is the hardened, skeleton-shaped result of secretions continuously deposited by marine polyps. It looks like a colorful underwater plant, but it is actually a priceless gift from the sea.
Coral is found in clear at between 15 and 160 feet. The greater the depth, the lighter the coral's color. Coral reefs are found in almost all of the world's oceans. The biggest is the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
Italian red coral is in the highest demand In the jewelry industry and is considered the finest quality. The finest specimens come from Sardinia (Italy) and Tunisia. Coral from Japan and China is considered slightly inferior in quality, but it is more expensive than Italian red, because it is less abundant. Coral is also found off the coast of Washington State (U.S.A) and the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska.
Coral is often dyed to imitate the more expensive red coral.