When we hear the word coral we tend to think of the coral reefs in the Southern Ocean, off Australia, or the reefs, and atolls of the Pacific. However, it is not these protected coral species of which we are talking here. In jewellery, it is deepwater corals such as 'corallium rubrum', 'corallium japonicum' and varieties known as Sea Bamboos that are used.
These common red corals live at depths of between 3 and 300 metres in the waters around Japan, Taiwan and in the Malaysian Archipelago, in the Red Sea, in the Bay of Biscay and around the Canary Islands, as well as in north-east Australia and the Midway Islands. In the Mediterranean, there are coral banks in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the coast of Sardinia, off Tunisia and Algeria, former Yugoslavia and Turkey. Divers are now employed, in a managed and less destructive method of sustainable harvesting. Although it must be said that most grows at depths well beyond the range of free divers.
Made of the same material that forms Pearls, every part of the coral is used and smaller pieces are reconstituted for use in jewellery - to achieve the same authentic look without the price tag.