The coral that is considered a gemstone comes from the species Corallium rubrum. The best grows in clear, shallow (10 to 45 feet deep) warm water. Evidence of its use dates to the Paleolithic Period. Its use in Sumer dates to 3000 B.C.E. and it continued to be popular into the classical Greek and Roman era. Greek legend tells that when Medusa died, her drops of blood turned into red coral. In Rome it was used as a protective amulet for children.

Even today the Italian “horn” luck charm is made of coral. Pliny mentioned a coral trade with India in his writings. Centuries later, Marco Polo wrote about the coral that adorned Tibetan temples. It was also used by Tibetans for mala beads – an aid for prayer and meditation. In twelfth century England, coral was used as an amulet of protection and an aid during childbirth. Coral was particularly popular in Victorian and Art Deco jewelry.

Coral promotes love and harmony, and helps build community. It is useful to clear negative energies and provides protection.

Color(s) - From white to black, most valued are pink and red

Associations - Venus, Neptune; yin

Uses - relationships; harmony; community; protection/clear negativity