Coral – The Animal
There will always be imitations of anything that is of value. Shell is often used as an imitation of coral. Shell will also show growth lines, but they are much finer than the ridges found in corallium coral. Reconstituted coral is ground up coral that is plasticized, moulded into a shape and then polished. The colour will be very even. Glass and plastic are common imitations of coral, these too will not show any growth structure and with have an even solid colour such as the imitation of coral seen below.
Some species of coral are protected and can not be bought and sold. Corals are very sensitive to environmental changes. It is a pity that all coral cannot be protected because changes in water temperature, pollution, over-fishing and weather conditions are reducing the world’s supply. I am sure that the Romans who hung branches of coral around the necks of children to protect the children from danger never imagined the dangers that are damaging our supply of coral!
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Posted on June 23, 2011, in Individual Gemstones, Organic Gemstones and tagged corallium, corals, gemmologist, gemmology, gemologist, gemology, imitation coral, reconstituted coral. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.