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Hardness 3.5
Transparency OPAQUE

The fine branches of the coral sometimes look like small figures. Corals live at depths of between three 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.

Corals are the product of tiny living beings which settled in enormous colonies in the
depths of warm seas long before our time.the corals grow like trees and branches. These can attain a height of sixteen inches (40 cm), though the actual branches seldom exceed one and a half inches (4 cm). At the forks, they are somewhat thicker. It is from these parts that the precious raw material for jewellery items, large coral beads or carvings is obtained.

Unprocessed, coral is matt. It is not until it has been polished that it takes on that beautiful shine. It is often porous, full of holes or cracked. Coral of that kind is sometimes filled with coloured wax to improve its appearance. High-quality coral is of an even colour and free of cracks and holes. Since genuine untreated coral is rare, it does fetch good prices.

Corals do not necessarily have to be red, even if red is thought of as their typical colour. Corals grow in Nature in a wide range of colours from red to white and from blue and brown to black. The most popular are the red hues such as pale pink or salmon, all the way out to a deep dark red. Black corals and gold corals are very much in fashion, whilst the blue ones are extremely rare.

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