Coral is Gemstone for Marsh
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Coral gemstone belongs to Navaratna family
Coral is the third gemstone in Navaratna family. Navratna, the Tantra of India represents Navgraha i.e. nine planets. Coral is gemstone for the planet Marsh, third planet in Vedic or Indian astrology.
People in India use coral as Rashiratna (Zodiac stone) and Graharatna (Planet stones). Coral is gemstone for Zodiac cancer. Coral represents planet Marsh in Indian astrology. Red color of the gemstone resembles with the color of the planet Marsh Kolkata is the biggest consumer of coral. People of Kolkata and West Bengal consumes it as Graharatna. European and American people use coral as birth stone.
Coral is classified as precious gemstone in Indian system of Gem classification. Coral is a gem and normally known as gemstone. However, it is not a stone but fossil. it is found in the seas. There are coral islands in many parts in the world which produce coral. However, not all corals found are of gem quality. We find gem quality coral in shape of trees from the coral islands in small quantity. Spain, Morocco, Italy and Japan are the main sources of gem quality coral.
People love to use coral in Jewelry because of its vivid red color. It is also found in white and pink color. Of course, white and pink corals are less expensive.
Coral is very rich in calcium. Hence, Ayurveda and unani branches of medicine use this gemstone for treating patients suffering from calcium deficiency.
Coral reef wonderland - Wild Indonesia
Shaping, cutting and polishing of Coral
Coral is an opaque gem and never found as transparent. Transparent gemstones, normally, are faceted and polished into cut stones. Hence, artisans do not facet coral. Mostly it is cut into cabochons and beads. There are different shapes in coral cabochons such as round, oval, triangle, squares and octagons. some times it is also carved as leaves, flowers, and figures. Coral Ganesha is very popular in India.
Big sized coral cabochons are used to make rings, pendants etc. Bigger sized coral is normally used as Rashiratna or Graharatna (Planet stones or Zodiac stones) for astrological purposes. Jewelers studs small sized corals into ornaments, sometimes with other gemstones and diamonds. It is also used in India for making Navaratna jewelry.
Coral beads are used for stringing and making beaded jewelry. Devotees in India use coral strings for counting mantra. There are beautiful carvings in coral and those are used in making fancy jewelry. Coral leaves and flowers enhance beauty of a Jewelry many folds. People often use coral figures as decorative.
Jaipur, India is the main center for cutting and polishing coral. Taiwan and China also cut it. Jaipur jewelers also use coral for Kundan Meena Jadau jewelry. Kundan flaps are inlaid in coral.
Coral: An ancient gemstone
People are using as gem since time immemorial. Ancient and medieval Indian literature describe this gemstone as symbol of beauty and good luck. Prabal is the Sanskrit name for Coral. Many Jain and Hindu texts such as Purana and Agam have description of this gemstone. Kings and queens, merchants and rich people used to wear it since ancient times. There are several descriptions of "Prabal Dweep" (Coral islands) in Indian literature. Indian sailors went for voyage to these coral islands.
Thakkur feru, a medieval gemstone dealer and court jewelers to Badshah Alauddin Khiljee has described properties and value of coral in his book Ratna Pariksha.
Saving coral reef
Coral and Environment
Coral islands are known for their natural beauty. However, these islands are endangered. Governments and environmentalists treat this as environmental problem. Large numbers of governments have already banned or restricted excavation in coral islands. This step of governments made it difficult to find gem quality coral.
Coral is becoming rare and rarer. Hence, coral price is growing higher and higher since few years. It is possible that this beautiful gemstone will be scarce in the market and price will shoot up. The stone is becoming a nice tool for investment according to many gem dealers. This has attracted many investors to invest in coral.
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(This hub is published on 09 September 2009)
Fake coral from China
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