From the seas and oceans emerged the transcendental species of coral and the world trade of jewelry transformed it into a luxury object to adorn thousands of women today. Intense red corals are the most coveted in the world and they only exist in the Mediterranean Sea, where their fishing and extraction is severely controlled; until now, they have been the most exploited in the Gulf of Naples (Italy) and from that place they are carved to the international market.

The most common color is red and its shades reach white, however, black coral has also had a boom in the field of jewelry and has been known for thousands of years because it was part of the culture of the ancient civilizations. The Greeks considered it as a good luck charm; in India the priests used it in religious rites and the Jews gave it the same value as silver and gold.

Coral was also believed to serve as a remedy for fever, kidney stones, and some eye conditions; In addition, it protected those who used it from storms and lightning. Many people are unaware that these precious jewels, so used in decoration and jewelry, are small animals that belong to the same species as jellyfish; which are grouped in large colonies. Corals are generally close to shore where the waters are clear, shallow, and the temperature is warm; salinity is high and there is an abundance of nutritive matter that regulates the development of corals.

The growth of these colonies takes on various forms and their development is very slow, barely growing one centimeter in height per year. During its evolution and reproduction, it leaves a calcified skeleton that becomes a structure for new generations, which ultimately means that the existence of coral is not at all simple; even more so when human activities contribute to the extinction of this appreciated animal to turn it into beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Strong consumer demand for coral is another factor that is driving the decline of these delicate corals around the world. Commercial collection to meet the demand for jewelry has greatly reduced the size of coral colonies; the density and structure of these have degraded over time and their harvest is reducing the reproductive capacity of this species and its genetic diversity.

Red coral is currently protected in Gibraltar, Malta, Monaco and Turkey; while in Croatia, Greece, Morocco, Italy and Spain, there are collection quotas; what supposes to future the extinction of the coral in the whole world.

Corals are an important marine resource, since their grouping gives rise to coral reefs, where there is a high biodiversity of animals and plants. Take care of your surroundings because this marine jewel may be about to disappear!