The deep oxblood hue and flawless quality of Aka coral is phenomenal.
The bead strand is 18 7/8" (49.87cm) without knots or a clasp. Finished and knotted, it would produce a 21 to 22" (52.5 to 55 cm) necklace. The 65 beads graduate from from 6.95mm at the clasp ends to 10.07mm in the middle. The very dark oxblood color is perfectly uniform and there is tight "fingerprinting" (concentric growth lines) on the beads that can be seen with the naked eye but hard to capture in the pictures. The weight is 39.4 grams of some of the finest coral the world has ever seen. This coral is in perfect, pristine condition, carefully stored for years and never worn. Top quality Aka coral is primarily privately traded, rarely available on the open market and therefore rarely seen by most of us. We are happy to professionally string these superb coral beads at no charge and provide you with clasp choices at our wholesale prices or you are welcome to supply your own.
Pacific Corals: There are four main types of corals from the Pacific used to make jewelry. Corallium japonicum, also called aka coral or oxblood, is an intense red to dark red coral with a pronounced shine. It's almost as translucent as glass, a characteristic which differentiates it from other types of corals. This coral type comes primarily from Japan and is seen as the finest and highest quality of all types – fetching an appropriately high price to match. Another Pacific coral is the corallium secundum, also called the momo coral, which mainly comes from the north of Taiwan. The color spectrum of this coral ranges from medium red to orange and all the way to a soft reddish pink. Momo corals are the most common coral and have the largest and thickest branches, which can be turned into very large spheres. This coral type is the one most used in jewelry making. A fine white grain pattern is a typical characteristic of momo corals, although this does lower the value. Momo corals are matte in their raw state, and their beautiful colors only shine after polishing. Corallium elatus, mainly found near Taiwan, is another Pacific coral. It is also a momo coral and differs from corallium secundum only in its main colors. Its color palette ranges from intense red to orange to yellowish pastel tones. Corallium konjoi, a white coral, is also highly popular and is harvested in the western Pacific, from the Philippines through Japan and all the way to the Chinese island of Hainan. All of these types of coral fall under the 2009 Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which means harvest and trade of these corals is monitored and protected by international law.
Precious corals have been harvested routinely from the Mediterranean Sea for at least 5,000 years and were taken even as long as 30,000 years ago or more! Products made from Corallium rubrum are recorded from an Old Stone Age Monument about 25,000 years old in Germany and precious corals and shells were found in a ruins roughly 30,000 years old in Lausanne, Switzerland. Coral products were first imported to Japan via the Silk Road, and coral products are known to have been stored over 1,200 years ago at Nara's Sho-so-in, one of the oldest storage facilities in Japan. Thereafter, products of Mediterranean precious coral were distributed in many cities in Japan. During the Edo-era (1603-1867), as they became less expensive, even some daimyos (a kind of governor), samurais and rich dealers could own them. Near the end of the Edo-era, even ordinary people were using coral beads as accessories. The first record of collecting precious coral in Japan is in 1812, when a fisherman found a precious coral entangled in his net off Muroto, Kochi Prefecture.
Hefty weight (density) is a major determining factor of high quality coral and this set definitely qualifies. Slow growth, in some cases 1mm per year, in cold waters is what precipitates the compacted density of quality coral for jewelry. The denser (older) the coral the fewer surface fissures and cracks. Coral's composition allows it to naturally take a glossy polish. Coral density also plays a part in achieving and retaining the high gloss finish that is today so in demand. Warm water corals grow much more quickly that Mediterranean corals, and therefore are more porous and chalkier in appearance. This coral is completely natural with no dyes, waxes or heat treatments to enrich and even its tomato red hue.
Top quality coral such as this is no longer being harvested and all coral dealers are experiencing a dire shortage of this sweet gem from the sea. Always so sexy, it never goes out of style and is a perfect accessory for the most formal to the most casual occasions. We guarantee all our coral jewelry to be the finest quality Precious coral unless otherwise stated. Coral, like all gemstones, comes in many different qualities and this item is the real thing, GUARANTEED! We have over 40 years of experience with a vast inventory of precious corals. For worry-free purchases, personal service and expertise, let Cameo Couture be your Coral Connection.
All of our jewelry comes professionally cleaned and conditioned with instructions on how to care for them for generations to come.
Always free shipping in the USA with a no hassle return policy. We want our customers to love our pieces as much as we do. If for ANY reason you do not, we are happy to refund your purchase price and the return shipping. And none of those ridiculous restocking fees at Cameo Couture. NEVER will be. We pledge and guarantee every item we sell will be loved or totally refunded so you can try whatever appeals to you hassle free.
"Wearable Art History" Fine Antique & Vintage Italian Coral Cameo Gemstone & Estate Jewelry
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