Organic Objects: Coral

Let’s do coral today. Pictured above is a detail of a Victorian Branch Coral Necklace. Coral is created from the exoskeletons of marine organisms that grow in branch or antler-like formations. Like pearls, coral consists of more than 90 per cent calcium carbonate. If you put coral in lemon juice, it will dissolve like so much Alka-Seltzer.

Coral ranges in color from pinkish-white (aka Angel Skin Coral) to ox-blood red. When most of us think of coral, we think of Red coral, like in the necklace above. It was once very common, is now rare because of overharvesting.

Coral fun facts: Since ancient times, coral has been worn to ward off evil magical spells. Victorians liked to pin a little branch on babies as protection.