Precious coral, a gift from the ocean / Japan Coral Association
types of Precious Coral / Jewelry History / Coral Jewelry / Artistic crafts / jewelry making

Red Coral <Corallium japonicum>:
Characterized by its intense red color, and small but thick branches.
known worldwide as aka (from the Japanese word for red).
The dark red variety is specially known as ox-blood globally and chi-aka in Japan meaning blood red.
Harvested in the western Pacific and off the coast of Tosa in Kochi, Japan.
This is the most valued coral of all.

Pink Coral <Corallium elatius>:
Characterized by a great variety of pink colors ranging from an almost-red to creamy peach.
It is the largest of the precious coral species, growing typically to over 1 meter (39 inches) both in height and width.
known worldwide as momo (from the Japanese word for peach).
The extremely rare pale pink variety is specially known as angelskin (boke in Japanese).
Harvested over a wide area in the western Pacific including waters surrounding Japan.

White Coral <Corallium konojoi>:
Characterized by a certain similarity in appearance to Corallium elatius and a range of white colors from a uniform pure white and white with a few pink blushes to ivory with a sepia cast.
Generally known as shiro (the Japanese word for white) in Japan and as white globally
Harvested in the sea around Midway Island in the Pacific and waters from Japan to the Philippines and Vietnam through the East and South China Seas.

Mediterranean Red Coral <Corallium rumrum>:
Characterized by Red colors similar to Corallium japonicum though not so hard.
It is frequently pocked due to the work of boring sponges which cohabit in the same shallow waters where the red coral are found.
The branches are small measuring only 20 to 30 centimeters (8-12 inches) both in height and width. The color is uniform.
Generally known in Japan as saruji after Sardinia in Italy or ko-watari meaning coming through areas along the Silk Road.
Harvested off the coast of Sardinia, Corsica, Greece and North Africa in the Mediterranean Sea.

Deep Sea Coral<Corallium sp.>:
Characterized by a white color with pink streaks and cracks caused by a sudden change in water pressure and temperature between the surface and a sea floor more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) deep.
Generally known as shinkai (from the Japanese word for deep sea) in Japan.
Harvested in areas around Hawaii to Midway Island in the Pacific.

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