Coral was popular as jewelry from 1840 to 1875 when grand parures or complete sets of jewelry were fashioned from this wonderful underwater treasures. Coral, like jet, is relatively soft so it can be carved easily. Cameos, rings, brooches, bracelets and strands of polished beads were made in abundance, especially from the coral found in the water of the Mediterranean. Children's jewelry, baby rattles and teething rings werre also fashioned from coral since it was believe to ward off evil. It became a popular Christening present for this reason.
With the many motifs of nature found in jewelry design in the 19th century, coral took the form of flowers, twigs, branches and leaves. At times, this was somewhat easy to accomplish since coral in its natural state looks like little branches. The material was combined with intricate gold work and sometimes enamel. Coral comes in a variety of colors ranging from a very light pink to a deep blood red; the most popular being angel-skin pink.
Coral is the calcareous skeletons of marine animals. It is found in abundance in the Naple's area. The most prized colors are deep red and angel skin pink...a sort of light pink.