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Precious coral

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Title: Precious coral  
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Precious coral

Precious coral
Corallium rubrum (Amphitrite's underwater cave - Alghero, Sardinia)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Alcyonaria
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Coralliidae
Genus: Corallium
Species

About 25 species, see below.

Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. The distinguishing characteristic of precious corals is their durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton, which is used for making jewelry.

Contents

  • Habitat 1
  • Anatomy 2
  • Species 3
  • Coral as a gemstone 4
  • History of trade in coral 5
  • Coral in culture 6
  • Conservation 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Habitat

Red corals grow on rocky seabottom with low [2] these occur at depths of 350 to 1500 meters below sea level in areas with strong currents.[1]

Anatomy

In common with other Alcyonacea, red corals have the shape of small leafless bushes and grow up to a meter in height. Their valuable skeleton is composed of intermeshed spicules of hard calcium carbonate, colored in shades of red by carotenoid pigments.[1] In living specimens, the skeletal branches are overlaid with soft bright red integument, from which numerous retractable white polyps protrude.[3] The polyps exhibit octameric radial symmetry.

Species

The following are known species in the genus:[4]

  1. Corallium abyssale Bayer, 1956
  2. Corallium borneanse Bayer
  3. Corallium boshuense Kishinouye, 1903
  4. Corallium carusrubrum Tu, Dai & Jeng, 2012
  5. Corallium ducale Bayer
  6. Corallium elatius Ridley, 1882
  7. Corallium gotoense Nonaka, Muzik & Iwasaki, 2012
  8. Corallium halmaheirense Hickson, 1907
  9. Corallium imperiale Bayer
  10. Corallium johnsoni Gray, 1860
  11. Corallium kishinouyei Bayer, 1996
  12. Corallium konojoi Kishinouye, 1903
  13. Corallium laauense Bayer, 1956
  14. Corallium maderense (Johnson, 1899)
  15. Corallium medea Bayer, 1964
  16. Corallium niobe Bayer, 1964
  17. Corallium niveum Bayer, 1956
  18. Corallium occultum Tzu-Hsuan Tu et al., 2015
  19. Corallium porcellanum Pasternak, 1981
  20. Corallium pusillum Kishinouye, 1903
  21. Corallium regale Bayer, 1956
  22. Corallium reginae Hickson, 1907
  23. Corallium rubrum (Linnaeus, 1758)
  24. Corallium secundum Dana, 1846
  25. Corallium sulcatum Kishinouye, 1903
  26. Corallium taiwanicum Tu, Dai & Jeng, 2012
  27. Corallium tricolor (Johnson, 1899)
  28. Corallium uchidai Nonaka, Muzik & Iwasaki, 2012
  29. Corallium vanderbilti Boone, 1933
  30. Corallium variabile (Thomson & Henderson, 1906)

Coral as a gemstone

The Queen Farida of Egypt red coral parure by Ascione, made in 1938 in Naples, Coral Jewellery Museum
Chinese coral sculpture. Gift of Mr and Mrs Charles D. Field, 1988 and gift of Alice Meyer Buck, 1968.
Non precious red dyed sponge coral earrings.
Polished fragments of fake dyed red bamboo coral (not precious coral).

The hard skeleton of red coral branches is naturally matte, but can be polished to a glassy shine.[2] It exhibits a range of warm reddish pink colors from pale pink to deep red; the word coral is also used to name such colors. Owing to its intense and permanent coloration and glossiness, precious coral skeletons have been harvested since antiquity for decorative use. Coral jewellery has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burials,[3] and continues to be made to the present day. It was especially popular during the Victorian age.[5]

Precious coral has relative density of 3.86 and hardness 3.5 on the Mohs scale.[6] Due to its softness and opacity, coral is usually cut en cabochon, or used to make beads.

History of trade in coral

6-Strand Necklace, Navajo (Native American), ca. 1920s, Brooklyn Museum

At the beginning of the 1st millennium, there was significant trade in coral between the Mediterranean and India, where it was highly prized as a substance believed to be endowed with mysterious sacred properties. Pliny the Elder remarks that, before the great demand from India, the Gauls used it for the ornamentation of their weapons and helmets; but by his period, so great was the Eastern demand, that it was very rarely seen even in the regions which produced it. Among the Romans, branches of coral were hung around children's necks to preserve them from danger, and the substance had many medicinal virtues attributed to it. The belief in Coral's potency as a charm continued throughout the Middle Ages and even early in 20th century Italy it was worn as a protection from the Evil eye, and by women as a cure for Infertility.

From the Middle Ages onwards, the securing of the right to the coral fisheries off the African coasts was the object of considerable rivalry among the Mediterranean communities of Europe. The story of the Torre del Greco is so interwoven with that of the coral so as to constitute an inseparable pair, and is documented as early as the fifteenth century. In 1790 was established in the town of Torre del Greco the Royal Society of Coral, with the idea of working and selling coral fish. This shows that the coral fishing flourished since many years in the city. He was also enacted December 22, 1789 by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon Code coral (prepared by the Neapolitan jurist Michael Florio), with the intent to regulate the coral fishing in those years starring, in addition to the sailors Torre del Greco, the locals and those in Trapani This regulation did not have the expected success. From 1805, when he founded the first factory for the manufacturing of coral in Torre del Greco (by Paul Bartholomew Martin, but with French Genoese origin), started the golden age for the manufacturing of coral in the city situated on the slopes of the Vesuvius, because working together with the coral fishing was increasingly under the control of Torre del Greco fishermen. Since 1875, the Torre del Greco began working with the Sciacca coral and was built in 1878 in the city even a school for the manufacturing of coral (which closed in 1885 to reopen in 1887), with which in 1933 established a Museum of the coral. Then came the time of processing of Japanese coral found in the markets of Madras and Calcutta. Other story instead a short period the Tunisian fisheries were secured by Charles V for Spain; but the monopoly soon fell into the hands of the French, who held the right until the Revolutionary government in 1793 threw the trade open. For a short period (about 1806) the British government controlled the fisheries, but this later returned to the hands of the French authorities. Before the French Revolution much of the coral trade was centred in Marseille, but then largely moved to Italy, where the procuring of the raw material and the working of it was centring in Naples, Rome and Genoa.[7]

Coral in culture

The origin of coral is explained in

  • Red coral media at ARKive
  • International Colored Gemstone Association Extensive info on gemstone coral and jewelry photos (Accessed 2 February 2007)
  • American Gem Trade Association Information on coral as a gemstone (Accessed 2 February 2007)
  • Information on black coral jewelry care and characteristics
  • Organic Gems: Red Coral Jewelry Photos of raw coral material and coral jewelry (Accessed 2 February 2007)
  • Mediterranean red coral: research team International Research Team on Mediterranean red coral (Accessed 15 March 2007)
  • The state of red coral (Corallium rubrum) populations in the N.W. Sardinian fishing grounds(Accessed 16 September 2010)
  • FAO

External links

  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^  
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


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local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


References

See also

Intensive fishing, particularly in shallow waters, has damaged this species along the Mediterranean coastline, where colonies at depths of less than 50 metres are much diminished. Fishing and now climate change threaten their persistence. The three oldest Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas—Banyuls, Carry-le-Rouet and Scandola, off the island of Corsica—all host substantial populations of C. rubrum. Since protection was established, colonies have grown in size and number at shallow and deeper depths.[9][10]

Conservation

  • A branch of red coral figures prominently in the civic coat of arms of the town of Alghero, Italy.
  • In Hindu astrology red coral is associated with the planet Mars or Graha-Mangala and used for pleasing Mars. It should be worn on the ring finger.

The Romans believed coral could protect children from harm, as well as cure wounds made by snakes and scorpions and diagnose diseases by changing colour.

Poseidon resided in a palace made of coral and gems, and Hephaestus first crafted his work from coral.

[8]

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