Adriatic red coral

The blood of Jesus or Medusa?

Most preserved Dubrovnik traditional jewelry pieces like necklaces, earrings, hairpins, and decorative buttons have red coral beads or decorations.

Red coral has fascinated people since ancient times. The ancient Greek legend says that when Perseus cut off the head of Medusa, the one with snakes instead of hair, he threw that head into the sea. Seaweed covered with blood petrified and became coral.

Christianity embraced coral also because of its deep red color. It symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Muslims like coral, as well. They praise praying beads made of red coral.

A red coral, officially named Corallium rubrum, is an animal. Its calcium carbonate skeleton branches, either red or pink-orange color, protect retractable white polyps. It feeds on plankton caught by those polyps. The skeleton is suitable for jewelry. 

 

Adriatic red coral
Adriatic Red Coral Walk With Vesna Durbrovnik tour guide

Red coral is typical of the Mediterranean Sea, mainly limited to its western part, the cost of Portugal in particular. On the east of the Mediterranean Sea, we find it along the east Adriatic coast and in the Aegean Sea. The peculiarity of the Adriatic coral is its dark orange-red color without spots.

In Adriatic, red coral grows on the rocky sea bottom with low sedimentation, typically in dark and cold environments – in depths over 50 meters or in dark caverns. It grows only 6 mm per year, and excessive extraction in the past has almost fully exploited them in the Adriatic. Thus, it is an endangered species. Currently, there are just 19 licensed coral divers in the entire Mediterranean. Croatian authorities are not issuing new licenses for coral extractions.

 

Coral is an amulet

The best way to check the coral is to soak it in milk. A genuine coral will cause the milk to clot. To keep color bright, leave corals in salted water overnight, while for gloss, rub them with olive oil.

Visiting Dubrovnik, buy a piece of jewelry with coral as a souvenir. The deep red color brings joy, while its shine reminds of the Adriatic sun. In addition, coral is an amulet.

If you’d like to learn more about corals and Dubrovnik traditional jewelry, join me on the Coral and pearls tour.

Adriatic red coral

THE BLOOD OF JESUS OR MEDUSA?

Most preserved Dubrovnik traditional jewelry pieces like necklaces, earrings, hairpins, and decorative buttons have red coral beads or decorations.

Red coral has fascinated people since ancient times. The ancient Greek legend says that when Perseus cut off the head of Medusa, the one with snakes instead of hair, he threw that head into the sea. Seaweed covered with blood petrified and became coral.

Christianity embraced coral also because of its deep red color. It symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Muslims like coral, as well. They praise praying beads made of red coral.

A red coral, officially named Corallium rubrum, is an animal. Its calcium carbonate skeleton branches, either red or pink-orange color, protect retractable white polyps. It feeds on plankton caught by those polyps. The skeleton is suitable for jewelry.

 

Adriatic red coral

Red coral is typical of the Mediterranean Sea, mainly limited to its western part, the cost of Portugal in particular. On the east of the Mediterranean Sea, we find it along the east Adriatic coast and in the Aegean Sea. The peculiarity of the Adriatic coral is its dark orange-red color without spots.

In Adriatic, red coral grows on the rocky sea bottom with low sedimentation, typically in dark and cold environments – in depths over 50 meters or in dark caverns. It grows only 6 mm per year, and excessive extraction in the past has almost fully exploited them in the Adriatic. Thus, it is an endangered species. Currently, there are just 19 licensed coral divers in the entire Mediterranean. Croatian authorities are not issuing new licenses for coral extractions.

 

Adriatic Red Coral Walk With Vesna Durbrovnik tour guide

CORAL IS AN AMULET

The best way to check the coral is to soak it in milk. A genuine coral will cause the milk to clot. To keep color bright, leave corals in salted water overnight, while for gloss, rub them with olive oil.

Visiting Dubrovnik, buy a piece of jewelry with coral as a souvenir. The deep red color brings joy, while its shine reminds of the Adriatic sun. In addition, coral is an amulet.

If you’d like to learn more about corals and Dubrovnik traditional jewelry, join me on the Coral and pearls tour.

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