The organic gem coral is the skeleton of coral polyps which live in the sea. Dull when harvested, it can be polished to a high shine. Red and pink varieties are generally found in warm Asian and Mediterranean waters. Coral has been carved in China for 2,000 years and was used medicinally and as an amulet in other ancient cultures. Sea bamboo is a vivid red gem from the coral family. Fossilized coral dates from the Ordovician period of prehistory and displays beautiful colors and a gorgeous starburst pattern when polished.
Beautiful turquoise is a phosphate mineral popular all over the world. Mined since 5000 BC, it is one of the first gemstones known to be used by humans. Color variation from sky-blue to medium green is affected by differing amounts of copper and iron, more copper giving the stone a bluer color and more iron a greener one. Beautiful light blue turquoise is mined in Northern Iran and other varieties occur in Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.
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