Description

This is a beautiful  Natural Red Coral Branch on a wood Stand!

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 skeleton, which is used for making jewelry. Red corals grow on rocky seabottom with low sedimentation, typically in dark environments–either in the depths or in dark caverns or crevices. The original species, C. rubrum, is found mainly in the Mediterranean Sea. It grows at depths from 10 to 300 m, although the shallower of these habitats have been largely depleted by harvesting. The same species is also found at Atlantic sites near the Strait of Gibraltar and at the Cape Verde Islands. Other Corallium species are native to the western Pacific, notably around Japan (Corallium japonicum) and Taiwan; these occur at depths of 350 to 1500 m in areas with strong currents. In common with other Gorgonacea, red corals resemble small leafless bushes up to a meter tall. Their valuable skeleton is composed of intermeshed spicules of hard calcium carbonate, colored in shades of red by carotenoid pigments. In living specimens, the skeletal branches are overlaid with soft bright red integument, from which numerous retractable white polyps protrude. The polyps exhibit octameric radial symmetry. The hard skeleton of red coral branches is naturally matte, but can be polished to a glassy shine. 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 jewelry has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burials, and continues to be made to the present day. Precious coral has relative density of 3.86 and hardness 3.5 on the Mohs scale.Due to its softness and opacity, coral is usually cut en cabochon, or used to make beads. The origin of coral is explained in Greek mythology by the story of Perseus. Having petrified Cetus, the sea monster threatening Andromeda, Perseus placed Medusa’s head on the riverbank while he washed his hands. When he recovered her head, he saw that her blood had turned the seaweed (in some variants the reeds) into red coral. Thus, the Greek word for coral is ‘Gorgeia’, as Medusa was one of the three Gorgons. Poseidon resided in a palace made of coral and gems, and Hephaestus first crafted his work from coral. 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. Pliny has recorded the trade of coral between the Mediterranean and India in the first century A.D.

 

In Centimeters:
Width: 12.0 Cm, Height: 24. Cm , Length: 7 Cm
In Inches:
Width: 4.7 In, Height: 9.5 In , Length: 2.7 In
Wood Stand:In Centimeters:
Width: 10.0 Cm, Height: 2.5. Cm , Length: 6 Cm
In Inches:
Width: 3.9 In, Height: 1 In , Length: 2.4 In

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Want to know all about Mammoth Ivory?

Fossil ivory or mammoth ivory tusk is procured from the modified two upper incisors of the Woolly mammoth. This fossil ivory or Mastodon ivory is harvested from the fossilized remains of the wooly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) that have been extinct since the last 10,000 years. The remains of these huge animals are found in Siberia, Alaska and other regions of Russia. The fossilized ivory is a precious commodity which is extracted from the permafrost and thus, has high antique and historical value. The Mammoth ivory is as good as elephant ivory when it comes to its quality and luster.

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Wooly mammoths have been extinct for the past 10,000 years unlike Asian and African elephants so mammoth ivory is not listed in the Appendices to the CITES nor is mammoth ivory subject to control as per the listed Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, Cap. 187. Mammoth ivory is a precious relic of the past that has been well preserved in the coldest tundra regions of Siberia and Alaska. Thus, mammoths or Mammuthus primigenus is an extinct proboscidan and the only legal source of high grade precious ivory that can be used for carvings.

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Fossil ivory or mammoth ivory is sensitive to surrounding temperature and harsh climatic conditions have an adverse impact. Due to its sensitivity to humidity and temperature, when it expands and contracts, it can split due to stress. We ensure that only the purest of ivory is used that is free of any imperfection after being acclimatized for a number of years above ground. To protect your ivory, it is recommended that you rub mineral oil twice a year to replenish its natural oils. Renaissance Wax can be used to give it a protective polished shine.

However, please bear in mind and do not:

Spill or put ink on ivory
Make the ivory wet
Put the ivory in direct sunlight
Let the ivory heat up or freeze
Expose the ivory to fluctuations in temperature and humidity

Basic differences between Elephant ivory and mammoth ivory

Using the angles of Schreger lines in Mammoth ivory can differentiate between elephant ivory and fossil ivory. You can see this reflected in the cross section photographs of both elephant and mammoth ivory.

Schreger lines in Elephant Ivory Schreger lines in Mammoth Ivory
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It is clearly reflected in the photos that the angle of Schreger lines on the mammoth ivory are less than 90 degrees while those on elephant ivory are more than 115 degrees. This is the best way to do differentiate between the two ivories.

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In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand of mammoth ivory which has led to an unquenchable proportion. But if you look at the current scenario, mammoth ivory is non replenishable. There are only limited mammoth ivory that can be extracted from the fossilized carcass and how long can that be done?

Most researchers have estimated about over 9 million carcasses are still buried under the deep permafrost in the Tundra regions and about the same number are available to be harvested in the higher regions in China. There is a high demand of mammoth ivory in China where not only do sculptors need this powerful medium to carve and sculpt but traditional herbal medicine practitioners require the low quality mammoth ivory chips and dust to put into traditional medicines.

After the banning of elephant ivory in 1999, fossil ivory became much in demand as an alternative medium to elephant ivory. However, there is another aspect of paleontologists and archeologists to harvesting ivory. According to them, excavating the carcass for harvesting the tusks, which has been buried for centuries and converted into a fossil leads to damage of scientific data. But fossil ivory traders have a different view and claim that it is better to unearthed the precious material from the soil and sculpt it for people to enjoy the beauty of ageless ivory.

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Mammoth carcasses have been found mostly in Alaska and Siberia under the deep permafrost. In Alaska and Siberia, the constant ongoing tussle between the archeologists and mammoth ivory traders continues with the increase in demand of mammoth ivory as it is the only legal ivory that is used to create some of the most beautiful sculptures.

Even after there are enforced laws that protect Alaska’s ancient heritage and history, there are people that just don’t care. There are numerous interstate commercial traders dealing in illegal mining of whalebone, walrus ivory and mammoth tusks on public land to create jewelry, sculptures, scrimshaws and assorted art pieces.

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