Cheerful, summery and accessible luxury, coral is back in the spotlight thanks to the ability to interpret artistic jewelery with its infinite shades of color. Those who love the genre but want to defend themselves from imitations must remember that the fakes are made of synthetic material, such as coral paste, based on aluminum, or in colored glass paste. “In any case, you must be wary of objects that have perfect homogeneity of color in all their parts and to protect yourself it is good to contact jewelers of proven reputation, demanding the release of the guarantee certificate”, explains Mauro Ascione, administrator of the homonymous and historical Torre del Greco company, founded in 1855 and specialized in coral processing for the production of jewelery and artistic objects. The production of coral jewelry in the Mediterranean area began between 1500 and 1600 and then intensified in the 1800s with the emergence of various styles, including the “flower and leaf” one, where tiny pieces of mineral are worked and assembled with small metal elements. This is how the coral discovered in the depths of Sciacca between 1875 and 1885 was worked and characterized by shades between pale pink and orange-pink. The artisans of Torre del Greco used it until 1930-40 and today the very rare and almost unobtainable rose of Sciacca can cost roughly between 5 and 10-15 euros per gram, while a well-finished brooch can cost around 3-3,500 euros. “Torre del Greco is famous above all for the artistic manufacture of coral and cameos on shells, that is, engraved, a production started at the beginning of the 19th century », continues Ascione. «Today the local artistic excellence is maintained thanks to the presence of over 300 artisan companies, with about 2,600 employees and the two training schools. An aspect to underline concerns the origin of the coral used in jewelry: it does not belong to coral reefs (which, however, exist only in tropical seas), but is fished in deeper waters from 60 to 1,500-2,000 meters. Among other things, reef corals are non-workable species due to their calcareous composition, which is very fragile and porous ». As for the quality of the coral, homogeneity is an important value, usually typical of the Corallium Rubrum of the Mediterranean, with a small structure and present in all shades of red. Even those of the Pacific of the Boke species, pinkish, or Aka, very dark red, are considered among the most precious when they have a homogeneous color, given that this is an uncommon feature in them. The Pacific species with large branches have a structure that is suitable for all-round engravings for the creation of sculptures or for the smooth processing of balls and cabouchons for large necklaces, earrings, brooches. The price of raw coral varies according to size and quality and can range from 20-30 euros per kilo up to a few thousand euros for the largest and most valuable one. “The trend confirms a renewed interest in classic Mediterranean coral, which we propose as a gem alongside white gold, diamonds or precious stones, with prices starting from 300 euros for a ring up to 5-7 thousand euros for other jewelery items, also made on the basis of customer requests », concludes Ascione. «Finally, production is evolving with the launch of a line capable of attracting even the youngest tastes, thanks to modern and design creations within everyone’s reach, which can be purchased from 50-100 up to 300-500 euros. In this case we can also combine coral with semi-precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, agate, crystals to create a multicolored and modern jewel, in line with the dictates of fashion ». (All rights reserved) thanks to modern and design creations within everyone’s reach, which can be purchased from 50-100 up to 300-500 euros. In this case we can also combine coral with semi-precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, agate, crystals to create a multicolored and modern jewel, in line with the dictates of fashion ». (All rights reserved) thanks to modern and design creations within everyone’s reach, which can be purchased from 50-100 up to 300-500 euros. In this case we can also combine coral with semi-precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, agate, crystals to create a multicolored and modern jewel, in line with the dictates of fashion ». (All rights reserved)

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