Sponge Coral Pendant
Hand Crafted Sponge Coral Pendant
Sponge coral ladies pendant from Stone Mania featuring a distinctive orange coloured gemstone crafted in an elegant sterling silver setting. Sponge coral which is correctly known as melithaea ochracea is a coral not a sponge but is not considered to be endangered like many other species of coral hence may be freely traded. It comes primarily from the South China Sea and is light weight and relatively soft so when used as a gemstone must be handled carefully. On Mohs scale of mineral hardness which is commonly used to compare the scratch resistance of one gemstone against another, sponge coral grades 3½ to 4 out of a possible 10.
Sponge coral is rarely seen items of jewellery, it's a brightly coloured material with exceptionally subtle markings but stones tend to be stabilised because its natural tree-like structure is full of tiny holes created by polyps. Some say its name came about because the holes give it a sponge-like appearance but others report it's because the coral is porous like a sponge. When rocks and minerals are stabilised they're filled with a resin or other material to prevent them from eroding or crumbling. This process is also used to help strengthen or repair certain natural materials so they may then be used for other purposes.
Although known as sponge coral when being used as a gemstone, melithaea ochracea is more commonly known as knotted fan coral when in the ocean and grows much faster than traditional corals.
This light weight and particularly colourful sponge coral pendant would make a slightly more unusual addition to any collection of ladies jewellery.
Weight (grams) : 16.7
Size (cms) : 4 x 3.1 x 0.7