Sponge Coral Pendant
A wonderfully distinctive orange coloured gemstone correctly known as sponge coral. Boasting rich orange colour and exceptionally subtle markings, this colourful gemstone pendant has been crafted by hand in a fine sterling silver setting.
Correctly known as melithaea ochracea, sponge coral is classified as a coral not a sponge but may be freely traded because it's not considered to be endangered. It comes primarily from the South China Sea and is both porous and very soft and grades just 3½ to 4 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Most of the sponge coral which is transformed into gemstones has been stabilized because its natural tree-like structure is full of tiny holes which have been created by polyps. The holes give it an appearance similar to that of a sponge hence some say it's the reason for the name "sponge" coral. When rocks and minerals are stabilized they're filled with a resin or other material to stop them from eroding or crumbling but this can also be a way of strengthening or repairing the object so that it may then be used for another purpose.
This striking orange coloured sponge coral cabochon has been crafted by hand for Stone Mania by one of a small team of talented artisans with whom we have been working for almost twenty years.
Weight (grams) : 23.1
Size (cms) : 5.2 x 3.2 x 0.7