Megan Proctor Connelley
Jeweler, Gemologist, & Ocean Lover | FL + NC
2019 COLOR OF THE YEAR + PRIZED ORGANIC GEMSTONE
Pantone announced the 2019 color of the year, and we must say that it is one of our FAVORITES: Coral.
This color is simultaneously energizing and calming, which is why we love it for decorating the home and body. As Pantone described the hue on their website, it provides "comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment".
Coral as a Gemstone
Coral is considered an organic gemstone. Organic gemstones lack crystal structure but like actual stones, are prized for their rarity and beauty as a jewelry making material. This classification of organic gemstones also includes amber, pearl, shell, and fossils.
Coral has been considered particularly precious and has been used in jewelry for its vibrant pink, salmon, and red hues since the year 5 BC. While coral is certainly precious, today we know that it is also harvested from one of our planets most delicate and important ecosystems, and therefore there are a lot of rules and regulations regarding both the harvest and sale of coral.
The most valued color of coral is bright red and the most prized corals historically came from the Mediterranean. The Pacific is also a significant source of precious coral. Most coral beads and cabochons used in jewelry are created from the dead skeletons of coral, but even this is becoming increasingly rare to find since coral reefs have suffered at the hands of human activity, fishing, pollution, and water warming.
Today, a common alternative is made from what is called "bamboo coral", which isn't really coral, but a marine seagrass. This is often bleached and dyed to replicate the look of traditional coral beads.
I, like many jewelers, do not buy new coral but instead work with old stock and coral recycled from older strands of jewelry. In addition to offering pieces made from dyed bamboo coral and recycled coral, I also love working with fossilized coral, both as carved focal pieces and as individual beads. Fossilized coral takes millions of years to form and is made when agates fill in and replace all the organic matter of deceased coral. The material remaining after the fossilization process is stone, not coral- but it maintains the beautiful flowery polyp shapes that coral is known for.
Adjustable Coral Heshi Necklace
This necklace is made with flat, heshi shaped dyed coral beads and is extra versatile with it's adjustable extender chain. 95-
One-of-a-kind Fossil Coral Earrings
These one-of-a-kind earrings are a great neutral! Crafted with black fossilized coral + brushed vermeil earwires. 130-
Dyed Coral Tube Wrap Necklace
These elongated, dyed coral tube beads are the perfect pop of color to wear long or to double and wear short! 95-
Jasper + Fossil Coral Necklace
This one-of-a-kind piece is a great accessory for cooler months of the year or to pair with neutrals! Plus... its on sale! 170-
Petite Bamboo Coral Necklace
This delicate necklace is made from salmon-pink, bamboo coral beads and has a vermeil extender for versatile wear! 95-
Scallop + Fossil Coral Necklace
We believe shell jewelry can be worn year-round, not just in Summer, & this neutral piece was made for Fall/Winter! 175-
Aquamarine + Fossil Coral
This one-of-a-kind piece is a great accessory for cooler months of the year or to pair with neutrals! Plus... its on sale! 250-
Pyrite + Fossil Coral Necklace
This delicate necklace is made from small pyrite beads, a fossilized coral pendant, and vermeil clasp! 175-
Antler + Fossil Coral Necklace
This necklace combines both land & sea with this deer antler pendant, fossilized coral beads, and ultrasoft suede! 145-