Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Fossil Coral

One of my favorite gemstone materials is fossil coral. The flower-like patterns in the stone are amazingly intricate and beautiful. It is the fossilized remains of prehistoric corals. Most that I've seen comes from the mountains of Indonesia. As there are many different species of coral, there are different patterns of fossil coral available. There are also different colors. A light tan seems to be the most common but there is also dark brown, reddish brown, black and gray as well as some that is multi-color or banded. Most is opaque, but I've seen some translucent specimens.

Generally, stones with crisp, clear detail are more expensive. More unusual or attractive coloring also influences value. It is availabe as cabochons or beads.

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