The Streets of Coral: Italian "red gold" in the world
Meeting new customers every day has given me some experience of what people, from a particular country, usually look for. It is a fundamental aspect of my job, because it allows me to customize the service and to be ready and prepared for any requests, even unusual ones. I believe that every professional must have a thorough knowledge of his/her work and this assumes love for the profession. This article will tell you about the roads that Red Italian Coral has taken over the centuries to reach almost all the continents of the world.
The Red Coral in Europe
If you have been following us for a long time, you know well that corallium rubrum is fished all over the Mediterranean, even if 98% of the processing takes place in Italy. You will also know that shipwrecks from Roman times have been found, crammed with amphorae that contained coral inside them. From my experience, I discovered that the peoples, who live far from the sea, have an immeasurable love for everything related to the marine environment and consider every "gift" precious, so much so as to embellish their traditional customs.
Thinking about it, it is the old story of "neighbor's grass is always greener".
So, starting from a place close to us, Trentino Alto Adige, we find that elegant ladies love to adorn themselves with coral jewelry to embellish the typical traditional costume.
What about the northernmost peoples, where it is obviously colder too? In Poland and Russia coral rings have always been considered a status symbol.
In Holland and in the Flemish countries it is customary to wear red coral threads during traditional festivals.
Think that, in some Rubens paintings, the women represented wear a red necklace; want to guess the material? Yes authentic Red Italian coral!
Mediterranean coral in China, Tibet and the Middle East
The "silk road" and the "spice route" have for millennia been the crucial hub for trade between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
For millennia, coral has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to prepare concoctions and love potions.
Even today the red color indicates marriage and good luck.
The typical Tibetan jewels often have inlays of Italian red coral that have arrived over the centuries on the way opened by Marco Polo.
In India coral is thought to have phenomenal properties and is often associated with yellow gold and finely worked to create two-tone jewelry.
In the Middle East, for the wealthier people, it is customary to create "Tasbish", the typical Islamic rosaries, in red coral.
Red Coral and Africa
In Nigeria the leaders of the various tribes or clans love to wear red coral: the larger the necklace, the more important the person is. Coral is therefore also worn by men and not only by women.
The king of Benin has a suit (23 kg.) of Sicilian coral from Sciacca from the 1800s.
Coral in America
Christopher Columbus opened a new path and, with it, new trades.
Do you want to bet that as for "the silk road", coral also took this path? The chiefs of the Indian tribes (especially the Navajo one) wear headdresses with coral details and the necklaces, in the same material, are bearers of good wishes. Coral was often exchanged for the typical product of the tribe: turquoise.
A renewed love for true Made in Italy is spreading recently in the United States and, thanks to this trend, the search for real Italian coral has received new vigor.
Speaking instead of South and Central America, in Ecuador, women love to wear antique Sciacca coral bracelets, with a number of threads in multiples of 6: it is the magic number for these populations and we, knowing this, prepare the lengths of the threads in the perfect fit. Here is what I meant, at the beginning of the article, by attention and knowledge of one's work.
The sale of coral in the world
We talked about the reasons that for centuries have pushed peoples to look for red coral but, as for everything much desired, in addition to offering the original product, vulgar imitations are proposed hooking the usual "fools", flattering them through improbable colors and unreachable perfections (I remind you that plastic is perfect and by the pantone color you choose). Going around the web, I see $ 50 products that, if they were real, would cost $ 1,000 (that's why the warranty certificate, which we offer on each product, among other things, protects you from buying counterfeit products).
I tell you loud and clear: Do you want an original coral?
· Buy it in Italy and
· Be ready to spend some money for it
The reasons are essentially two:
· In other countries the real Italian coral is imported and at least there is an extra change of hand, so it will be at least 50% more expensive.
· If you are looking for the deal of a lifetime, it will be the "shrewd on duty" who will find you.
You have seen how many roads have been taken by Italian coral, some thousands of years old and some relatively younger. If we add to all these ways the fact that Italy has been an emigration country for decades, we can say that, thanks to the contamination between cultures, with coral we have reached the whole world. So if you enter our shop asking for information on the coral earring that looks like the one worn by your grandmother, now, perhaps, you will know where your interest stems from and why we are able to help you better.
The price has obviously gone up since then ☺. Coral is an investment!
As always, the past teaches us to understand the present and, perhaps, to see the future more clearly.
I hope the article has also spoken a little about you and your traditions and, as usual, I say goodbye with the biggest hug in the world.
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