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Brass and blue coral bracelet
Beulah Blue - $30
Part of the Catnip Collection
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This delightful bracelet features blue coral chips accented with brass balls and finished with a brass clasp.

You can view other Coral jewelry items here, or Brass items here.

Corals consist of more than 90% calcium carbonate. The corals used in bead and jewelry making are not the protected coral species of the fragile coral reefs, but the more common and hearty species. Coral is sensitive to heat, direct sunlight and cosmetics.

The origin of the word "coral" has been a source of disagreement for linguists. Some believe it comes from the Greek word koraillon, which refers to coral's hard skeleton. Others point to the term kura-halos, or "mermaid," because coral's curving branches often resemble people. Another possible source is the Hebrew word goral, the name for the stones used to cast an oracle; coral was in fact used for casting oracles long ago in Palestine, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean.

Coral is among the most ancient of gem materials, used for adornment since prehistoric times. Today, coral, with its reputed ability to calm and improve life, is considered the best accessory for modern people living in the fast lane. Coral is said to help restore harmony in the event of emotional conflict and work against nutritional deficiencies, depression and lethargy. In addition, mystics claim it cures madness and gives wisdom but loses its power when broken.

An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is usually yellow in color, therefore sometimes mistaken for gold. Some types of brass are called bronzes, despite their high zinc content.

Brass has been known to man since prehistoric times, long before zinc itself was discovered. It was produced by melting copper together with calamine, a zinc ore. During this process, the zinc is extracted from the calamine and instantly mixes with the copper. Pure zinc, on the other hand, was too reactive to be produced by ancient metalworking techniques.

Beulah Blue - $30