Jewelry artisan Jan Dempsey found her latest inspiration in Sicily. Here is more from Jan:
"When I was in Sicily last October, I saw so much gorgeous coral jewelry. In every town we visited, we saw beautiful shop window displays of coral jewelry and most with shocking price tags! Upon my return I was inspired to dig out my stash of coral and create a few one-of-a-kind necklaces. At much more reasonable prices!
Coral is one of several so-called “organic gemstones,” the other main ones being pearls and amber. Like pearls, coral is made from secretions from organisms known as polyps which live together and create the coral reefs.
The coral of most interest to jewelers is called precious or noble coral, Corallium rubrum,which ranges in color from dark red to pale rose and “grows” in branched deposits. Precious coral is harvested almost exclusively in the Mediterranean off the coasts of Italy, France, Spain, Algeria, and Tunisia.
The ancient Romans believed coral protected children, and today Italians still wear coral pieces as good luck charms. By tradition, a coral "corno" or horn should be given as a gift in order to "porta fortuna" or bring good luck.
Here are a few of my latest creations with genuine red coral. Be sure to check out Jan's Jewels for a curated selection of my one-of-a-kind creations."