These earrings feature burnished sterling silver on a post stud, delicate faceted peridot and bamboo coral.
Coral is considered an “organic gemstone” because it is sought after for jewelry-making and even as currency since the Paleolithic period. While there are over 1 million types of coral, only about 50 or so are used commercially. The most precious of these are red and pink corals, especially from the Mediterranean. However, coral is the slowest growing resource on the planet, and desperately important to the delicate ecosystems they are found in. Depletion of precious coral has caused enormous environmental harm. Dredging coral not only destroys the coral, but most of the other life growing around it. Semi-precious bamboo corals, which are naturally a milky white and black color, are often dyed red and pink to resemble rarer species. The largest concentrations come from New Zealand and the Philippines. They are more abundant and a much more sustainable option. Due to strict but necessary regulation on the harvesting of red and pink coral, bamboo coral satisfies much of the world’s demand for coral jewelry.
Coral has been associated with vitality, ambition, passion, protection and wisdom. It was worn by tribal cultures to ward off the “evil eye” and to protect against plague. The Victorians believed it was good luck and that it would increase health.
Peridot is one of my favorite gemstones. It has a beautiful green color that ranges from chartreuse (one of my signature colors) to a deep olive. Gem quality peridot is quite rare. While new deposits have been found around the world, the largest producer of peridot is the San Carlos Apache Reservation of Arizona.