In Ancient Rome, a branch of coral worn around the neck was believed to shield the wearer from harm. Similarly, the Ancient Greeks thought that coral could reverse the ill effects of poisoning and evil spells. Coral, one of the most valuable of the organic gemstones, has been regarded as a sacred gem with talismanic properties across many cultures and even more centuries. In the mid 19th century, Italian jewelry-carvers used the gem as a medium to create cameos and miniatures like this coral fist in an elaborate curlicue mount as souvenirs for upper class Brits to buy while on the Grand Tour. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain.
14k gold (tests), coral, new 14k gold chain
1 1/8" length, 1/2" at the widest point, 18" chain
1837 — 1901
Coral jewelry has been worn as an amulet of protection against ailments and danger since ancient Rome.