In astrology, the precious stone of red coral is related to the planet Mars. In the ‘navaratna’ ring, which is studded with all the nine precious gems, red coral is fixed on the southern side.
In olden times, as it was believed that red coral helps children grow smart, many youngsters belonging to affluent families were eager to receive this stone as gift. Buddhism too held red coral in high esteem and the gem was considered one among the seven treasures.
Scientifically speaking, coral reefs are created on rocks under the sea by Isis, a marine creature living near the ocean floor. The creature then lives in these coral formations.
According to biologists, Isis can be considered as the honeybee of the seas. Similar to the bees building hives with an excretion from their bodies, these marine creatures also create the coral reefs with a sort of sticky substance they produce. The reefs made in the sea spread like creepers without leaves. Typically, a coral reef may be one feet high and one inch thick. Several crevices in these formations provide space for Isis to live.
These corals found on rocks under the sea are cut into fine shapes mechanically to produce gem-quality stones. Made of Calcium carbonate, the corals acquire different colours based on the colour of the sea where they are found. However, the most common colours are red, deep red, saffron red, white and pink.
Corals cannot be found in all seas. While those in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean have a good appearance, the varieties seen in China, Indo-China, Philippines and Italy lack thickness. Meanwhile, corals present in Japan are more beautiful as well as thicker than the others.
Signs of a real coral
There are several methods to identify a real coral. For instance, artificial corals are heavier than natural ones. When a pure coral is scratched on the floor, a sound similar to abrasions on a glass surface could be heard.
Another method to distinguish a real coral from an artificial sample is to immerse both in cow’s milk. A real coral gets a red-coloured covering in milk but the artificial gem does not show such a change.
Similarly, care needs to be taken to choose blemish-less coral. Those having double colours, cracks, holes, black or white spots, a worm-infested appearance, scratches, intermittent depressions and the colour of lac are considered inauspicious.
Legends related to corals
As Mars is considered to be a fiery planet, it has been assigned the Southern direction under astrology. Incidentally, South is connected to Yama, the God of death. Moreover, Mars is associated with the colour red.
Fire symbolises illumination and courage. As Yama is related to Mars and fire, death too has an influence. Another factor is red, which is the colour of blood too. Considering these aspects, astrologers suggest wearing red coral to keep you safe from fire, accidents and foresee as well as avoid life-threatening situations.
According to the ‘Puranas’ (Hindu legends), all the gems were created from the organs of an ‘asura’ (demon) named Valasura. The red coral was derived from the flesh that broke off from the demon’s body, as per this belief.
Red coral and Mars have a deep connection with the health and physical appearance of a person. The precious stone is believed to offer a relief from diseases related to Mars like chicken pox, menstruation-related problems, sexual dysfunction, blood-related diseases, injuries caused during accidents, sprains, eye diseases and injuries to the head.
The gem has also been found to boost self-confidence. Yet another benefit of wearing red coral is that it is believed to prevent heart diseases and epilepsy.
Astrologically, wearing red coral is suggested for getting a young women quickly married, and improving health, courage, energy and similar qualities.
When red coral is kept in the house, it is believed to protect you from the trouble created by spooks.
Who can wear red coral
Though it has several benefits, everyone cannot wear the gem. In case Mars is in a beneficial position in your horoscope, red coral could be worn. If this is not the case, you may have to face several adversities. Those born during the following ‘lagnas’ can wear the gem: Medam, Karkidakam, Chingam, Vrischikam, Dhanu and Meenam. They would achieve prosperity and success along with enjoying good health and energy, says astrology.
How to wear
Other gems that can be worn along with red coral are yellow sapphire, ruby, pearl and moonstone. However, diamond, emerald and blue sapphire are unsuitable.
As a ring, coral could be worn on the ring finger of either hand. It can also be made into a locket. Even though the metal related to Mars is silver, coral can be worn with gold too. When wearing red coral for the first time, do it within one hour after sunrise, which is the period of Mars.
Coral is priced according to its weight. But the weight suitable for you has to be decided in consultation with the astrologer. In persons whose horoscope shows Mars in a strong position, only 3 carats of red coral is needed. When Mars becomes weak, the weight should increase. Wearing a stone having less than 2 carats may not benefit you.
Compared to other gems, red coral is priced low. As a result, its minor stones have little importance. Moreover, these minor stones like Cornelium, red jasper, amber and blood stone are rare to find in Indian markets.
(Author’s contact details: Sivaram Babu Kumar, Prasanthi, Nedumbram Lane, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram - 695005.
Phone: 9847187116, 04712430207.