It is one of the five sacred stones of the Tibetans and the American Indians and symbolizes life force energy. It was used as a protection against the evil eye. In ancient Rome it was supposed to lighten in color and become pale if the wearer were ill or even exposed to illness - or were given poison. The coral would then darken as the wearer recovered. The same attribute was associated with a woman's menstrual periods, which the coral was supposed to "share" with women. Coral was also associated with stopping the flow of blood from a wound, curing madness, imparting wisdom, and calming storms.
In Buddhism coral is believed to be generally good, and the Tibetans and Tibeto-Nepalese think of it as a good investment, and believe that the person who wears coral will have success in life. The color red is auspicious in Tibetan culture. It is a sacred color, one of the colors of the five Buddhas and the color of the monk's garments. It is believed to have protective qualities and is therefore often used to paint sacred buildings. In neighboring China, coral is a symbol of longevity, and in India it is thought to prevent hemorrhages. Hans Weihreter records beliefs about coral in western Tibetan cultures which center around blood. Coral is said to strengthen blood, and act beneficially for the menstruation of women.
Chocron, Daya Sarai. Healing with Crystals and Gemstones: Maine, 1986.
Cudlipp, Edythe. Jewelry: New York, 1980.
Gabriel, Hannelore. Jewelry of Nepal: London, 1999.
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