General - A coloured, rocklike deposit of marine animals, used as a gemstone. This substance is often regarded as having the power to protect the wearer from harm and, if carved into the shape of a serpent, it will guard against venomous bites. (1) In China coral, called shang-hu, is said to confer longevity on the wearer. (2) The Egyptians scattered coral over the fields to ensure good harvests. (3) The Gauls used coral as a talisman to protect their warriors. (4) In Greece coral was said to have been formed from the blood of Medusa. (5) In India coral is used to protect the dead from evil spirits. (6) The Italians say that coral is effective in countering the evil eye. (7) Russians give coral bracelets to new babies as a form of protection. Occasionally called coral.

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