Cameos and coral

A coral is a marine life form, with calcium carbonate exoskeleton, formed by colonies of polyps. Used in the gem business, the colors of red coral range from pink and salmon to the now rarest color, a rich red (also called ox blood red); this color comes from carotenoid pigments. Diving for coral has taken place in the Mediterranean Sea ever since Roman times, and in the 15th century Torre del Greco became known for its coral diving and harvesting of red coral. However, only starting from the 17th century the first cameos were produced, and not until 1815 that a unique manufacturing contract was granted to the town by the King of Naples for a period of 10 years. Today this industry employs thousands of people and their products are exported worldwide.

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