Angel skin coral, varying from white to the softest shades of creamy pink, is so rare today that a kilo sells for $170,000. That makes this strand of pale branch coral as impressive as it is versatile. These shades will go with anything and flatter any complexion.
Necklaces such as this were popular christening gifts in Victorian times, when every baby wore coral. It was believed to foster good health. As little girls grew, more coral was added and their necklaces grew along with them. Ours measures about 16 inches long, so it was worn in adulthood, too. I imagine the final additions were the longest of these irregularly shaped "branches" ranging in size to 1 1/2".
Provenance of this treasusre is a Midwestern estate and probable dating would be late 19th century. Condition is lovely; even under a loupe, I can't tell whether a couple of branches have chips at the ends so, even if they do, nobody will notice. The barrel clasp, an early 20th century addition, is well-made and quite heavy for its size.
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