Red Coral • Precious Coral • Adriatic Coral
How does fine coral jewelry and handmade jewelry sound to you? I know. Amazing, right?
And what better place to get it than Croatia’s coast!
The Adriatic Sea is home to 50 of the 6000 species of coral in the world. It’s textbook name, corallium, can be referenced as red coral or precious coral. But don’t worry! Not all coral is only red(light and dark shades). In addition, you also have pink and white coral.
Coral trading dates back to as early as the 13th century. Zlarin, a small Croatian island off the Dalmatian coast, produced famous coral divers and from then on, coral harvesting remained a trade in Croatia ever since.
The big question: Is it environmentally safe?
I worked in one of the three shops in Korcula Old Town and this was a question I got asked often! And I’m sure some of you readers are probably wondering about it, so let’s talk about it!
Adriatic coral harvesting is very simple and safe. Divers go deep down into the sea, find a coral reef, and pick small pieces grown off of the main coral.
Now, of course, picking the pieces off of the “mother” doesn’t exactly sound like no harm done but, I assure you, there are strict regulations within Croatia and by the coral trade to ensure the safety and security of these organisms. One of the biggest regulations is that you cannot pick coral pieces by your own free will(so don’t even think about it!).
Now that we’ve discussed Adriatic coral and it’s backstory, let’s take a look at some of their coral jewelry and handmade jewelry!
Coral Jewelry and Handmade Jewelry: Prirodni Nakit *pree-rohd-nee nah-keet*
While there are many shops all over the Croatian coast for coral jewelry, my one and only favorite is the Prirodni Nakit shops on the island of Korcula. Prirodni Nakit means “natural jewelry” and that’s exactly what they have!
Plus, Prirodni Nakit creates pieces with coral ONLY from the Adriatic Sea.
That’s right! It’s local, Adriatic coral.
That’s why it’s so special 🙂
Their main shop, Zlatarna Široka, resides in Zagreb where almost all of the production takes places. If you plan to come to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, or get away to the sea, you must stop in one of their stores to see the beautiful creations. Let’s check out what they have(contact details at the bottom of this page).
I gotta be honest with you guys- the first time I saw the coral in the shops, it’s a whole lot of reddish-orange color, one that I’m not used to or particularly fond of, at least at the time.
But guys(girls, I should say), you gotta at least try a piece on. I now have a pair of coral earrings that are my FAVORITE to wear in summer.
They go perfectly on tan skin.
They match with gorgeous, beach hair.
AND they always remind me of my favorite place in the world- the Croatia coast!
I couldn’t think of a better, nicer souvenir than Adriatic coral.
Wearing Coral Jewelry
The best thing about Adriatic coral?
You can wear it with just about anything!
I seriously wear my coral earrings with everything in the summer.
ESPECIALLY white items- the contrast of the white and precious coral? Uuuuuff.
It just pops.
MEN: Yep! They have coral for men to wear too! The team at Prirodni Nakit designs beautiful coral necklaces and bracelets for men. I saw a male few customers wearing them last summer and they seriously looked so nice. Just ask anyone in the shop to show you the collection for men- you won’t be disappointed!
You have so many choices for every kind of style:
- Large statement necklaces
- Thin, elegant strings of coral- for more delicate tastes
- Combination of pearl and coral (highly recommended)
- Coral rings
- Coral with turquoise (another amazing color contrast)
- Earrings– both hanging and studs
- Coral with silver, gold, or gold-plated
And much more. If you have something in mind and can’t find it, ask the team!
Wait- I can design my own piece?
Another wonderful thing about Prirodni Nakit is that you can design your own piece. Want coral with pearls and a touch of turquoise but can’t find what you’re looking for? Ask!
The family at Prirodni Nakit love what they do, and they love to help others find the perfect piece for them, so don’t be shy!
Oh, and check out this immaculate pink coral ring. It’s gold-plated with sterling silver 925. I even hear it’s being called “Angel skin” by Americans!
Other Beautiful Pieces
While the pearls are not from the Adriatic, they are another great option for a high-end souvenir. You have the choice of black or white pearls, with silver or gold-plated(for pure gold options ask the team!)
The very first pieces that I bought during my first summer in Korcula were their handcrafted silver and pearl earring set, with a slightly matching but still different ring.
This is traditional Dalmatian jewelry that I also recommend as a great takeaway.
Embellished with intricate details, this jewelry resembles that of a button. You will see these styles all throughout the coast of Croatia as they strongly represent the area.
Unique in style, you can find pieces in silver, gold, and gold-plated. I personally love the filigree as it represents authenticity, history, and Croatia’s coast, Dalmatia.
Turquoise is notoriously loved for its unique blue. You really must see the beautiful silver work that Prirodni Nakit does with the turquoise stones they import.
Additionally, while I’m not often a gold wearer, the turquoise with gold and gold-plated metal work is exquisite. I found myself ogling over turquoise and gold-plated rings all summer.
If you’re an avid turquoise lover or interesting in owning some of the beautiful stone, check out the selection at Prirodni Nakit.
I promise you’ll take home a piece that no one else has (and will definitely covet).
I never really knew about lapis lazuli until I bought a ring from Prirodni Nakit along with my pearl earring and ring set.
I set eyes on the dark blue stone, noticed the beautiful silver work that wrapped around, holding the stone in place, and knew right away that I had to have it!
It’s triangle figure looked so exotic sitting on my middle finger.
It’s been 2 years now and I still wear that ring several times a week.
What was even more interesting was that Vili had historical knowledge about the stone. He took the time to share with me the background to the stone, as opposed to just saying a typical “it’s nice, buy it” like so many other jewelers.
If you want something subtle yet still eye-catching, I recommend their lapis lazuli collection.
In addition to all the previous options, Vili and his brother Marko have designed and created their own line of jewelry. It is just another fine example of coral jewelry and handmade jewelry.
It has a modern vibe and they often incorporate coral, turquoise, and other additions (such as lava in the above picture) into the collection.
If you love unique jewelry that’s also classic and can be worn with any outfit- think your traditional silver hoops but much more personality and style- this is the line for you.
I ended up wearing exactly these types of earrings pictured above(I was allowed to wear any piece when I was in the shop working- lucky me!) and LOVED them because they caught so many people’s eyes for their uniqueness.
If you want to have fun, cool pieces that your friends and family will stop you and ask, “Where did you get those from?!”, this one-of-a-kind-collection couldn’t be a better choice.
There are so many more unique pieces and designs that I just can’t cover them all! I highly encourage you to find and visit one of their three shops in Korcula. If you can’t make it to the coast, hit their Zagreb shop Zlatarna Široka, tell them what you’re looking for, and I know they’ll do everything they can to find the perfect piece just for you.
Oh, and just for fun, let them know you read about them on This Croatian Life! NO, I don’t get any kind of discount or benefits! It’s just fun to make connections and most of all, share with you a special shop, company, and family. 🙂
Finding, Contact, and Buying
For all questions, email or message them!
Petrinjska 22, Zagreb
+385 1 4845 338
So, what kinds of unique jewelry have you found when you traveled? Comment below!