Jewellery is a symbol of love, art and story of life journey. Woman are one of the rarest gemstones on earth and are meticulously hand selected by their maker. Women around the world love gemstones especially during their engagement or wedding to enhance their beauty.
In Nigeria both men and women love Precious Coral Beads during their traditional wedding and its also part of a certain culture in Nigeria.
Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral.The distinctive attribute of precious corals is their durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton, which is used for making jewellery.
Precious coral is more popular than any other gemstone in Nigeria due to its richness in color and the bold statement which is express through clothing and other adornments worn at weddings.
Some part of Nigeria like the Igbos and Edos Coral beads is a symbol of royalty or one who has a chieftaincy title. There are some shapes of coral beads that only Chief wears. Corals beads used in Edo are different from those got from the North of Nigeria, in Yoruba land and the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Coral beads are mainly imported from italy and Singapore to Nigeria and are quite expensive. Some retailers take the coral beads to Dubai to get them customized into a design of their clients choice. Also, gold are used as part of designing any necklace or earrings for a more unique and personal touch.
Sterling silver are never use to design coral beads because it is perceive not to give the bride and groom an elegant and exquisite look during their engagement ceremony.
The famous place to buy coral beads in the UK is in Liverpool street close to petticoat Lane market and retailers are mainly Nigerians. Clients choice their precious coral beads that range from £50 and it is string together in the shop. Ready made corals beads designs are also displayed for the clients to have an an idea of the styles.
Coral Beads are not just simply ornamental, but are believed to have effective power (ase), that is, the power to cause any vow or curse to come to pass. Wearing of Coral beads is a crucial component of what gives an Oba(King) divine powers. This believe is also used in the Nigeria movie industry called Nollywood to write script which portrays different scenarios when an Oba forbids a person never to return to the village due to been dishonest. The word of an Oba is food for thoughts and must never be taken likely due to the believe of the divine powers of an Oba. People waits hours to see an Oba because he can change their situation by praying for them and it would come to pass.
“Ikele”, (meaning royalty) is an important coral beads in Benin. It signifies recognition and greatness. Another significance of the bead is that it is only the Oba that can give it out to those who have achieved greatness in the Kingdom. It is an honor to be recognize by an Oba because people then respect them more in their community.
Below is a picture of Nigeria leading actress Mercy Johnson wearing Coral beads as a necklace and hair accessory in her traditional wedding. The picture is an example of how Nigeria woman use coral beads to enhance their beauty. Mercy’s coral beads has been designed using gold to tell a tale of beauty and express her wealth in the society.
Coral beads worn in nigeria is a symbol of power, wealth, royalty and beauty.
Peter Okoye of Psquare wearing coral beads on his traditional wedding day.
Picture copyright from Bella Naija
Nike Ademuyiwa, a member of the British Jeweller Association, is a jewellery expert with many years of experience in the jewellery industry. She is the creative director of Tink Jewellery a brand which tells people’s personal story either of love, life and style into the art of jewellery creation