Apple coral is part of the species of corals known as melithaea sponge, which is commonly found on the ocean floors around the waters of Taiwan, Indonesia and southern China. Some varieties of coral have been banned from mining and collecting due to the destruction of corral reefs around the world. Apple corral is not, however, included in this ban. Currently, this variety of corral is not endangered and environment-conscious jewelers and retailers have turned to it in leu of other endangered varieties. With continued global warming and the death of corral reefs this may change and apple corral may no longer be available.
A beautiful example of a Zuni fetish made from apple coral is shown here. It has a distinct appearance, with a tiger-like striation of color. When this material has been shaped, then sealed and polished, is usually a deep reddish color. When it has been exposed to heat or intense sunlight for long periods, it tends to lighten.