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Meaning of the Color Coral: Symbolism, Common Uses, & More

Coral is the color of joy, freshness, and femininity

Today’s article is about the symbolism and the meaning of the color coral as part of the Color Meaning Series.

For more colors, check out our guide on color meanings.

Summary of the meanings of the color coral
Coral color meanings

Where can we find the meaning of the color coral?

Is it on a flock of flamingoes in a tropical destination or on a sweetly-perfumed bouquet of flowers? Maybe it is in the awe-inspiring sunset on a summer day or the fashion peach-pink lipstick.

Coral is an uplifting and lively color that conjures images of sweet things and summer vacations. This feminine color is a unique combination of pink and orange, which explains not why its bold side but also its humanitarian spirit.

In today’s article, we’ll talk about the symbolism and meaning of coral, its physical effects, most common uses, and facts–all about the feminine coral.

Coral Color Symbolism in Different Cultures

  • The meaning of the color coral starts with its symbolism in the chakra system. It’s associated with the Kundalini stem. But this is only the beginning of the color coral’s association with spirituality.
  • In some parts of the world, people who are associated with enigma, mysticism, or acolytes of certain religions will wear saffron and coral robes to denote their status.
  • The meaning of coral is partially tied to old stereotypes. When colonizers encountered the inhabitants of tropical islands and territories, they painted these indigenous people as exotic, exciting, backward, juvenile, and sometimes dangerous. Because the color coral can be found in abundance in these regions, the color coral continues to carry a lot of these connotations as well.
  • Coral’s meaning also has strong associations in the art world. Impressionist painters like Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Georgia O’Keeffe, and more used coral frequently. Impressionist paintings are often dreamy, soft, and gentle, which matches coral’s association with being light, bright, and feminine.
  • Ancient Egyptians and Romans made ornaments and jewelry out of coral to ward off evil and resist temptation. There are even some Renaissance paintings of the baby Jesus wearing a coral amulet as a protective measure.
  • Living Coral was Pantone’s Color Of The Year for 2019. This was a measure to embrace a sense of vibrancy and hopefulness for the future.

Psychological Meaning of Coral

The color coral has a variety of meanings depending on the specific hue and its undertones. But the feelings it evokes tend to remain the same across shades.

Living coral reef in the ocean

Coral Color Meaning

Here’s some insight into coral’s meaning.


Coral is an activating, life-affirming color. It’s revitalizing the way the vibrant color orange is but with a softening edge thanks to its pink tones. 

The result is a feeling of freshness, liveliness, and a deep sense of optimism and joy. It’s a very positive color with strong physical energy and a need for social interaction.

The Natural World, Particularly the Ocean

Thanks to its ties to the tropical world, coral has a solid bond to the laws of nature and everything it has to offer. 

That’s one reason why coral tones are such a popular color in beach-inspired interior décor. This dynamic color is part of the warm colors family.

Bold, Fresh Femininity

Coral is indisputably one of the more feminine colors of the visible spectrum. But there’s more to its subtle sweetness than just a demure quality. In fact, coral is often a bit brash or mischievous.

Lamp on coral background with a scatter of shiny sequins

A Strong Sense of Fashion

Coral is generally seen as a hip color with positive energy, whether that’s in interior design, art, makeup, clothing, or accessories. 

Picture a fashion model strutting down the runway in bright coral lipstick. If you can pull off this vibrant pop of color, you’ll easily gain a reputation for yourself as the fashionista in the room.

Cooperation and Humanitarian Efforts

In the natural world, the coral reef fulfills its potential by giving up some of its individuality for the sake of connecting with others and creating something as part of a team. It’s the embodiment of expansion without ego. Keep the color coral close to you to tap into your sense of community, brotherhood, and a team-oriented approach to life.

Fresh and Invigorating

Coral has a sense of friendliness (thanks to its pink undertones), dynamism, and vivaciousness (thanks to its orange undertones). 

However, this can sometimes translate into being flighty and irresponsible. Coral’s about the big picture, not sweating the small details.

Slices of coral grapefruits

Stunning and Refreshing

Coral blends the boldness of red and the enthusiasm and the fervor of orange shades and the femininity of pink. This can create a surprising blend of feelings. It’s bold and beautiful yet surprisingly versatile.

Precious Rarity

When the color coral appears in the natural world, it’s usually in small peeks of a beautiful hue. That, in combination with its ties to mysticism and religion, makes coral feel like something truly precious. It draws the eye wherever it goes, even in the smallest amounts.

Physical Effects of Coral

  • Thanks to its warm undertones, coral is an excellent color to give you a sense of warmth during the cold winter months. It can remind you of summery days and spring sunsets while you wait for the winter frost to thaw.
  • Having coral, even just a pop, around can warm the soul and be deeply comforting. It’s a great color to have around in spaces or situations where you often find yourself seeking peace of mind or a burst of mental stimulation.

Some Shades of Coral

Here are the most common coral shades with respective hex codes in the RGB color space.

Peach Pink #F99584

Cantaloupe #FFA480

Coral Pink #F88379

The complementary color of coral pink is teal, but if you want to create a less tropical coral color palette, go for deep red and red-brown.

Light Coral #F08080

Coral #FF7F50

Coral Red #FF4040

Orange-Pink Coral #ED7464

Dark Coral #CD5B45

Most Common Uses of the Color Coral

In branding, the color coral is commonly used in the following sectors:

  • Feminine products
  • Beauty
  • Travel, mostly summer themed
  • Fashion
  • Lifestyle

Facts About Coral

  • The word “coral,” of course, refers to the marine invertebrate from which the color gets its name (coral reefs). The term was first used to describe a specific color during the early 16th century.
  • Coral has pink and orange tones, but its shades have yellow, red, and brown undertones.

Coral means: joy, freshness, and femininity
Effects of coral: a sense of warmth, uplifting, and comforting
Positive traits: bold, lively, and humanitarian
Negative traits: flighty, irresponsible, and brash