My wife was hanging out with me in my studio one day, and was going through my bead supply when she came upon some angularly-cut mottled blue rocks. "What are these?!" she asked, excitedly. I explained that they were blue sponge coral (which are not an endangered species) that I'd gotten from another jeweler who was closing shop and selling off inventory. She noted that they were beautiful, and suggested that maaaaaaybe they shouldn't go into a retail design.
Because I am a man who knows how to take a hint—and because her birthday was coming up—I put the beads aside, and when she wasn't around I strung them together with light pink pearls and sterling separator beads to make her this necklace.