Precious coral is only found in a small number of regions in the world. The Mediterranean has been the traditional source of coral (e.g. Corallium rubrum) for centuries. In the 19th century Asia became an ever more important souce of precious coral, beginning in Japan and then Taiwan, China and Philippines. The Asia-Pacific region, with Hawaii and Midway islands has become even more important in terms of production in the 20th century, with the discovery of new coral beds.