Coral jewelry buying guide

Coral jewelry buying guide

by Preeti Sharma

The coral that is suitable for jewelry is not generally formed in reefs. It is found in small branch-like structures. It can be seen as the skeletal remains of the marine animals or the polyp corallicum. The most worthful coral is the noble red, also called corallicum rubrum. A typical and unique feature of precious corals is that they have a wonderful polish.

Coral jewelry is exciting to wear. With distinct look and features from Gold, Platinum or Silver jewelry, coral jewelry has become popular quite fast. But don’t get carried away with the luster. Pause…hold back. Before you enter the market to buy your choice of coral jewelry designs, we have some important tips from the coral jewelry buying guide.

All That You Need To Know Before You Buy Coral Jewelry

Coral Jewelry-What is Coral?

girl with coral necklaceCoral seems to be an excellent choice for jewelry. But, have you ever thought that where from coral comes actually? Coral is a sea product that grows in branches, which look much like dwarf underwater trees. In the whole cycle of making of coral, a marine gelatinous animal collects calcium carbonate around its body. It is a polyp made of calcite fibrous crystals.

The polyps then create a branch like shape, built in the shape of hollow tubes fitted in one another. This makes for a sort of axial skeleton upon which the boneless coral polyps grow. They thrive a colony of their own and create the coral. A fully-grown coral remains covered with lime, barnacles, and salt.

How To Select The Real Coral?

The coral that is suitable for jewelry is not generally formed in reefs. It is found in small branch-like structures. It can be seen as the skeletal remains of the marine animals or the polyp corallicum. The most worthful coral is the noble red, also called corallicum rubrum. A typical and unique feature of precious corals is that they have a wonderful polish.

The appearance of Calcareou Coral can range from semi translucent to opaque. Its color can go from light to dark pink and then to dark red. It is also found in white, orange and cream colors and also in purple and blue at times. The appearance of other variety of coral, Conchiolin Coral, can range from semi translucent to opaque. It is found in gray, black, yellow and dark brown colors.

The Calcareous coral has hardness of -3 1/2 to 4 and fair toughness. While the Conchiolin coral has hardness of 3 and good toughness. Both the varieties of coral have glass like waxy to vitreous polish luster.

There are many common enhancements that are done on coral that spoil their natural qualities. Dyeing the calcareous coral deepens and at times changes the color and saturation with epoxy. The dying will then hide cracks at the surface and make it fill with cavities in the low quality of Coral. It is a quite common practice that cheats the coral customers.

Stay Away From Coral Simulants

Coral JewelryYou also have to be careful in picking the right coral. Must buyers of coral end up in getting some other materials that are used to imitate the natural coral. There are all the chances for you to be mistaken with Plastic, man made Coral, Howlite, Shell, Ivory, Onyx/Calcite and Fossil Ivory as Coral. For Conchiolin Coral, the materials like plastic, Chalcedony and Jet are used for imitation.

The physical look of the carbonate type of Coral is that it flaunts a distinct pattern of parallel stripes with a little different colour and transparence. The Glass simulants of the coral lacks the ideal structure of coral. They have a glassy luster and tend to have bubbles. The glass simulants can also display conchoidal fracture. The plastics simulants of Coral also do not have coral the structure and can possibly show molding lines. You can detect the shell simulants by their layered structure. It displays fine rippled lines on its surface.

How To Test The Real Coral

There are some facts and qualities about the real coral that you should keep in mind. The best coral should have a deep natural color. It is found in a standard (round or oval shape) and finished surface. The perfect coral does not have any dents or holes or perforations. It is smooth to touch.

You can do some tests to identify the real coral. Place the real coral in a glass of cow’s milk. If the color of milk will change to the one with red tinge, the coral is real. The imitation coral cannot change the milk’s whiteness. Another interesting test you can carry out is by actually wearing it. A true coral changes its color as per the physical health of the wearer. It will resume its original color when the physical health of the person is restored. But, it will fade out prior to the disorder in the wearer’s physical health is evident.

The Famous Market Places Of Coral

It is difficult to find all the ideal conditions for the making of coral, such as right depth, intensity and temperature at one place. This is the reason there are less places in the world that provide best quality of coral. The best quality coral can be found in the southern Ireland, Madeira, Bay of Biscay, Canaries, Mauritius, Cape de Verde Islands, Japan, Hawaii, Australia, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Malay Archipelago and in the Japanese waters. Italy is the place that is considered the center of coral jewelry making. In Italy, Torre del Greco, near Naples is the place where the best quality of coral jewelry is made. You can buy a lot of jewelry designs of Coral, such as beautiful earrings, pendants, brooches, rings, tie bars, cuff links, belt buckles, pillboxes and inlaid jewelry boxes.

The Colors Of Coral

You can buy Coral in a great variety of colours that range from Dark Red, Pink, White, Spotted Pink, Orange, Blue, Violet, Black and Golden Brown. Each coral color has its own unique quality. Black coral is exotic and dramatic to look and rare to find. It is considered as a guard against misfortune for a long time now. When polished, the black coral shines with beautiful luster.

Pink Coral is delicate found in utmost quantity in the entire length of Hawaiian chain. It is very dense and solid. The shaded colors in the large pink corals are the gem’s natural qualities. The value of pink coral depends on its rarity. The precious Red Coral is revered high since the early civilizations for its beautiful color, texture and luster. It is found in ocean depths of about 500 to 1,000 feet. Its rate of growth is very slow, only about 1/4 inch each year. This makes the red coral really highly treasured and prized.

Blue Coral is thought to be in the initial stage of disintegration. This color generally expands only below the surface. It is an unusual variety found off in Cameroon. Hawaiian Gold Coral is rare by far. Its color tone ranges from sandy beige color to complete black. On the off side of Maui in Hawaii, this exquisite variety of coral is found with resin or lacquered texture. The only company in the world that creates jewelry from Hawaiian Gold Coral is Maui Divers.

The Law That Concerns Your Purchase Of Coral Jewelry

Only the corals that grow slow and live long are selected for jewelry and other ornamental purposes. The intensive collection of reefs threatens them. If you wish to buy the coral jewelry from overseas, it is important to make sure that you find out if you should take a CITES permit. When you are buying it at home, always enquire from the retailer whether the coral is imported with required CITES permit.

As a buyer, you should first obtain the scientific (Latin) name present in the Control List of the coral. Check whether CITES regulates it or not. CITES regulates all hard corals. If it is a CITES species, the buyer requires a CITES export permit that the exporting country issues. Make sure that the coral producer obtains the CITES permit for you before your order your coral jewelry.

To conclude, be very alert when you go off to buy the coral jewelry you like. Remember the guiding tips above to get the best deal. Happy Shopping!