Some of the oldest known jewelry pieces are also completely organic. Red coral pieces are little more than the hard skeletons of the maritime animals. As such, they consist largely of calcium carbonate and carotene. Corals of different colors feature different coloring agents. Primary sources of the coral used in jewelry are the Mediterranean reefs and coastlines along Japan and Taiwan. What makes coral jewelry so special? In addition, how do you know that you are buying the real thing?
Variety of colors.While the most common jewelry coral is red, there are also other colors. Look for blue, brown, black and pink. Price varies, depending on market demand and ready availability of the material. Blue coral is among the rarest and therefore also among the most costly jewelry pieces to possess.
Soft surfaces. If you are accustomed to the durability of diamond or topaz jewelry, be sure to relearn how to wear coral jewelry. The material is relatively soft, which makes it perfect for carving but also very sensitive to scratches and gashes. Store it separately from other jewelry pieces and always keep it covered with a soft cloth for protection.
Two types. Root corals and precious corals are the two main substances used in the jewelry trade. Root corals are much less expensive than the precious variety. If you intend to purchase the raw product to give to an artisan during the commission of a piece, deal with a reputable merchant who ensures that the raw materials were harvested by hand and not with trawl nets.
A vibrant history.Archaeological digs have proven that coral inlays and jewelry pieces were at home in the Iron Age’s Celtic tombs and during the formation of the Buddhist religion. Tibetan holy men used coral prayer beads while those of means asked to have coral amulets fashioned. This jewelry was said to confuse evil spirits. Ancient Romans and nobles throughout the Middle Ages believed that coral jewelry had special powers that could protect against enemy treachery, neutralize the poison of scorpions and cure infertility.
It cannot be overstressed that purchasing coral jewelry from a reputable jeweler is crucial. Only when dealing with an expert do you ensure that the pieces you receive are actually genuine. While synthetic coral jewelry is not a big market draw, it is not uncommon for unscrupulous merchants to dye bamboo coral a dark red and then attempt to sell it as precious coral, which is significantly more expensive. Due to the dyeing and polishing process, the novice has a difficult time differentiating the two. An expert jeweler, on the other hand, is sure to be able to tell apart fake precious coral from the real thing.
Peter Suchy Jewelers is located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut and we invite you to stop by our showroom and see our huge inventory of vintage, estate and new jewelry designs.
Or, if you enjoy browsing for estate and vintage jewelry online, hop on over to our eBay store.