Coral beads are made from calcium carbonate built up by the skeletal material left by dead members of coral colonies in the sea. Coral comes in a wide range of natural colors, but can also be dyed, providing even more options for jewelry applications. These semiprecious beads appears dull and matte when unfinished, but gain a beautiful gloss when polished. Coral is softer, more fragile and more porous than other gemstone materials, so store it carefully to avoid scratches and blows. Cosmetics, chemicals, hot water and bright sunlight can damage coral jewelry components. To clean coral beads, wipe them gently with a moist soft cloth. ENVIRONMENTAL NOTE: Many people think coral is an endangered species, but only a few coral reefs around the world are threatened and these are monitored by international law (jewelry coral does not come from endangered reefs!). Research shows that current harvesting levels of coral are sustainable; in other words, coral replenishes itself at a rate equal to or greater than the amount harvested.
Peach bamboo coral beads (Limited Stock / not always available) most likely achieve their quintessentially pleasant and peachy coral hue from an oil dye applied to natural bamboo coral. Bamboo coral grows in segmented branches that resemble bamboo stalks, with beige or light brown sections covering a black underlayer. Be sure to check these dyed semiprecious beads for colorfastness. We recommend washing the beads in warm soapy water, then blotting them dry with paper towels. Repeat until no dye transfers from the gemstone beads to the paper towels. Coral is among the most ancient gemstone materials used for adornment, and coral beads are an important component in Tibetan rosaries.