Red coral beads evoke the ages! In ancient China, red coral was a symbol of wealth, favor and high social status. In the Qing Dynasty, emperors wore accessories made of red coral, and Queens wore red coral necklaces when attending important social activities. These red coral beads are cut from a South Pacific bamboo coral, and they make an ideal complement to turquoise gemstones! While natural red coral does exist, these red semiprecious beads have been colored with either a nice-quality oil dye (typically the smaller beads) or a less stable, less expensive water dye (generally the larger beads with black matrix). A few users have experienced problems with the red color bleeding while others have not, which suggests that several processes or dyes are being used with varying degrees of stability. We recommend you rinse these gemstone beads in warm, soapy water to remove any excess dye.