The beautiful glow of coral jewellery
Who doesn’t love them? These brightly-coloured opaque substances - coral - retrieved from the oceans, where they grow on the beds of the water bodies – in the depths, caverns or crevices. Though it is very brittle and fragile, especially when compared to other gemstones, yet it has its own popularity amongst jewel-lovers, who are fascinated by its unique appeal. The corals found in deep waters are the ones used for manufacturing jewellery, and these are referred to as the “precious” or “semi-precious” jewellery. These are actually living marine animals, whose skeletons, once they are dead, are utilized by the jewellery-making industry. The precious corals are more colourful, less porous, harder, more lustrous, and more rarely obtained. Red corals are the most in demand, and the most valuable. Pink, gold, blue etc. are also heavily exploited for jewellery purposes, owing to their widespread appeal. The 10-point Mohs scale is used by jewellers to measure a stone’s hardness and scratch resistance, and though coral is rated only a 3.5 in it, yet women all across the globe love them around their neck. What else makes you stand apart with its delicate, exquisite appearance! However it is also important to keep in mind certain tips and tricks to maintain coral jewellery, if you own any. Without proper cleaning and care, these usually do not last long. Being porous, it is very susceptible to damage if soaked in liquid. Hence, coral jewellery should never be immersed in water, or in any cleaning solution, which poses even worse threat to it. Instead, it should be wiped gently with a clean wash cloth that has only been slightly dampened in water. If the coral is embedded onto metal that needs to be polished, once must be careful not to touch the coral with the suds. Once it is cleaned, make sure that the coral is thoroughly air dried before it is restored to its original place. Hot water or any ultrasonic cleaner must not be used with coral jewellery.
Coral jewellery dates back to prehistoric times, ever since the Iron Age, in the form of coral bangles, necklaces, rings etc. It also had religious and cultural significance. Even Tibetan Lamas used rosaries made of coral. Even today, women are no less fond of corals, and that explains their high saleability! A welcome change from all traditional forms of jewellery, it serves the desires of them who want to be the change!