As I have a number of coral pieces in the shop, I thought a little note on how to care for handmade coral jewellery might be helpful.
Gemstones need to be treated with care if they are to keep their shine and look their best. There are plenty of everyday things that can harm some of the stones. Perfumes, oils, creams, are all bad for the stones and make them look less attractive.
There are different types of coral stones, such as pressed coral, but they all need to be treated with great care as they are fragile, can be scratched very easily and can even fall apart. Beads may have been dyed or treated in some other way, this will not always help and dyed colours may fade over time.
It is best to apply oils and creams to the skin first, once these have dried you can then put on your jewellery to ensure that the two have as little contact as possible. Any chemicals should be avoided.
To avoid the beads getting scratched when not wearing your jewellery, you should store them away from other jewellery or anything that could be dangerous to them. The box that you place them in should also be suitable for the stones. Something nice and soft that will not harm the beads or change their colour.
If you do need to clean the beads, you can do so with a soft damp cloth, quickly wipe the beads, the corals should not be in contact with water for too long as water will harm the beads. Leaving them in water for a long time to clean them is not a good idea, it will remove more then just the dirt. This is something you need to keep in mind when wearing a ring or even a bracelet, – doing the dishes with the ring is not advisable.
Direct sunlight and very high temperatures should also be avoided, the sunlight can cause the colour to fade, leaving a nice shiny bead looking rather pale and “worn”.
Ideally stones should be cleaned after they have been worn, going over them with a damp cloth and letting them dry completely should be enough. If you do need to clean stones thoroughly, you could give them to a professional or you need to get detailed information about the type of stone, to find the best way of cleaning it without being damaged. Ultrasonic cleaners can be harmful to many stones and should be avoided unless tried and tested (by someone else).