How To Clean & Take Care of Red Coral Gemstone

The vibrant hues of red coral and its enigmatic and potent vibes have captivated humans for millennia, adorning jewelry, ornaments, and objets d’art. But this lustrous and opaque gem of the sea is more than just a beautiful bauble. Red coral is a living organism – the skeletal structure formed by tiny marine invertebrate animals called coral polyps. As such, it requires special care and handling to maintain its brilliant crimson color and preserve its unique organic texture.

Many people are surprised to learn that the red coral pieces they’ve treasured for years becomes dull, lifeless, and covered in grime over the years without proper cleaning and care. Like a silk scarf or antique wood furniture, red coral is susceptible to dirt, oils, and the effects of the environment over time. Failing to tend to these precious oceanic specimens can strip away their vibrancy and natural splendor.

Whether you’ve recently acquired a red coral or moonga stone necklace or have Had family heirlooms waiting to be restored, understanding the right methods for cleaning and caring for red coral is essential. From safe cleaning solutions to handling precautions to storage tips, giving your red coral the royal treatment will ensure these undersea marvels retain their regal beauty for generations to come. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of red coral clearing and taking care.

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Let’s Understand Red Coral Stone First


Red coral is primarily found in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the regions around Italy, Spain, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Greece. It forms in rocky seabeds at depths ranging from 10 to 300 meters. The coral polyps, which are marine invertebrates, secrete calcium carbonate to form the hard skeleton that constitutes the coral. Over time, colonies of these polyps grow together to create the characteristic branching structures seen in red coral.

Physical Properties

Color: Red coral or natural moonga stone is most famous for its rich red color, ranging from deep red to pale pinkish-red. The intensity of the color depends on various factors such as the depth at which it grows, water temperature, and environmental conditions.

Structure: Red coral typically grows in branching formations, resembling tree branches or twigs. The branches are usually irregular and knobby, with a rough texture.

Composition: Red coral is primarily composed of calcium carbonate, with small amounts of organic protein. It is classified as an organic gemstone because it is formed through biological processes.

Hardness: On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, red coral scores between 3.5 and 4, making it relatively soft compared to other gemstones like diamonds or sapphires. This means it is susceptible to scratches and should be handled with care.

Transparency: Red coral is typically opaque, although certain specimens may exhibit some degree of translucency.

Luster: The surface of red coral has a vitreous to resinous luster, depending on the quality of the specimen and how it’s been polished.

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Color Variation

While red hue is the most common and sought-after color of any red coral gemstone, there can be variations in hue, saturation, and even secondary colors present:

Primary Color Range: Red coral principally ranges from a deep, blood-red color to a lighter, pinkish-red hue. The intensity of the color is influenced by factors such as the depth of growth, water clarity, and the presence of algae or other marine organisms.

Secondary Colors: Some red coral specimens may exhibit secondary colors such as orange, pink, or white. These colors can be present as patches, streaks, or patterns within the red coral structure.

Gradations: Within a single piece of red coral, there may be gradations in color intensity, with some areas appearing darker or lighter than others. This can add depth and visual interest to the gemstone.

Enhancements: It’s worth noting that some white coral on the market may be dyed or treated to enhance its color or appearance. However, natural, untreated red coral is generally considered more valuable and desirable among collectors and enthusiasts.

How To Clean & Take Care of Red Corals

For the ease of our valued readers, below, we have jotted down the proven and time-tested techniques to clean and take care of valuable natural red corals in a seamless way.

Here’s how to ensure your red coral jewelry stays spotless without compromising its integrity:

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Gentle Cleaning Techniques for Red Coral

Less is More: Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or even commercial jewelry cleaners. These can cause permanent damage to the coral’s surface.

The Power of Softness: Use a soft, lint-free cloth, preferably microfiber, dampened with lukewarm water. Gently wipe the coral’s surface to remove dirt and oils.

For Stubborn Dirt: If your coral needs a more thorough cleaning, prepare a mild solution of lukewarm water and a gentle, non-detergent soap. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Polishing for an Extra Shine 

While not always necessary, a touch of polish can enhance your red coral’s luster. Here’s what to keep in mind:

Natural Oils are Your Friend: A few drops of olive oil or jojoba oil on a soft cloth can revive the coral’s shine. Buff gently in a circular motion.

Skip the Abrasives: Avoid commercial polishes or abrasive cloths, as they can scratch the coral.

Also Read: – Red Coral vs White Coral

General Care Tips for Long-lasting Beauty

Protect from Harsh Environments: Shield your red coral from extreme temperatures, harsh sunlight, and sudden changes in humidity. Avoid wearing it while swimming, showering, or exercising.

Store it Softly: When not in use, store your red coral jewelry in a lined jewelry box or a soft pouch. Keep it separate from harder gemstones or metals that can cause scratches.

Apply Cosmetics After Wearing: Put on your red coral jewelry after applying makeup or lotions to avoid exposing it to chemicals.

When Professional Help is Necessary

For extensive cleaning or repairs or any kind of severe damage of gemstone, consult a professional jeweler experienced in handling organic gemstones like red coral. They can provide specialized cleaning techniques and ensure proper care for your treasured piece.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure your red coral jewelry retains its captivating beauty for years to come. Remember, a little TLC goes a long way in preserving this natural wonder.

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Written By pmkkgems

Muskan Sain is a well-versed gemstone expert with over 8 years of experience in the field. She has received extensive training from a renowned gemological institute, which has equipped her with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the identification, grading, and valuation of gemstones.


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