|Coral or red coral (also called precious coral) is a biogenic stone, which means it comes from a living organism. Only a small part of a coral skeleton is used to make jewelry, and only one or two varieties are used. The type of coral used for making beaded jewelry has a distinctive pink or red color. In its natural form, red coral has a matte look, although polishing brings out the color. Coral jewelry has a long tradition in human history, dating back at least to ancient Egypt.
SmartBeadShopping™ Tip: Most coral beads on the market today, including what you see here, are dyed to enhance color and uniformity. Coral jewelry needs to be treated gently, as it is very porous and can easily be damaged or scratched. Learn more in our gemstone glossary.