Some buyers on eBay have asked for details about Red Coral Jewellery being sold from the Far East. The first point to note is that unlike the pinkish hard dense Red Corals of the Mediterranean, the Asian Red Coral jewellery is essentially made from spongy Red Corals collected from the local seas. This coral is widespread unlike that of the Mediterranean and has no restrictions on being imported into your country.
In order to use the coral for jewellery making, it must first be injected with resin. This serves many purposes: a) To close off the pores, as the raw coral is highly porous and sharp, b) To stop the absorption of humidity, which prevents the coral from darkening over time, c) To enable a shiny brilliant lustre which makes the jewellery more attractive, and d) To enhance the colour, the raw coral has an inconsistent orange-red colour and coloured resins are sometimes used to make it more attractive or to offer alternative colours.
In most cases, the natural patterning within the coral can be seen through the resin giving each coral piece it's unique appearance. In a few cases, the patterning may not be visible because the resin used is more opaque.
Another topic concerns "Red Coral" in jewellery from China and Tibet. It should be noted that in many cases this is not actually Red Coral but in fact Red Sea Bamboo. Red Sea bamboo is commonly referred to as Red Coral but is in fact a different product. It is typically very hard and shiny not unlike hard opaque glass, and typically is produced as beads. It does not show the natural patterning found in Asian Red Coral, but has a more uniform plain appearance.
Images of the raw unprocessed Red Coral can be seen below: