The wise purchaser’s vademecum
Here follow some “tricks” , secrets of the trade which, those who are into this job must necessarily be aware of. The use of these advices is only intended for you to become familiar with the value’s rank you have to consider, once you buy some coral. Generally there is one thing to bear in mind: nowadays nobody comes providing you with the deal of your life!
If this should happen, ask yourselves where the swindle lays, take your time. They might tell you they need cash quickly, there are hundred other people standing in line for the very same deal, etc.. take your time, ponder: are these people offering you just because of who you are? Because you’re just so lucky?
Think about it!
While estimating an offered item, calculating whether its price-quality relation is fair, is way too important. When this relation is fair, proceed with your purchase. When there’s the big deal, or when you find yourselves a bit puzzled, trust your guts feeling! There might be something behind it!
How to tell pure coral from false one?
For sure some customers came to you asking: “I want some coral, but it must be perfect!”
Totally wrong! Coral, however it may be manufactured, is a product of Nature. As such, it is imperfect. Do not trust a perfect piece of coral! If, for example, a cabochon is superficially perfect, you can’t find any spot, you can’t see those concentric lines, so common in wood, which indicate the branch’s age, then be careful: it could be false or faked. For a safe check, you may want to carefully observe the cabochon’s bottom: there must be a flaw! For instance, in Japanese corals (Cerasuolo, Angel Skin, Brunette) there must be some spot, or white line, so characteristic and represent a merit, not a defect. understood? Look for flaws, if you’re seeking for merits, and remember that any piece of coral is unique and unrepeatable!

Black coral
It’s coral, or rather, scientifically, it belongs to the Octocorals sub-family, those that, normally, are manufactured. The “black coral” is nothing but a gorgonacea (family of Fan Plants), that is, a plant that grows in the sea. Its color is brown/black, and, being thick and hard enough, craftsmanship is possible. It mostly grows around the equatorial area, and the populations of that zone are those who manufacture it in the primitive way: little trunks, imperfect spheres. Those objects’ inner value is pretty lame, but their salesmen talk about rarities. Don’t trust them. Their value is low either because those gorgonacee are highly widespread, either because their craftsmanship is absolutely poor technique-wise speaking, and definitely not artistic.

“Angel skin”
Beware when you’re offered pink coral passing it off as “angel skin”. The “angel skin”variety has a very particular chromatism, which is rarely found in Satsuma generic coral, of Japanese origin. The color of the “angel skin” is a pretty and compact pink: the least white spots you find, the better the quality of your “angel skin”. Being this coral shade, very rare, is also very expensive: as for today, its price for gram is esteemed between € 50.00 and € 150.00, according to its quality. Therefore, don’t trust those who offer you “angel skin” at lower prices. Those are pinkish corals, but not the real thing. Very similarly looking like “angel skin” are the Midway coral and the Miss or Misu. They’re both very light-colored, though, and you won’t find anything different than white-pinkish, pale pink at the most. They’re not “angel skin”. At any rate, the best thing to do, is to ask for a guarantee of quality, along with asking for with the invoice, possibly signed by your supplier, including a picture of the item of, for which is stated it is true “angel skin”. If your supplier is framing you, he’ll surely refuse to proceed.

How to keep it and maintain it
The superficial polishing Craftsmen can give to the coral, after a long and complicated process of manufacturing, is often compromise, while using it, by the epithelial humours and cosmetic chemical matters.
When coral gets darker, you can’t do anything but deliver it to export hands, capable of giving it its original brightness back. Nevertheless, there is much you can do to avoid this process. First of all, when you think you may want to wear a coral necklace, it will be useful not spreading creams or scents on your neck. To keep it the best way possible, you might polish your necklace with a cotton sheet, every six months, even better if the sheet has been dunked in liquid wax. This operation will erase all slags that will lie between a sphere and the next one. On every one or two years it will be convenient to change the cotton thread within the necklace. It will be stretched and darkened by intense use.
An old saying reads what we now thing may be a wise advice: “Coral, when not worn, falls ill “.
So, what we can suggest is to wear it as much as you can. Coral is not made to be kept in jewel cases. Thus, get those Grandma’s jewels out of there and wear them! They’re alive and vibrant, and they deserve to keep on living, by being happily worn.
A precaution you may want to follow is to avoid the exposition of coral, in your windows, any close to strong sources of light. You don’t want to forget coral is anyway an organic matter, and as such it can be damaged by very high temperatures. The most important warning is the following one: always bear in mind coral is both a nature’s masterpiece, as much as man’s masterpiece. It is an only thing! And you have to treat it as it deserves: with the respect and love, which are due to the piece of art, to the unique work.