Care and Cleaning of Red Coral Gemstone

Posted on October 21st, 2023 12:27 PM

Red coral gemstones, also known as Moonga, have an attractive deep red color ranging from orangey-red to dark crimson. Formed from the exoskeletons of coral polyps that live in the sea, this red stone is a delicate gem that can scratch or break easily if not properly handled. With some primary care and cleaning, your Moonga gemstone can remain vibrant and lustrous for years. Follow these recommendations to keep your red color coral stunning.

red coral gemstone

What Is Red Coral (Moonga Stone)?

 Red coral, or Moonga stone, is an organic gemstone in marine waters. Formed by coral polyps, the hard skeleton is calcium carbonate deposited in concentric layers. As the coral grows, the layers build up over time to form the familiar branching shapes.

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The distinctive bright red to orange-pink color of precious moonga stone comes from iron oxides. The most prized shades are deep red to scarlet. Lighter pink and peach hues are more common but less valuable.


Most coral used in jewelry comes from the Mediterranean Sea, particularly near Italy and Spain. Coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans also produce coral stone, though often more orange in tone. Japanese red coral is considered the most rare and valuable. 


Due to their organic nature, red coral gemstones are both soft and fragile. They should only be cleaned gently using a soft, damp cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners, which can cause damage. Red coral jewelry should be protected from impact and scratching, which can permanently mar the surface. When not worn, coral pieces should be stored separately in a lined box away from harder gems and metals.

With proper care and handling, high-quality red color coral can last for many generations while maintaining its bright color and sculptural beauty. However, no gemstone can withstand mistreatment, so taking good care of your moonga jewelry will ensure many years of enjoyment.

red coral gemstone ring

The Tempting Color and Beauty of Original Moonga

The vermillion color of moonga gemstones, also known as Moonga, is highly coveted and prominent. Their bright orange-red hue is reminiscent of a vibrant sunset. The color comes from the presence of iron oxides trapped within the calcium carbonate matrix of the coral.

What are Color Variations

The exact shade of red can vary based on several factors, including:

Heat treatment: Heating red coral gemstones in a controlled process can alter and often intensify their color. Untreated red coral will usually produce the most vivid, prized shades of red.

The color of red coral can fade over time with exposure to sunlight and oxygen. To help prevent fading, limit exposure to these elements when possible and avoid harsh chemicals. With proper care and cleaning, the vibrant red beauty of red color gemstones can endure for generations. Their attractive and long-lasting color, combined with the organic, natural origins of the gemstone, give this coral a timeless appeal that has endured for centuries. For these reasons, red stone remains an iconic and treasured gemstone.

  •  Trace elements present in the water. For example, the presence of cobalt can influence the redness
  •  The location and depth where the coral grew Coral found in shallow, well-lit waters often develop a brighter red color.
  • The species of coral: Some species naturally produce a deeper, more intense red.
  • red coral ring


How to Care for Your Precious Red Coral Gemstone

To properly care for your moonga, there are a few essential steps to keep in mind:

  • Moonga stone is an organic gemstone that requires gentle handling and care. Avoid exposing the gemstone to harsh chemicals, heat, or ultrasonic cleaners, which can cause damage.
  • Gently wipe down your stone with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt or debris. Do not submerge the gemstone in liquid. Pat dry with a lint-free cloth   
  • Avoid contact with cosmetics, perfumes, or abrasive cleaning solutions, which contain chemicals that can dull the coral's color and polish.
  •  Remove gemstones before engaging in any physical activity or exercise like swimming that exposes them to chemicals like chlorine.
  •  Have your gemstone checked regularly by a certified gemologist. They can inspect for damage or weak spots and repolish the coral if needed.
  •  Consider buying red coral gemstone insurance to protect against loss, theft, or damage. Appraisals should be updated every 2–3 years to account for market value changes.

 Only use ultrasonic cleaners specifically designed for delicate gemstones and follow the directions carefully. The high-frequency sound waves can potentially cause fractures if misused.

By following these best practices for care and cleaning, your precious gemstone will maintain its beauty and last for generations. Handle with care and avoid exposure to harsh environments for the longevity of this organic gem. With proper maintenance, your coral gemstone will remain vibrant and stunning.

red coral

Cleaning Tips for Red Coral Stones

To properly care for your coral stone, specific cleaning procedures should be followed to maintain its beauty and structure. As corals are delicate organic gemstones, harsh chemicals, and rough handling can cause damage.

Gentle Cleaning

Wipe your coral with a soft, damp cloth to remove surface dirt and oils. Do not use chemical cleaners, as these can weaken the coral's structure over time. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners, steamers, and commercial jewelry cleaners as well. Like an old toothbrush, soft-bristled brushes can be used to clean intricately carved corals. Rinse the coral with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft cloth

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Protect from Scratches

Store your coral gem separately from other gemstones and jewelry to prevent scratches. Coral is relatively soft, ranging from 2.5 to 4 on the Mohs hardness scale. Diamonds, rubies, and sapphires can easily scratch the surface. Keep coral out of pockets or bags where it can rub against keys or other complex objects.

Following these cleaning and care tips, your treasured coral stone will remain beautiful for generations. With proper care and handling, this coral can last a lifetime. But always remember - gentle, infrequent cleaning, limit sun exposure, and keep scratch-free.

red coral moonga gemstone

Moonga Stone Price and Value Facts

As an organic gemstone, this coral requires special care and cleaning. Due to its soft and porous nature, harsh chemicals and abrasives can easily damage red coral. When cleaning or handling coral jewelry, it is essential to take proper precautions to avoid damaging the gemstone.


To clean red coral gemstones:

  1. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe away surface dirt and oils.
  2. Do not use chemical cleaners, abrasive pastes, or ultrasonic cleaners, as these can damage the coral.
  3. After wiping the coral with a damp cloth, use a soft, dry cloth to buff it and bring back its natural shine and luster.

For stuck-on debris, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be very gentle while brushing the coral.

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The price of red coral depends on several factors, including color, clarity, shape, and size. Vivid red coral with an intense, saturated color and high clarity tends to be the most valuable. Large, individually cut gemstones, cabochons, or beads are typically more valuable than small or included pieces. Round and oval shapes are generally preferred over freeform or irregular shapes. High-quality red coral can range from $50 to $500 per carat, depending on the factors mentioned. Commercial-grade moonga tends to be more affordable, ranging from $20 to $70 per carat.

By following these care and handling guidelines, your moonga stones will maintain their beauty and value for generations. With proper precautions and care, this coral can make a stunning and meaningful addition to any jewelry collection.

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As you have learned, red coral gemstones require special care and attention to maintain their beauty and durability. With regular cleaning, proper storage, and avoidance of harsh chemicals, your coral stone jewelry can enjoy you for years. Though delicate, its stunning and vibrant red color is unmatched and worth the effort. Following the guidelines, you can keep your cherished red color stones lustrous and prevent damage. With some basic knowledge and precautions, this stone can make an excellent addition to any gemstone collection. Treat it well, and it will treat you to its radiant glow.


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