The look and texture of red coral beads have an alluring rich red gleam to them. These beads are round and lustrous. They come from endangered coral reefs near China, although you can find many of these beads as non-authentic reproductions. Red coral beads also have a rich background of uses, properties and history, which makes these items valuable for jewelry-makers and bead-wearers today.


The price of coral jewelry is rapidly rising since the supply coming from coral reefs are very limited. Red coral beads are considered an organic gemstone and becoming more rare since they originate from the fragile coral reefs of the Mediterranean, where its grows as an endangered species. This coral is being increasingly threatened by destructive fishing methods, harmful bacteria, the warming of ocean waters and increasing pollution.


Coral is found all over the world. Typically it is discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Canary Isles and the Bay of Biscay. The most valuable coral found in these geographic regions is red coral. Most red coral is harvested in the deep waters of the Mediterranean and polished and cut in Italy or Japan. Many coral imitations come from China and India in necklace form. These non-authentic beads are ceramic glass, white coral or plastic and dyed red.

Supposed Therapeutic Properties

Some people believe red coral necklaces stimulate the body’s immune system and also help clear congestion. People who have congestion have claimed noticeable improvement in their health once they start wearing red coral. Coral also is credited with cleansing, strengthening, repairing and rebuilding the body, such as healing wounds and internal bleeding. These beads are thought to reduce the aging process too.


Red coral beads are made of coral that were once living in the ocean. Living coral reefs are made up of tiny colonial invertebrates. These reefs create living formations out of calcium carbonate and protein. These complex reefs range from a collection of vacated homes of previous generations of past living coral. The coral then grows out and branches out like a leafless tree. Coral starts off as roughly textured and then get polished, to be turned into beads for jewelry.

Shapes and Sizes

Natural red coral beads come in a variety of shapes. This allows jewelry makers and merchandisers to sell not just complete necklaces, but also coral bracelets, pendants, earrings and individual beads. Coral beads come in hexagons, cubes, spheres, rectangles, ovals, teardrop shapes, tubes and squares as well as irregular shapes. These beads come in small to large sizes, and may be combined in a variety of shapes together.