Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Coral Necklace


Hi Thomas,
I have a coral necklace that I bought in Italy in 1974. Probably 30 years ago I tried to clean it and it faded terribly and ended up with a whitish coating. I don't remember what I used. It's a branch-strung piece.

I just pulled it out of the drawer and thought I would try to see if I could salvage it. I read your reply about a coral necklace that had been damaged by cleaning.

I've rubbed a branch or two with a t-shirt cloth and the whitish-ness does go away and the color returns and the coral looks nice. I'm going to have to unstring it to clean it all. Is there a better cloth for cleaning and rubbing or any polish to shine it up that I could use?


Dear Theresa,

Try the t-shirt cloth with a touch of paste acrylic plastic cleaner.  I cannot guarantee how well it will work with your coral but is worth a try. Then rinse in diluted dish detergent and rinse very well, pat dry. You might have to find this at an auto parts or hardware business.

Best wishes, God Bless and peace.  Thomas.

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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