Featured Vintage Coral Necklace Mystery

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Marko, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    I purchased the set below at a yard sale for a dollar thinking it was vintage glass coral. The earrings are, but when I did the tooth test and inspected it more closely, it turned out the necklace is coral
    Red Coral Set (640x571).jpg

    So I have been researching corals all day long.... I thought it might be dyed bamboo coral, so I tested it by SOAKING an end bead in nail polish remover for 20 minutes. I rubbed vigorously and no color came off. The next picture shows the beads in the sun.
    Red Coral Set Sun (311x640).jpg
    In the shade now
    Red Coral Set Shade (640x287).jpg
    This is a close up of the brass? box clasp. The string and clasp are old; I don't think someone would go through the trouble of putting new beads on this old string and use the old clasp. Yeah, I can clean up the verdigris if I remove the beads and restring.
    Red Coral Clasp (640x480).jpg

    I tried to find out when they started dyeing corals... no luck. I don't know if it is dyed. I could soak a bead overnight.....it is a long necklace and one bead would not be missed. What do you all think?
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  2. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid I think they are glass: too unblemished; too uniform in shape; too unresponsive to nail polish remover.
  3. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    Bronwen, I was sure they were glass until I rubbed them on my tooth....
    they do vary slightly in shape. There are blemishes, I can photograph them tomorrow when the sun it out. You can see a natural dark spot on one bead in the sunlight picture. There are others. I am not unhappy if they are glass for 50 cents. I will take more pictures. They are uniform, but would they put blemishes in glass beads?
  4. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    Look at the sunlight picture, center to the right. I did try to remove it, but it is ingrained. i even scratched it with my fingernail. There are more, but the beads move around and some are on the part where the holes are drilled. When I looked at the beads under a loupe, there are striations, too.
    judy, Any Jewelry, KSW and 2 others like this.
  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I see a black spot on one. I'm still ready to put it down to a flaw in the glass. To add to the list: color is also extremely consistent; if real, would almost certainly be dyed; if dyed, you would expect at least a little to come off with a nail polish remover soak. Did this procedure make any difference at all in that bead? This shape would be a wasteful way to cut coral; you would lose all the material removed to make the 'waist'.

    Let's see what others say.
    judy, Christmasjoy and Marko like this.
  6. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I am getting old and my teeth aren't what they used to be. I took some quick pictures inside now, and I did find a broken bead. I don't know what a broken coral bead looks like, but it has that imperfection stuff in it, be it glass or coral. Sorry for the blurriness, that's why I photograph outside. However, I do see color variations with the inside photos more clearly.... and it was a bugger trying to straighten the dog bone beads out to compare them! Here are some additional photos. I am not upset if it is glass- the prices for vintage faux glass necklaces make me happy!

    Red coral broken (550x640).jpg

    Red Coral 1.jpg

    Red coral 2 (235x640).jpg
    Red Coral 3 (480x640).jpg
    Red Coral 4 (480x640).jpg
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  7. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    I had a vintage necklace just like this, 50s/60s, same color beads, same shape. Mine was definitely glass. I might be able to dig it out.

    As memory serves the beads on mine were not all exactly the same and had some imperfections.

    Great price at .50.
    pearlsnblume, Bronwen, judy and 2 others like this.
  8. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    One other thought. Are the earrings an actual match? Marked at all?
  9. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    No, the earrings are a marriage, definitely glass, lighter color, marked Japan. Silver tone. This has a brass clasp. I am leaning towards glass. Pretty good imitation.
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  10. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    Whichever they are they are lovely. I’ve gradually acquired a huge box of yummy bead necklaces of all shapes and sizes but my favourite are the old glass beads.
    Bronwen, judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  11. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    I think the beads are too inconsistent to be glass. Minute differences, but they exist, I can see 'em tonight! :singing:
    pearlsnblume, Bronwen and judy like this.
  12. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    i think they are too consistent to be natural...
  13. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It is a lovely necklace Marko. The clasp is used a lot on early 20th century German jewellery, which doesn't necessarily mean this is German. Bohemia is next door to Germany, and their gemstone glass is very deceptive.

    You can do another test. Just put a drop of lemon juice on a bead. If you see bubbles appear, it is coral.

    Maybe this will help too, my coral 'hotdog' bead necklace. Apologies for the blurry pic. It looked good when I took it, but clearly my eyes haven't woken up yet:playful:

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  15. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    I vote Bohemian glass.
    reader, komokwa and Bronwen like this.
  16. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think that is most likely.
    reader, komokwa and Bronwen like this.
  17. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think glass, too. Thank you all. I do love the necklace whatever it is, and I want to restring it with silk thread and give the clasp a vinegar soak to remove the verdigris. It is longer, and I am going to put the earrings on a pierced post (one fell off the screwback post already). I have to go lemon shopping now just out of curiosity sake. I will let you know the outcome when I test it. :)
    judy, pearlsnblume and Any Jewelry like this.
  18. Marko

    Marko Well-Known Member

    Update- I saved a wedge of lemon from my birthday lobster tail dinner. The lemon test indicates these are glass. Amazingly well done by the glass makers.
    Any Jewelry likes this.
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