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Dyed coral


#1

Hello fellow orchidians,

I want to thank all of you who suggested various methods to test my
coral for authenticity. It was indeed true coral and I have since
seen other shops with some for sale. Somewhere they must be getting
ready to overload the market with thick coral which I found to be
dyed when we were doing the specific gravity test. Now after I
soaked it for ages and got it to the point where it no longer lets
any dye out on anyone’s nice white linen dress in a rainstorm, I am
wondering what do they use to dye it? Last week I saw a wonderfully
interesting necklace at one of those up market designer/ethnic
jewelry stores in Bangkok which had rounded beads which I swear are
some sort of white porous coral which had been dyed light blue. It
had a soft look which I would like to experiment with on some old
wood and other materials.

Does anyone have any ideas what is used for dying things for jewelry,
especially , stones or natural materials?

I know about telling the customers etc, but if the effect is right I
think this doesn’t bother daring customers.

I know that summer is the time for holidays but I think doing jewelry
is a holiday for me! For others who might escape to the beach, be
careful of the sharks, both real and is sharks clothing!

Sharron is Saigon enjoying the thunder and lightening storms each
afternoon.


#2

Sharron, Most rocks are dyed with aniline dyes. This dye is very
soluble and permanent. It also does not rub off on clothing. Other
color changes in rocks are made by chemical treating and heat.
Usually acids of various types are soaked into the rock then heat is
applied to force a color change.

Gerry Galarneau


#3

Dear Gerry, Well, most may be done well but these orange coral pieces
really colored the water orange and when placing wet pieces on white
paper they colored it in a ring. So all I could imagine was the
damage to a ladies white linen dress, mainly mine as the first
necklace of a series is always mine and worn by me.

So what was used to dye them???

Sharron in rainy Saigon


#4

Sharron, They probably used a food coloring on the coral. One check
is to take a bead and saw it in half. Aniline dye penetrates through
the stone other dyes usually do not.

Gerry Galarneau


#5

Sharron, While it is impossible to tell what the dye consisted
of…it sounds to me like veggie based dye which is rarely stable and
mostly water soluble.

By the way, re the blue coral you mentioned? There IS natural blue
stoney coral out there. It is often a beautiful deep metallic blue
and is a natural color. But it is also hard to come by.

Having said that, I used to make pourous coral beads and then soak
them in Tidybowl toilet bowl cleaner for a couple of hours. It comes
out a nice blue and is permanent. Old timers used to do that with
Howlite to make fake torquoise as well.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!


#6
    Sharron, While it is impossible to tell what the dye consisted
of...it sounds to me like veggie based dye which is rarely stable
and mostly water soluble. 

G’day Don et al; It is even more probable that the dyes are aniline
based., or similar to the home dyeing kits you can buy. These dyes
are usually stabilized with a soak in alum (potassium aluminium
sulphate) or even salt.

I suggest you immerse those leaching porous materials in a little
bath of about 10 - 15% alum or salt and leave for an hour or two. It
won’t do any harm even if it doesn’t stop the dyes from leaching.

    Having said that, I used to make pourous coral beads and then
soak them in Tidybowl toilet bowl cleaner for a couple of hours. 

I suggest it might be better and cheaper to use the home dyeing kits;
you can even mix the colours. – Cheers now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#7

john burgess speaks of “home dyeing kits” in his response about dyed
porous coral. what is a “home dyeing kit”? are we talking about
dyes for fiber, usually for silk painting or batik?

thanks,
jean adkins


#8
    john burgess speaks of "home dyeing kits" in his response about
dyed porous coral.  what is a "home dyeing kit"?  are we talking
about dyes for fiber, usually for silk painting or batik? 

You rang, Modom? G’day; I was talking about fibre dyes. I can’t tell
you a brand because it is quite a long time since I used some, and
then of course I live on the other side of the world to most Orchid
folk, so I wouldn’t know what is available over there. I expect the
dyes are still sold for home dyeing. The stuff I used came in very
small aluminium cans about 1� inches across and half an inch thick,
and came with full instructions on how to dye your curtains, shirts,
blouses, etc. They could be bought at a chemist (drug store or
pharmacy to USA folk) and often in supermarkets, and were very
effective, and very inexpensive. There was a very large range of
colours and they could also be mixed to produce the user’s special
preferences. If I remember rightly, one simply made up the dye with
hot water according to instructions, and I think, boiled one’s items
in the solution for a short while. The items were then placed in a
solution of table salt or alum to fix the dye. I have an idea that
the dyes were made by Monsanto. – Cheers now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ