Saturday, February 23, 2008

Do you use coral in your work? Read this.

Pink and red corals are amazingly beautiful. They are also live marine creatures that are in serious decline around the world. Because of their brilliant color, certain types of sensitive corals are now harvested for jewelry (especially beads) and home decor pieces. It's ironic that we are literally loving the corals to death!

SeaWeb, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, recently launched the Too Precious to Wear Program to raise awareness of the severe threats, including over-harvesting and climate change, to certain species of coral. Tiffany & Co. has supported SeaWeb's work and stopped selling real coral altogether. We applaud SeaWeb, Tiffany and other retailers who have taken action and we're urging metalsmiths and jewelers to refrain from using real coral in their work.

Alternatives are available! You can use eco-friendly, "faux" alternatives to coral that are just as colorful as the real thing without contributing to the decline of these marine creatures and their ecosystems. Also consider using enamels and eco-friendly resins on metal to achieve deep pinks and reds. If you come across coral for sale -- particularly red and pink corals -- ask questions about the source. Tell the sellers that you are concerned about the environmental impact and urge them to read the Too Precious to Wear site.


  1. Thank you for this - I was actually looking for pink coral - I think I will fabricate something instead.

    Robyn Hawk

  2. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I recently bought a string of coral which I think may be real, and now feel terrible about it. I should have asked more questions of the seller.