Sustainable Mediterranean Coral
Red coral, or precious coral, is a type of coral species mainly found in the Mediterranean Sea. It is typically the only kind of coral high-end jewelry makers use, as it is durable and the color is intense. It is an opaque gemstone that ranges from a stunning blood red to pinkish orange.
The majority of the highest calibre red coral gemstone on the market is harvested in Italy and Tunisia (the Mediterranean Sea). Whereas, China and Japan’s red coral is generally lower quality in contrast. These days, high quality coral is becoming rarer and rarer.
I was talking to Silvio Di Gennaro of Fulvio Di Gennaro Corals about how Coral is being harvested to protect the reefs. He said that in Sardinia, where the Mediterranean Coral is harvested, they are only allowed to harvest from a tiny region that may equal 1/20 of the reef around the island. Every year that zone is moved to allow the reef to regrow its coral. It takes 10 years to regrow the harvested coral, but it does regrow.
Red coral’s current value is about $1,000+ per gram. However, it depends on the quality. $1,000~ is virtually the average.
Like other organic gemstones (i.e. pearls), coral has a 3-4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This means red coral gemstones may scratch, damage, or fracture. Therefore, you should take a bit more care with red coral jewelry so that it can last a very long time.
While red coral is by no means the most expensive of gemstones, it is not something you see with inexpensive casual jewelry. You will find that most Mediterranean red coral jewelry is on par with the all of the best high-end gemstone jewelry, both in price and beauty.
Human-induced climate change is responsible for the heating of the oceans — and it’s becoming hotter and hotter in the water.
According to another study, the global oceans have broken a heat record for the sixth year in a row. As the oceans warm, heat penetrates downward — and this heating trend will continue even if emissions stop tomorrow, Kevin Trenberth, co-author of this separate study.
The researchers said they are searching the Mediterranean for “refugia,” places that offer coral reefs protection from thermal stress.
So, there are worries of marine heat waves, pollution, and overfishing for coral reefs in the world.
While the future looks grim for coral reefs, Garrabou said he feels hopeful about the momentum that’s building for the establishment of MPAs, especially with global efforts to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
“When we provide the right conditions and the right tools, nature can be really generous and nature has demonstrated that it can bounce back,” he said.
But he said that MPAs (marine protected areas) need to be urgently established for the oceans to reap their benefits. “It has to happen,” he said, “and it has to happen fast.”