Ageless Heirlooms
Gemstones

Coral Preservation

Recently we were featured in a blog post by Lee Ohio of etsy.  We were honored to have one of our favorite art nouveau pieces featured there, not initially realizing what the article was about.  To step back a bit, Etsy’s Storque had a highly debated post about coral use in jewelry a month or so ago. The article claimed that coral was ‘too precious to wear’ and then went on to claim that there were no sustainable or regulated means to incorporate coral into jewelry, and thus people should make a pledge to never wear, sell, or buy anything coral.

I appreciated the vigor of the initial article to draw attention to a cause that is worthy of being acknowledged.  I guess for me what struck me as almost insulting was the blatant disregard for those of us in the industry who are aware of the over harvesting of deep sea coral, who avoid purchasing newly harvested, unsustainable and illegal coral, but who have other eco-friendly means of preserving such a natural beauty.  In Ageless Heirlooms’ case, the only coral we would ever sell would be at least 100 years old or older… some of the pieces my most prized and loved.  These should just be shut out in a box and never worn, appreciated, or valued?  According to Temple St. Clair, that is exactly what I should do.

Lee Ohio wrote a letter in response to etsy’s post talking about her studio and how she is able to use coral in a responsible fashion …which was then accompanied by her blog update. Why banish all forms of coral when the problem is not widespread through 100% of coral?  I would ask Temple St. Clair to banish all diamonds, all gold, and all other precious stones as well – since, as much as she may not wish to admit, conflict diamonds find their way into the market, as well as multitudes of other conflict and ethical issues involved with the manufacture of fine jewelry.  We all need to be responsible consumers, but we also need to have an open mind.

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