Coral is a topic that most of us know little about. There are underlining issues regarding how eco-friendly coral is to harvest or scuba dive for coral. My family, the owner of Eredi Jovon, has been producing and selling coral for three generations, more precisely since 1934. Here in Venice on the famous Rialto Bridge, we often get asked, how can a buyer identify what is real Italian coral?
Italian coral is beautiful and if you are seeking something unique for your loved one, we want to make sure you understand the heart and soul of the deep waters when buying wonderful Italian coral.
Who We Are And What We Do
Over the years, we have been asked the weirdest questions and we have heard from our customers about the most incredible experiences. We decided to use this experience to open a blog, write two e-books and carry on our mission: the promotion of the real Made In Italy.
Corals The Various Families
There are many coral families but for jewellery, there are essentially two: the Italian coral and the Japanese coral. Today I will tell you about the Italian one.
Italian Red Coral
Italian red coral is one of the most loved, but least known, materials in jewellery and there are only a few experts who wish to share secrets that have been handed down for hundreds of years.
At the end of the article, I will also provide you with a small handbook to help you choose the most suitable jewel for you, without getting scammed.
What Is Red Coral And Why Its Fishing Is Eco-sustainable?
Since Roman times, coral has been fished throughout the Mediterranean Sea and it is red in colour, hence the name Corallium Rubrum (which in Latin means red). For two thousand years, it has been worked in Italy and tradition has made it, over the centuries, a jewel desired by every woman in the world wanting to show off a classy jewel.
Intelligent fishing That Respects The Environment
The “Corallium Rubrum” grows very slowly, therefore, so, for more than 50 years, it has been fished by law by licensed divers. Italian law issues also restricted licenses.
This allows selective fishing and total respect for nature.
Let me explain: the diver can choose the largest and most profitable branches, leaving time for the small coral to grow and become commercially interesting. The mechanism that is triggered in this way leads to treating the environment as a resource, allowing coral colonies to repopulate and grow. Red coral is in fact precious but does not figure among the endangered species thanks to the foresight of the Italian legislators.
In Italy, we know well that it is better to take milk from a cow every morning than to eat its meat only once.
The Tricks For Buying Real Coral
Now as promised I will reveal some tricks that will allow you to make the right choice for the most suitable coral jewel for you. You are ready? Buckle up and make yourself comfortable.
Red Coral Is Not Perfect
I often jokingly say that not even my wife is perfect, and for me, she is the most perfect being in the world!
By this, I mean that any product of nature has imperfections.
Let’s learn to accept imperfections because they are a sign of a natural and non-artificial product. Plastic is perfect, but I really hope for you that it is not what you are looking for!
Look at the surface of the jewel: streaks, veins or porosity will indicate a natural and not counterfeit product. Each piece of coral is unique and no two are alike.
True Italian Coral Generally Has Medium Shades Of Red
Beware of dyed corals that show off too bright shades of red; probably in these cases, the hand of man has intervened to reinforce the colour and very often they are even counterfeits or vulgar imitations.
A trick: look at the hole in the coral ball; if it were natural it should have the same colour as the rest of the sphere. If not, beware!
The Price Must Not Be Too Low
The real coral must be fished, worked, set and resold and the whole process is done by hand; you understand that it cannot cost a few tens of dollars.
Invest some budget for a quality product even if it is small in size.
The Price Of Coral Varies According To Its Size
Here is the bonus trick that experts use: the progressivity of the price of coral is very similar to that of the value of diamonds.
Let me explain: coral does not have a standard value per gram (like gold for example), but, depending on the size, the price changes and, as a general rule, the larger size costs about double the smaller one. If a 7mm bead necklace will cost X dollars per gram, an 8mm one will cost about twice X dollars per gram.
Always ask for a Written Guarantee
It seems trivial but sometimes it isn’t; my father used the old Latin adage: “Verba volant, scripta manent” (the spoken words fly but what you write remains indelible).
I, therefore, urge you to ask for a written and stamped guarantee, the honest seller will have no problem providing it. I greet you as I usually do with the readers of my blog on coral.
With the biggest hug in the world
Member of the Italian Coral Association (Assocoral)