CIBJO Coral Commission reinforces differentiation
of precious coral from reef coral

The Coral Commission in session on October 5, the final day of the 2023 CIBJO Congress (from left): Rui Galopim de Carvalho, the commission’s Vice President; Vincenzo Liverino, the commission’s President; and Kenneth Scarratt, also a commission Vice President.

OCTOBER 5, 2023

CIBJO’s Coral Commission has reinforced its differentiation of the definition of precious coral from reef coral, in order to more clearly identify the precious coral used for jewellery.

The Coral Commission met on October 5, during the third day of the 2023 CIBJO Congress in Jaipur. It was chaired by Vincenzo Liverino, the body’s President, supported by Vice Presidents Rui Galopim de Carvalho and Kenneth Scarratt.   

Summing up the deliberations of the Coral Commission report to the CIBJO Congress in Jaipur, India, members of the group had agreed upon some minor semantic changes.

But a major effort of the commission is educational, and in particularly assisting both members of the industry and the jewellery consuming public about precious coral varieties, which reside in deep and colder water and are less impacted by global warming and ocean acidification, and the better known reef and  common coral, which are considerably more impact.

The CIBJO Commission has recommended that precious corals of the type that can be used in fine jewellery, should only be fished from a depth of more than 50 metres below the ocean’s surface, with a trunk width of at least 7 millimetres.

Specialist, highly trained scuba divers can reach depths in excess of 50 metres to reach precious coral.

On the other hand, common corals, including reef corals are not generally used in precious jewellery, and considerably more likely to be considered endangered by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

There currently are no precious coral varieties restricted by CITES, and a good proportion of the material being used by the industry at present were processed from corals that died many years ago.  

CIBJO Coral Commission President Vincenzo Liverino  speaking during the Coral Commission session on October 5, 2023.

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