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 Post subject: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:18 am 
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Does Natural RED coral occur anywhere except the Mediterranean Sea?

Are there other sources and environments where red coral is found?

I have seen very old Tibetan and Chinese strands of red coral often having white blotches.
What is the source of this material?
Is it naturally red?
I did a bit of Google Searching and found it suggested that Tibetan Red Coral was a fossil coral which has been dyed red for centuries.
:?:


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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:30 am 
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Yes, in Japan (corallium Japonicum) and Taiwan (corralium elatius)

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:43 am 
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Can you supply any pictures of beads made from these corals?
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:50 am 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:

I did a bit of Google Searching and found it suggested that Tibetan Red Coral was a fossil coral which has been dyed red for centuries.
:?:


yup, confirm. I've seen a lot of it.....
ciao
albé

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:02 pm 
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The Pacific coral is called "Aka" and "Momo" coral. You can find several pictures of them using Google.
e.g. http://www.ebcu.com/p-aka-grade-red-coral-632919.html

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Thanks again Marc.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:55 am 
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Thanks to the folks at Gem-A's Mailtalk, I have obtained interesting additional information on the subject of red coral.

A brief history on coral was provided by Richard Taylor:
Quote:
The history of precious coral exploitation began in the Mediterranean with the red coral Corallium rubrum, which has been found with 25 000 yr old Paleolithic human remains (Tescione 1965). During ancient times, most red coral was collected after heavy storms broke off branches and washed them up on shore. Harvest of living colonies of Corallium started about 5000 yr ago with Greek fishermen using kouralio or iron hooks to dislodge colonies from deeper water, and by Greek sponge divers capable of free diving to over 80 m depth (Mayol 2000). Precious coral fisheries expanded around 1000 AD with the development of the ingegno or St. Andrews Cross, a wooden cross with attached nets that was dragged across the bottom to entangle coral (Tescione 1973). The modified ‘barra italiana,’ a coral dredge consisting of an iron bar (>1 t) with chains and nets attached along its length, has been widely used since the 1830s off Italy (Grigg 1984). Using the new dredge, the fishery increased from 347 boats in 1862 to 1200 vessels and 24 Italian factories processing coral, employing about 17 000 fishermen and jewelers by 1865 (Tescione 1965, 1973). Further growth of the fishery (>2000 boats) followed the discovery of large coral beds between Sicily (Italy) and Tunis (Tunisia) in the 1880s, with continued expansion to other Mediterranean countries during the 1900s (Tescione 1965). The selective removal of C. rubrum using SCUBA diving emerged as a viable alternative in the 1950s, and by the mid-1980s most red coral was harvested using SCUBA. This change was largely due to a ban on the use of coral dredges, but divers also demonstrated the ability to obtain yields that were comparable to dredge fisheries through harvest from crevices, overhangs and other locations that were previously inaccessible to dredges (Tsounis 2005).

Richard Taylor also sited Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Dynamics of Indo-Tibetan Trade through Uttarakha Joshi et al 1987, indicating that it is plausible that the source of coral in some Tibetan jewels was actually Italy:
Quote:
Pearls, coral and glass beads have been
known to be an important part of the exports from India to Tibet for
a long time. Coral is considered auspicious and is worn in the
necklace by almost all the women of Kumaon and among the
Tibetans as well. It is believed to be advantageous to one's health and
protects from the danger of widowhood. In 1818, Moorcroft noted
that at an earlier date "beads of red coral were exported from Hindostan
into Chinese Tartary at an immense profit"'4). Later, Atkinson
noted a brisk trade in pearls and coral bands, and in 1897 at least
it was noted that this coral had come from so far away as Italy. Traill
also mentioned this "Meditarranean source" of coral which was exported
into Tibet as large scarlet beads. A ready market in pearls was
also noted.


In reference to sources for red coral outside of the Mediterranean:
Gary Roskin wrote:
The best red coral I have seen personally comes from "fishing boats" leaving
port off the southern tip of Japan's Shikoku Island - Tosa Shimizu - so that
would be the East China Sea and the Philippines Sea?

Beautiful rich deep medium to dark, strong saturated (possibly very slightly
orangey) red. When I asked them if ever the material was "Dyed," they
brought out pieces they would call "died" ("Dead" - full of "worm holes") I
laughed to myself, and realized that even though they misunderstood my
question (because they do not dye the material), their English was better
than my Japanese! They do not have to dye this material. It is stunning!


Here is an article on
Red Coral Fishery at the Costa Brava (NW Mediterranean): Case Study of an Overharvested Precious Coral
[pdfview]http://www.nanomia.net/res/site105444/res484570_Tsounis-et-al-Ecosystems-2007.pdf[/pdfview]
Of course, the subject of the possible global, environmental consequences of coral exploitation for the jewelry industry has been hotly debated.
Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co. wrote:
Today, corals are in crisis—the result of destructive fishing methods, climate change, and their removal for use as decorative objects and jewelry. In 2002 we discontinued selling coral jewelry, concluding that in a world where corals and reef communities are under siege, we could not be complicit in their destruction. It is our hope to raise consumer awareness of this important issue and to urge fellow jewelers to join us in refusing to sell coral jewelry.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Hi :)
reading the posts here, brings back memories
I used to buy red coral in Albuquerque. Think the place was called Chico Americano
would manly buy the branches with the skin on and clean and polish them out
I think the price was $7 a ounce this was back in the 1970s
The very best quality red coral they had was said to have come from somewhere south of Japan Remember buying one very special polished branch, almost as thick as my small finger it was real stunning material
Anybody any information on the Tibetan fossil coral, its the first I have heard about it been dyed

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:57 am 
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Fossilized red horn coral from Utah as well. Completely natural, no dies. The indonesian fossil coral is dyed as far as I know. Normally its a sand colored light tan.

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:08 pm 
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you guys understand very little about coral,i do not mean that i am an expert,but ever wondered how Tibet could have Coral? it has no sea anywhere around it ...........
will write more later

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:54 pm 
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I have a piece that came from an estate auction in a flat with other coral and fossils. I have no info on it, but I figured with the experts on this thread...maybe someone might be able to ID it.


Attachments:
File comment: Red Coral 21g
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PICT3193.JPG [ 101.07 KiB | Viewed 8899 times ]
File comment: Red Coral 21g
PICT3192.JPG
PICT3192.JPG [ 110.91 KiB | Viewed 8899 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:10 pm 
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While we are on the subject of coral, I also had this piece in the same flat. I think it may be black coral? Just an uneducated guess, I ran it past my fossil group thinking it maybe petrified wood...but the group consensus was "not petrified wood". Just a shot in the dark, but with coral peeps already on this thread...I thought maybe, just maybe someone will know.


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PICT3197.JPG
PICT3197.JPG [ 99.83 KiB | Viewed 8898 times ]
PICT3194.JPG
PICT3194.JPG [ 102.77 KiB | Viewed 8898 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:11 pm 
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The rest of the pics...


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PICT3205.JPG [ 52.82 KiB | Viewed 8897 times ]
PICT3202.JPG
PICT3202.JPG [ 53.32 KiB | Viewed 8897 times ]
PICT3201.JPG
PICT3201.JPG [ 81.75 KiB | Viewed 8897 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:13 pm 
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kashmirsapphire wrote:
you guys understand very little about coral,i do not mean that i am an expert,but ever wondered how Tibet could have Coral? it has no sea anywhere around it ...........
will write more later

Wasn't that already discussed?
Tibetan red coral is a fossil coral which has been dyed.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Coral
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:29 am 
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Trading? They don't have conch shells either...

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