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Best type of basel for coral


#1

Hi All,

I am designing a necklace which uses coral branches with stones and
am wondering which type of basel would be best for the coral
branches. One is using a frame of silver wire at the back, for
example a oval of wire just smaller than the branch and then wire
prongs that are attached to the back plate and hold the branch.
Another choice is a more traditional flat sheet the shape of the
coral branch with a narrow smooth bezel all around the edge.

I hope I am explaining this clearly enough to give you the idea.

Many thanks for your help.
Sharron


#2
I am designing a necklace which uses coral branches 

To everyone that is considering utilizing natural coral in their
designs, please consider doing a search on ‘coral reef initiative’ or
similar to become familiarized with the state of coral reefs today.

Thank you


#3
To everyone that is considering utilizing natural coral in their
designs, please consider doing a search on 'coral reef initiative'
or similar to become familiarized with the state of coral reefs
today. 

And if you do have a bunch of old coral be sure to keep it wet and
wear a mask if you plan to cut or grind on it.


#4
To everyone that is considering utilizing natural coral in their
designs, please consider doing a search on 'coral reef initiative'
or similar to become familiarized with the state of coral reefs
today. 

While that might be interesting research to engage in for its own
sake, it has little to do with the types of coral used in jewelry.
Precious corals aren’t reef-building species; they inhabit rocky
seafloor environments around the world as individual colonies. The
major threats to them are fishing operations that drag nets along the
seafloor, and over-harvesting. What’s necessary to preserve their
populations are regulations that control bottom-fishing in sensitive
areas, the provision of marine sanctuaries which can act as nurseries
for the corals and the organisms they shelter, as well as limiting
harvesting to select larger colonies, leaving enough to breed future
generations. These rules have been shown to work when enforced
intelligently, in places like Hawaii and the Costa Brava. In other
places which lack regulation of the harvest, it’s been a “tragedy of
the commons”, where there’s no incentive to conserve the stocks,
since each person figures that whatever they don’t take will be taken
by the next diver or dredger who comes along.

Even if large numbers of people were persuaded to boycott coral
jewelry, all that would do is reduce demand a little; there would
still be plenty of people around the world who would want it,
especially at the slightly lower price which would be the main
consequence of a boycott. As jewelers, what we should be aiming at
instead are the implementation of rules and policies that would
insure a continuing supply of this beautiful material from
sustainable sources. If you want to read more about these issues,
here’s an article I found quite informative:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1vu [PDF file]

And if you do have a bunch of old coral be sure to keep it wet and
wear a mask if you plan to cut or grind on it. 

I haven’t heard that precious coral skeletons (the parts jewelers
work with) are particularly toxic (although the live polyps of other
species certainly are, if you cut yourself on them while diving.)
While I generally agree - it’s always a good idea to avoid breathing
any kind of dust, and working these materials wet will avoid damage
due to over-heating, what toxic agent do you know of that is present
in them which must be specially guarded against?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#5

Andrew,

I guess I was a little obtuse in my post. I wasn’t suggesting (on a
forum for jewelers, not consumers, mind) a boycott by consumers of
natural coral jewelry; I was suggesting that we, as designers, might
want to consider no longer using coral at all.

You seem to be suggesting that this coral is under threat by all
sorts of things except jewelers. If you want to go with that, fine
by me. But for everyone else please consider: at one point ivory was
considered to be the only suitable material to make piano keys.


#6
I guess I was a little obtuse in my post. I wasn't suggesting (on
a forum for jewelers, not consumers, mind) a boycott by consumers
of natural coral jewelry; I was suggesting that we, as designers,
might want to consider no longer using coral at all. 

To me, that still sounds like a boycott, just on the wholesale
rather than the retail level. A boycott can be an effective tactic in
certain circumstances, but I don’t think this is one of them.

You seem to be suggesting that this coral is under threat by all
sorts of things except jewelers. 

I was saying that it’s under threat by all sorts of things including
people who collect it to sell to the jewelry trade. But it’s
jewelers who are in the best position to do something proactive about
it. Merely dropping it from the list of materials we deal with isn’t
likely to save any species, though.

If you want to go with that, fine by me. But for everyone else
please consider: at one point ivory was considered to be the only
suitable material to make piano keys. 

There are very few materials we use - as jewelers or in our daily
lives - that are extracted and distributed without any adverse
environmental impact. Mining for precious metals and stones requires
the shifting of huge amounts of material, and a certain amount of
environmental destruction as a consequence. But instead of throwing
up our hands and restricting ourselves to making jewelry out of old
tires or whatever, we can use our power as consumers to push for
effective regulations that will rein in the worst excesses. The
campaign against “blood diamonds” is a good example of a situation
where collective action above and beyond a boycott strategy can have
an effect on public policy, in this case leading to the Kimberley
Process and various national laws which have proved fairly effective
in keeping these stones from financing civil wars.

As for the ivory trade, it wasn’t a consumer boycott that stopped
it, but an international treaty - something that has not been applied
to the trade in coral. That ban has been hailed as a success, but
it’s only a partial one - populations of elephants have continued to
decline in many countries post-ban, due largely to the disruption of
civil wars, habitat loss as wildlands have been converted to
agriculture, endemic corruption, and the presence of unregulated
markets for ivory. In countries where markets are well-regulated and
the income from ivory sales and tourism has funded conservation
programs, elephant populations have generally increased, to the point
where this success has been noted by the international convention
(CITES) and some limited sales from these countries’ ivory stockpiles
have been allowed to proceed. This is an encouraging development,
that may someday lead to a renewed supply of another beautiful
natural material from sustainable sources. If you’d like to read more
about this issue, here’s a good article on the subject:

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#7

Hello Andrew

A certain amount of environmental damage indeed - in Nova Scotia, a
neighbouring eastern province in Canada, sellers of water treatment
systems to remove arsenic from well water do a thriving business.
ANd sure, the filters remove the arsenic, and then when the machine
backwashes to clean the filter, it dumps the arsenic back outside in
the soil once again. And the arsenic comes from old gold mining
operations. Sorry to say. I hope that modern mines do it better both
here and in other countries.

Barbara