There are ways you can interpret “value”, because in my opinion,
with art jewelry the value comes from the work itself, the design,
the Artist’s creative vision, etc. etc. all these things add value.
I go to the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) convention
every year. There is a gem cutter there by the name of Bill Gangi who
sells cut and polished black coral pieces and branches (and red) by
the carat weight. It is truly beautiful. And yes it does polish up
very nicely. When used in Art Jewelry I feel it adds to the value. He
sells quite a bit of it, too, so there are many other jewelry artists
that would perhaps consider black coral to be a semi-precious stone.
Perhaps the value is in the amount of time he spends to cut, shape
and polish it.
As far as the dollar value, I have to admit I have absolutely no
clue whether this is really valuable. I am a novice gem cutter at
best, and just learning the ins & outs of gems, their make-up, and
their market “value”. It all seems to me to be dependant on your
viewpoint. Take diamonds for instance; They are not nearly as "rare"
as the market tells us they are. Not to nudge anyone’s sensitivities
here, but to me it seems that diamond values were and are very much
created by the market itself, and of course then there is the whole
issue of how they are obtained, etc. (Hope I am not opening a can of
worms here! I am not intending to spark a heated debate, which I see
often happens here in Orchid-Land)
I think value is very dependant on your point of view. As for
whether Black Coral is marketable, I would say YES, as I have seen it
marketed before. What the exact cost per carat weight, I don’t
remember how much Gangi sold it for. I could look back at my records
to tell you what I paid for my red coral, but there might be others
here who can give you better advice on what to market it for if you
were to begin cutting and selling it. Sorry I could not give you a