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Orange coral

I am curious about orange coral–(not pink, but deep orange). i have
not seen much around and wonder if it is difficult to obtain in large
chunks of about 12mm diameter. I used to see branches in the orange,
but never large pieces. Does anyone have any

It has been illegal to dive for Mediteranian corol for some years. We
saw rough coral for sale wholesale for 50 and $100 per ounce in a
supply house in Albuquerque in November. Yes it is becoming pretty
rare and what is available is going up in price all the time.

Red, pink and orange gem coral is available from a number of areas of
the world. The Mediteranian is possibly the oldest (or the Red Sea
perhaps). During the 60’s and 70’s, 90% of the worlds gem coral was
coming from an area just off Okinawa. The Chinese fishmen living on
Taiwan found it and dredged it very heavily for at least 10 years.
The Taiwanese carvers became some of the best in the world. I still
have several pieces done by Taiwanese friends. In the mid 70’s the
largest and best pieces were being brought to the island and I
remember seeing pieces 4’ long by 6" thick of very high quality rough.

Much of the material being carved at that time by the Italians were
bought as rough in Taiwan. In fact, once when a friend took me to the
coral auction, they didn’t want to let me in fearing I was Italian and
I would buy all the material…leaving none for the native carvers. I
was permitted entry when they found I was American…and would pose
no danger!!

As late as the mid 1980’s Taiwanese were still dredging and cutting
though both the quality and quantity was on the decline and by the end
of the 80’s about the only thing they were producing in any quantity
was beads and most of them were dye enhanced low quality coral. In
addition to having dredged out the supply…the more recent
international agreements virtually stopped trading in this protected

Having said all that, there may still be some nice rough available
somewhere in Asia. I know India still works some gem coral, and the
PI too. I am checking my sources to see what might be out there.
Will advise.

Cheers and happy holidays from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in
chilly SOFL where simple elegance IS fine jewelry!

Sorry folks, I guess my old Taiwan sources are just that…too old.
I have not been able to scare up any further on
availablity of orange, pink, or red coral. Perhaps in the future.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year to all. Cheers, Don.