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Tiffany's stops selling coral


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(NBC)-- You won’t see coral jewelry on the shelves at any
Tiffany store.

The store doesn’t stock the rare jewel. They call it “too
precious to wear” and are encouraging other jewelers to do the
same.

The reasoning behind the ban is the effect humans are having on
coral reefs. The president of Tiffany and Co Foundation,
Fernanda Kellogg traveled to see top coral scientists and talk
about the impact people are having on the reefs when they break
it up and sell it for profit.

Scientists say reefs are more important to the sea, than rain
forests are to land.

Miami coral scientist, Andrew Baker, says when people remove
coral from the reefs, they are taking a living thing from the
water.

He says, “the job of building a reef ecosystem is that is
produces a habitat that all other species depend on.”

Kellogg says they look for the design of coral in other
materials. Kellog says, “I think what the alternative is, is
beautiful design in other materials. The wonderful sea coral
design in silver and gold sprinkled with diamonds. How bad can
that be?”

Scientists say, it’s not just the jewelry that is dangerous to
seas life, but also decorative coral.

Baker says, "the removal of corals from jewelry or decor, this
is not a critical part of our existence. And it’s one of those
activities that really represents a luxury.

So is a heavyweight like Tiffany’s influencing the jewelry
industry with its ban on coral?

Kellogg says she hopes other places will take notice. “The
ripple effect is beginning. We’re a long way from being where we
need to be.”

Recently the White House and Congress received a letter from 100
scientists and 44 groups asking for much greater protection of
reefs.

An international ban on trading certain corals will be proposed
later this year.