[Coral-List] 'White coral' jewellery

Selina Ward selinaward at uq.edu.au
Tue Jun 10 12:08:48 EDT 2014

Dear All
I am travelling in Croatia at present and was wandering around a market in Dubrovnik the other day. Aside from the huge quantity of jewellery made from red coral, I was alarmed to see necklaces and bracelets made from balls cut out of coral skeletons to make large beads. These were being sold as 'white coral’ and really pushed by the stall holders. I realised what is was as soon as I saw it as the corallites were visible. I spoke to some of the stall holders about it and it seems that they are allowed to collect corals for this purpose for 1 month per year. I couldn't get any information about any limits on how much could be collected in this time, as the language barrier made these conversations difficult when we got to details.

With all the obvious difficulties faced by reefs and all the beautiful materials currently available for making jewellery, this just seems too terrible. I am concerned about this, not just for the reefs of this area, but Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination and I would hate to see this become a new and fashionable jewellery that is in demand in other parts of the world, leading to increases in collection in other places.

I am wondering if any one knows of any efforts to stop this market already and if anyone would like to start a discussion about what can be done to at least stop this becoming a bigger market.


Dr Selina Ward
Stanford in Australia Program
Australias Marine Environment (MARS2005)
Marine Conservation (Masters in Biological Conservation CONS7024)

 Australian Coral Reef Society.

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Biological Sciences
The University of Queensland
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