Black Coral Jewelry

by coralnut on December 21, 2008

While I am waiting to prepare another “Solving Problems in Class” segment, I thought perhaps a few of you  might like to see some of the black coral jewelry I have been making for the past 20 years or so.  I don’t intend this to be a tutorial or to go into the processes of finding and working with black coral, nor to discuss all the genre and species of black coral. That could go on for days and end up regurgitating a lot of information that many scientists can’t even agree on.  For those who wish to work with black coral,  however, you will find just about all the necessary information at the old Lapidary Journal web site if you go to the archives and look for my article, “Gems from the Sea” in the August, September and Decembert 2000 editions. 

Suffice it to say that I work mostly with the shallow water variety of black coral (Gorgonian) that grows in waters 10-100 feet +- along the South Florida Atlantic coastline and down into the Caribbean.   It is available quite readily on the beaches, having been naturally harvested by Mother nature and deposited at high tide.  Therefore, it is unnecessary to break the law and take it from the reef.  One will pay a hefty fine for doing that, if not spendinga few years in jail, so….don’t even think of it!! 

Otherwise, one can sometimes get ahold of the deep water variety (Antipatharian) that comes from the deep trenches in the Carribbean or around Hawaii…but it will definately cost you. Collecting it is highly regulated and it is dangerous to dive for it.  Now and then a piece can be found along a secluded beach but only rarely.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of what can be done with the Gorgonian coral  (or Octocoral) I find along the Atlantic coast line of Florida from Boca Raton south to the Keys. 


    And hundreds more.

Others can be seen at on Don’s page. 

School is out for the next few weeks but I will be back with more Solving Problems in Class articles shortly after the New Year.  Meanwhile,

Cheers and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.




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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

diamondly123 January 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

i have around 10 kilo black coral free good quiality for sale who like can contact me on my email /

Joan Myers January 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I have Antipatharian coral for sale, lots of it.
Contact me at for pictures.

Gail Rappa December 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Oops- I did mean Beautiful! I reall should spell check my every thought!- GAIL

Gail Rappa December 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Hi Don- Beuatiful work! I lOVE the black coral-it polishes like a dream. A man passing through some years back gave me a few pieces of black twig coral when he found out I was a jeweler. I have just got around to using it and I love it. Do you have any ideas where I can get some more pieces of the brach variety? I am only interested in the naturally harvested coral. Thanks for all your info- happy holidays- GAIL RAPPA

Anne Bellissimo December 23, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Great as usual–I enjoyed seeing a body of your work all in one place on the web. Happy Hoidays & see you in Jan. Anne

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