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Jim Rosenheim: Take a Stand for Coral

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Precious Corals Need To Be in the Ocean More Than in Your Store

[dropcap cap=I]n today’s economy, those of us in the jewelry and design business can use every advantage we can get, and showcasing responsible and sustainable business practices is a good way to get a leg up. [/dropcap]

Not only is being a good steward smart from a marketing and promotional standpoint, it also is obviously the right thing to do to ensure the health of our planet. A case in point is red and pink corals — living animals that are being unsustainably extracted for use in the jewelry and home décor industries.
As an avid diver who has had the good fortune of diving the world over, I have seen first-hand the toll on corals throughout the globe. In places like the Caribbean, which I used to dive and see flourishing, once-abundant coral reefs are now sick, barren and unable to keep up with the pressures put upon them. The difference is alarming.

Why are corals important and why should you care? Corals of all kinds, including precious red and pink corals, are vital to a healthy  ocean. Deep-sea corals and shallow-water reefs perform much the same roles as rainforests. Shallow-water coral reefs provide food and shelter to a multitude of species and provide us with tourism, recreational, medicinal and environmental services estimated to be worth $375 billion annually.

However, climate change, pollution, ocean acidification, destructive fishing and removal for use in the jewelry, home décor and aquarium industries all contribute to the loss of the world’s corals and reefs.

More than 30 to 50 metric tons of red and pink corals are taken from the ocean each year to meet demand for jewelry and curios. Unlike other corals, red and pink corals receive no international trade protection.

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With corals serving such critical functions in our environment and for us, continuing to take corals from the ocean doesn’t make sense: They are too precious to wear.

That’s why I and many other designers and retailers have joined SeaWeb’s Too Precious to Wear coral conservation campaign. I urge you to do the same. Alternatives to using real coral exist; living coral can serve as an inspiration for your designs rather than the material from which they are made.

Our industry has a proud tradition of supporting efforts like the “No Dirty Gold” campaign and promoting the use of conflict-free diamonds. Adding coral to our industry’s conservation efforts can have a powerful effect on the marketplace and ensure these precious organisms are left where they belong — in the ocean. And it lets your customers know that you are on the cutting edge of responsible business practices. That’s a win-win for all involved.


 

[smalltext]Jim Rosenheim is the owner of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC. Find out more about SeaWeb’s campaign at tooprecioustowear.org. [/smalltext]

[span class=note]This story is from the February 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span] 

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Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Commentary: The Business

Jim Rosenheim: Take a Stand for Coral

Published

on

Precious Corals Need To Be in the Ocean More Than in Your Store

[dropcap cap=I]n today’s economy, those of us in the jewelry and design business can use every advantage we can get, and showcasing responsible and sustainable business practices is a good way to get a leg up. [/dropcap]

Not only is being a good steward smart from a marketing and promotional standpoint, it also is obviously the right thing to do to ensure the health of our planet. A case in point is red and pink corals — living animals that are being unsustainably extracted for use in the jewelry and home décor industries.
As an avid diver who has had the good fortune of diving the world over, I have seen first-hand the toll on corals throughout the globe. In places like the Caribbean, which I used to dive and see flourishing, once-abundant coral reefs are now sick, barren and unable to keep up with the pressures put upon them. The difference is alarming.

Why are corals important and why should you care? Corals of all kinds, including precious red and pink corals, are vital to a healthy  ocean. Deep-sea corals and shallow-water reefs perform much the same roles as rainforests. Shallow-water coral reefs provide food and shelter to a multitude of species and provide us with tourism, recreational, medicinal and environmental services estimated to be worth $375 billion annually.

However, climate change, pollution, ocean acidification, destructive fishing and removal for use in the jewelry, home décor and aquarium industries all contribute to the loss of the world’s corals and reefs.

Advertisement

More than 30 to 50 metric tons of red and pink corals are taken from the ocean each year to meet demand for jewelry and curios. Unlike other corals, red and pink corals receive no international trade protection.

With corals serving such critical functions in our environment and for us, continuing to take corals from the ocean doesn’t make sense: They are too precious to wear.

That’s why I and many other designers and retailers have joined SeaWeb’s Too Precious to Wear coral conservation campaign. I urge you to do the same. Alternatives to using real coral exist; living coral can serve as an inspiration for your designs rather than the material from which they are made.

Our industry has a proud tradition of supporting efforts like the “No Dirty Gold” campaign and promoting the use of conflict-free diamonds. Adding coral to our industry’s conservation efforts can have a powerful effect on the marketplace and ensure these precious organisms are left where they belong — in the ocean. And it lets your customers know that you are on the cutting edge of responsible business practices. That’s a win-win for all involved.


 

[smalltext]Jim Rosenheim is the owner of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC. Find out more about SeaWeb’s campaign at tooprecioustowear.org. [/smalltext]

Advertisement

[span class=note]This story is from the February 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span] 

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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