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  • Extracting sample of coral bead

SSEF study ehances coral transparency



“DNA fingerprinting: an effective tool for taxonomic identification of precious corals in jewelry”, a study authored by researchers from the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) and the University of Zurich’s Institute of Forensic Medicine (IRM) helps SSEF to promote transparency, traceability and sustainable use of precious corals in the jewellery industry.


The study applied five extraction methods to retrieve a small amount of DNA from 25 worked coral in jewellery to identify their species and geographic origins. Worked coral samples can be separated into two main types including those have a drilled-through hole such as beads for necklaces.100 mg coral skeletal material is sufficient for successful DNA extraction in all cases.


A number of coral species are on the list of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Adelgunde Kratzer of the University of Zurich said the DNA analysis of corals can contribute to the conservation of coral resources.

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