Well, it is a very pertinent question and we get a host of queries from people all over the world asking whether the sale of ivory is illegal. However, I’ll like to clarify that ONLY elephant ivory is illegal for trade/sale/purchase while mammoth tusk ivory is the only LEGAL ivory in the world.
In the last few weeks, there have been changes in the U.S regulations of elephant ivory trade, banning it completely. Thus, if you are trying to sell old, pre-1989 elephant ivory, it would still be illegal to do so. But if you have mammoth ivory art pieces or even in raw form, you can sell it with ease.
The major reason for this demarcation is that elephants are still being illegally killed for ivory and by actively banning its sale and purchase including old ivory products; maybe elephant tusks would lose their charm.
On the other hand, when mammoth tusk ivory is readily available with the same luster and shine, add to it the historic value, why even bother about elephant ivory? By legal ivory, enjoy it, sell it or pass it down the generations as heirlooms.
Fossil ivory is the only source of legal ivory used in trade worldwide and there are only two sources of it namely mammoth ivory and ancient walrus ivory. Though mammoth ivory is excavated in the tundra regions of Arctic and Siberia, fossil walrus ivory is excavated from the village sites of Eskimo and is usually dated to be 200 to 2000 years old.
There are various hues in the fossil ivory ranging from black streaks to orange and brown shades. The colored ivory depends on soil minerals that lead to the streaking. Ivory buried in iron rich soil has a rust orange and brown shade while natural dark colored soil leads to a range of shades from grey to black in the ivory.
Ancient Eskimo used a lot of ivory from excavated mammoth tusks to walrus ivory due to the lack of trees in the region. Today all of this ivory is expensive but they used it for the holding up their tents, as skis and more. Another aspect of fossil ivory is beach ivory. Old walrus ivory is known to be collected from beaches as walrus perished in the seas or were harvested from the ancient Eskimo villages that are now below the ocean and wash up the shores after storms.
Some of the beach ivory has higher mineralization due to the constant contact with salt water and are fossilized more, making it harder and easier to carve than fresh ivory. However, artists prefer less stress on ivory irrespective of whether it is mammoth tusks or walrus ivory. If you are looking to invest in high quality mammoth tusk ivory, check out a range of collectible art pieces at http://www.mammothivory.info
If you have seen mammoth ivory sculptures with hues of blue, grey or brown, you might be wondering about the authenticity of the ivory. No, it is not a fake. Mammoth ivory is sourced from the skeletal remains of wooly mammoths that lay buried in the Tundra permafrost ever since the last Ice Age ended. Most of the tusks found in Siberia date around 10,000 to 40,000 years ago and as the mammoths are an extinct species, it is perfectly legal to trade in it unlike elephant ivory.
Mammoth ivory is harder than elephant ivory and most of it comes with a slight brown discoloration due to being buried in the mineral rich permafrost for centuries. The bark or the external layer of ivory absorbed the minerals in the soil and has a range of distinctive coloration depending upon the particular minerals in the soil where the mammoth tusks lay buried. That is the reason that there are different hues available in mammoth ivory. A versatile range of colored mammoth ivory is used as knife handles, pistol handles and mammoth ivory beads.
Although pure white ivory tusks commands a higher price but colored mammoth tusk ivory is not fake or painted. Most of the commonly available pieces of tusks have an outer bark which is brown. Some artists like to leave the tusks with the brown exterior on the sides and at the bottom, while carving through the layers of ivory in the middle, bringing to the forefront the rich luster of delicate workmanship and polished ivory. Browse a large range of sculpted mammoth tusk and carvings at http://www.mammothivory.info
If you are looking to buy mammoth ivory tusk, it is one of the best investments in today’s time. The rich creamy white ivory is not just used to sculpt and carve magnificent sculptures but is rarer than oil and gold because only a few thousand of wooly mammoths roamed the earth when they died and were buried in ice. Constant exploration and harvesting of huge tusks have yielded precious ivory that has replaced the demand for elephant ivory.
From craving tiny figurines, netsuke and using flakes a blade handles, the larger pieces and full tusks measuring 10 feet to over 14 feet are auctioned for thousands of dollars each year.
Each of the raw tusks is then given to Oriental artists for carving beautiful scenes, sculptures and figurines. Though the harvesting and excavations are only done during the short Arctic summers, the traders work in harsh and tough climates, working through the melting permafrost to cater to the needs of people looking to invest in ivory for generations, passing on the priceless carvings as heirlooms.
When you are looking to invest in mammoth ivory, which is the only legal ivory traded worldwide, you need to be sure that the sculpture that you have bought is genuine mammoth ivory. If you are new to mammoth ivory purchase and collection, it is good to take on the services of a professional connoisseur for consultation and evaluation. Another factor that can be considered is only to buy from reputed mammoth ivory dealers that have excellent eBay reviews. This assures customers that others who have bought mammoth ivory products are happy with the sculptures, netsuke and carvings. You may look up a wide range of mammoth tusk ivory carvings on sale at http://www.mammothivory.info
Ivory consists of dentine which is present in the tusks and teeth of animals and cross-section of different ivories gives you a different look into the inherent patterns. But though there are reputed dealers selling 100% original and legal ivory, an equal number of scammers sell fake ivory. So did you buy real or fake ivory artifacts?
There are numerous subtle differences that are visible to even untrained eyes, as many fake ivory products are crafted from reconstructed animal bone powder, but the color, texture and weight of the sculpture is very different. Dentine has little collagen and large amount of calcium phosphate which shows wear and tear over time. And ivory is sourced from wooly mammoths, elephants (now banned) as tusks while the teeth of wild boar, hippo, whales, and walrus are also considered as ivory. Some specific features that are consistent with natural ivory include high gloss with silky feel, inherent inter-sectional arches that are visible when holding it lengthwise and variations when you look down into it.
While plastic, bone powder, antlers and bone sculptures have a different weight and feel. To start with there are no Schreger lines. Bones have small channels as nerves and blood vessels go through it. It may not be visible to all but if you put light behind it, they appear as dots and dashes. While antlers have a darker color with honeycomb patterns all through the center, plastics on the other hand are lighter with an artificial look. However, you need to be conversant with ivory before you can make out the difference so it is bets to buy from top ivory traders and dealers as they provide you with authentic material at affordable prices. Check out genuine mammoth ivory art athttp://www.mammothivory.info/
Just like wood, ivory can be cut with the same tools. From hacksaw with rough and course teeth to delicate jewelers saw and in case you need slabs; a band saw might be the right tool. For smooth cuts, it is best to have tools with more teeth and that requires low amount of sanding.
When you cut large tusk into sections, it is important to seal the ivory pores to prevent the ivory from cracking and drying out quickly. Most of the sculptors use white glue to seal the ends while the use of varnish and hot wax is not uncommon.
While cutting tusk sections, ensure that you don’t run the saw too fast through the ivory as it makes wavy cuts. Use a light hand with steady grip and speed to cut through ivory as it is very dense. After the ivory is cut, it needs to be maintained in good condition to be crafted in different forms, including sculptures, knife handles, scrimshaws and more.
The most important aspect is to retain the humidity within the ivory and carvers use mineral oil to prevent cracks and shrinkage. But this only works on thin slabs and sheets. The slabs and thin pieces are polished with mineral oil and then wiped with soft cotton cloth and zipped in plastic bags till further use. This ensures that no moisture escapes even after the ivory piece is sanded and polished, reducing the chances of cracks and shrinking.
As the lost moisture is replaced by oil and the luster is maintained as required. The key for storing ivory is about maintaining the moisture. Traditional Russian fossil ivory hunters soak the excavated tusks in water to help maintain the moisture before it is transported to carvers. See some of the most exquisite mammoth ivory carvings at http://www.mammothivory.info/
As per the latest figures by the International Union for Nature Conservation, mining of mammoth ivory tusks is a large scale business in Russia and Serbia. The tusks of extinct mammoths are pure enamel which is the reason that ivory has been able to survive the permafrost and harsh climatic changes.
However the fact that no animal is poached or killed to procure the mammoth ivory makes it an ethical material for use. It has gained prominence especially after the worldwide ban on elephant ivory and today, a huge range of complete tusk sculptures, jewelry, artifacts and sculptures are crafted.
From Hollywood stars to celebrities including Michelle Obama have seen sporting mammoth ivory jewelry at different occasions. The scarcity of the mammoth ivory tusks due to the mammoths being extinct has increased the pressure on the Russian antique ivory traders. Additionally, with limited ivory available for artists, the demand for fashionable mammoth ivory carvings is fast catching up all over the world but that is exactly the reason for the high prices. The process of locating and excavating a carcass of wooly mammoth in such extreme weather of Siberia is expensive. An average sculptor cannot work on mammoth ivory but requires precise skill and experience to work on fragile ivory. All of this compounds into the cost of the finished artifacts.
From pure ivory pieces, necklaces and jewellery to netsuke, tusk carvings, statues and scrimshaws, there is a wide range of legal ivory art pieces to collect and enjoy. Learn more about netsuke, carved tusks and intricately sculpted artifacts at www.mammothivory.info
Woow… I am really fill lucky to hold this amazing Mammoth Ivory carving vertical tusk of the Parrots family hand carve on 100% genuine Mammoth ivory tusk. This beautiful Mammoth ivory carving is from the Mammoth ivory Tusk collection at IvoryAndArt.com gallery. I am in love with ivory carving but in those days i am really into the mammoth Ivory carving because of some good reasons:
Why do i love Mammoth ivory So Much?
First – It’s eco friendly & carved out from the extinct woolly mammoth that roamed the earth before 10,000 ago.
Therefore no elephant is being killed in order to make such beautiful artifact
Second: To hold in your hand a piece that is a 10,00 years old – always make me excited – Just imagine those huge elephants with their huge tusks walking wild in nature.
Third: Money Investment - Yeas Mammoth ivory is one of the best investments in the field of art today – but for sure is a better investment than Elephant Ivory. The one major reason of the increasing price of the mammoth ivory tusk is the fact that the Mammoth tusks are belongs to extinct animal & in order to find them you need to explore for the in the arctic places like Siberia Russia . As well it’s become harder to find the Mammoth tusks & ofcourse that the number them will come to an end.
Ivory is rich, lustrous and beautiful. Not only has it allured centuries of sculptors and carvers, but even after the global ban of elephant ivory, Mammoth ivory is much more in demand. You may have an antique or might have just bought an ivory figurine or if you are planning to do so, it is advisable to first check for genuinely of the piece. Many times, synthetic ivory or even bone is actually used to craft numerous items and then sold as antique ivory. If you are in doubt about your artefact or recently acquired figurine, read on to learn how to differentiate between real ivory and bone.
Look carefully at the art piece where carving is least to check for grain or patterns. These areas are the flat surfaces of a scrimshaw or statues. If you are unable to see through naked eye, take a good magnifying glass and see for crisscross lines of V shaped lines.
Read the full article about Diffrent kinds of Ivories here.