How To Identify Fake Mammoth Ivory?

The intensely high demand for ivory and high prices has created a niche market for fake ivory. However, even though most people pay exorbitant prices to purchase ivory, most of the time they are unable to differentiate between real mammoth ivory and fake sculptures which mimic all of the nuances of real ivory to a layman. Here are some non-invasive methods to identify fakes and real ivory:

•    Using a jeweler’s magnifying glass to studying the ivory sculpture, start looking for pores or little streaks of brown and if you find it, it is not ivory but bone.

•    Another good method is listening to the sound by tapping on the sculpture. Plastic, bone and ivory make different sounds when tapped.

•    The older the ivory is the more yellow hues it has. Take the saliva test. Lick your finger and rub it over the ‘antique ivory’ sculpture. If you find yellow or brown color on your finger, you can be sure that the ivory or any other material has been colored to make it look older than it really is. As saliva has a variety of chemicals, this test only works with it.

•    The hot-pin test. Heat a pin and put it at the bottom of the sculpture. Plastic and other synthetic materials will get a dent but genuine ivory will not have any mark.

•    You can take a look at inherent cross hatch pattern of mammoth ivory which is clearly visible at the bottom or at a point where it is smooth. These are known as Schreger Lines.

•    Look for air-bubbles or tiny craters. If there are any visible, you can know that it is fake ivory made out of synthetic material that has been poured.

Is It Illegal To Sell Ivory?

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.

Why Is Mammoth Ivory Colored?

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

 

Learn About Different Ivories and Identifying Fakes

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.

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