Ivory is a hard, white material, derived from the tusks and teeth of elephants. It consists of dentine, a tissue that is similar to bone. It has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, and dominoes. Elephant ivory has been the most important source, but ivory from many species including the hippopotamus, walrus, pig, sperm whale, and narwhal have been used. The word ultimately derives from the Ancient Egyptian âb, âbu “elephant”, through the Latin ebor- or ebur.
Ivory has many ornamental and practical uses. Prior to the introduction of plastics, it was used for billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items. Synthetic substitutes for ivory have been developed. Plastics have been viewed by piano purists as an inferior ivory substitute on piano keys, although other recently developed materials more closely resemble the feel of real ivory.
The use and trade of elephant ivory have become controversial because they have contributed to seriously declining elephant populations in many countries. In 1975, the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix One of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prevents international trade between member countries. The African elephant was placed on Appendix One in January 1990. Since then, some southern African countries have had their populations of elephants “downlisted” to Appendix Two, allowing sale of some stockpiles.
Due to the above, we have in stock only a few pieces of old ivory.
(Source of Information Jewelpedia, Wikipedia)