May 19th, 2019

שנהב IVORY

Ivory is an organic material. Elephant tusk is made of ivory. Elephant's ivory has a dull greasy luster, relatively low hardness S 2.5 – 2.75  and RI of 1.535.
Ivory has been used as an ornamental object from early days
Curved ivory was found in antique in the east and the dynasty of the PHARAOH in Egypt. Coffins over 3,000 years old contained objects of ivory where it considered rare and valuable. Ivory is mentioned in the BIBLE at the time of king Hahav. In archeological site near the city of Jericho, ivory related to the 8th century was discovered.
At the 14th and 15th century Christian's pilgrimages in Europe were using ivory icons while praying as well as figures of Jesus and the Madonna.
Ivory is related in general to elephant tusk but numerous other animals produces it.
There are different kinds of ivory: African elephant (male and female) Asiatic elephant (usually smaller tusks), rhino (different kinds), prehistoric mammoths, hippopotamus, and sea lion.
The gemological parameters varies a bit according to the animal from which the ivory is.  A microscopic investigation will show a different pattern and texture for each ivory
In the Far East and in Chinese medicine ivory's powder considered to have healing power as well as aphrodisiac power. This made ivory desirable. Affords were made trying to achieve it by all means including killing animals for their ivory
In attempt to eliminate the massive killing of animals, that some of them are considered endangered species, ivory trade is prohibited and sever regulations are enforced in order to stop ivory from reaching the markets. Any attempt to cross borders with ivory will be confiscation and elimination
Private people can hold their old times ivory but not to trade it.
Large pieces of ivory that were traded for 60,000 USD are estimated today at 1,000 – 2,000 . Trade platforms like eBay had removed advertisement of ivory, while other sites expertising in antique jewelry will accompany a certificate for the source and genuinity of each piece. In India the owners of old age ivory are keeping it with license and permit issued by the state.
Fashioned ivory can be found in bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, jewelry boxes, figures, piano keyboards and billiard balls although in most cases we are dealing with imitations
Genuine ivory is imitated by curved animal bones, vegetable ivory ( corozo nut and doum palm nut) and plastic.
Attached is a picture of curved ivory from1928 Congo. Approximately 166 and 172 centimeters weighing 30 kilos.













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By Semyon Felshyn G.G. GCI
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