Historically this organic gem material, referred to as Ivory, came only from elephant tusks. Since elephants have become a protected species and the sale of elephant ivory has been outlawed, most of the ivory we see being used in jewelry today comes from fossilized sources along with hippopotamus, narwhal, sea lion, and wild boars teeth.
Ivory exhibits a distinctive graining that is referred to as the "engine turned effect." This helps to distinguish ivory from bone. As ivory ages in changes from its original white color to yellowish and eventually it acquires a brownish patina. Valued for its ability to be carved, many fine ivory carving traditions existed throughout the world. Netsukes in Japan, Victorian carvings, the Erbach school in Germany, and in Russia they have been carving mammoth and walrus ivory for centuries.
|Gemological information for ivory|
|Color||White, creamy, yellowish|
|Similar stones||Plastics, Bone|
|Country of origin||Asia, Africa|
|Ultrasonic cleaning||Not safe|
|Steam cleaning||Not safe|
|Warm soapy water||Safe|