Understanding and How to Distinguish Ivory With Bone!
Understanding and How to Distinguish Ivory With Bone!

Understanding and How to Distinguish Ivory With Bone!

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The Function of Elephant Ivory: Definition and How to Distinguish Ivory From Bone -Who doesn’t know elephants? The elephant is one of the large animals with the characteristics of having a large trunk and tusks on its body. These animals can be found in areas such as Africa and Asia, including Indonesia. Today, elephants have invaded animals that need to be protected as their population is declining due to poaching. This time we will discuss the function of elephant tusks in detail. To make it clearer, we read the following article carefully :).


Definition of Elephant Ivory

The tusk is the part of an elephant’s jaw or mouth that expands like a pig’s tusk. Usually elephants are hunted for ivory for commercial and artistic purposes.


Elephant Ivory Function

Many hunters watch elephant tusks, not without reason. Elephant tusks have many advantages for them, although elephant tusks are not edible. What are the advantages of elephant tusks? Here are some of the benefits of elephant tusks:


Many people, especially those who still cling to traditional mystical beliefs, think that ivory is one of the most effective amulets for life. If you use this amulet made of elephant tusks, everyone who uses it is lucky and avoids bad luck. Usually, elephant tusks used as amulets are often made in small shapes and made into necklaces or bracelets so that they can be easily carried anywhere.


  • Avoiding Danger

This is another mystical advantage of elephant tusks, namely to avoid danger and misfortune. A belief that spreads throughout the community says that whoever owns an ivory elephant can avoid misfortune, misery, and bad luck. Of course, this is not scientifically proven and is only suggestive.


Another suggestive effect of elephant ivory is that the benefits of elephant ivory can ward off toxins that enter the body. Anyone with and wearing elephant tusks is immune to any poison.

  • Beneficial for Male Manhood

From the supernatural, mystical and traditional side, it is believed that elephant ivory can enhance human masculinity. Some tribes believe that elephant tusks are a symbol of masculinity in men, and everyone who wears elephant tusks should be respected.


Ancient peoples in ancient times used elephant tusks for humans as cutting tools. This makes sense because tusks are part of elephant teeth and also have incredible strength. Because of this, it is often used as a cutting tool.


  • Become a Wall Display

Currently, the use of elephant ivory is no longer primitive, such as: cutting tools or amulets, but leads to the aesthetic value of elephant tusks. Gajah ivory is now used as a medium for exhibitions and decorations for homes and offices, both in the form of whole elephant tusks and in the form of elephant tusks that have been shaped and carved.


  • Cigarette Pipe Making Material

Elephant tusks are not only used as home wall decorations, but are also often used as material for making cigarette pipes. Cigarette pipes made of elephant ivory have much better strength and durability than cigarette pipes made of ordinary wood.


There are some people in this world who have a preference for collecting certain items, one of which is elephant tusks. Anyone who likes to collect elephant tusks usually has two motives. The first is interested in the aesthetic value of elephant tusks and the second is that they still believe in the magical and supernatural properties of elephant tusks.


  • As Decoration and Decoration of Traditional Clothing

Some primitive tribes who are still dense with strong traditional nuances consider elephant ivory as something special. Therefore, there are still some inland tribes who use elephant ivory as part of their traditional clothes. The advantages of ivory elephants are used as ornaments and ornaments for traditional clothes such as necklaces or bracelets.

Ivory elephants are also often used by some people as indicators and indicators of their social status. The more ivory, the more indirectly social status is canceled.


There are people who think that elephant tusks are very valuable, until there are some traditional tribal people who use elephant tusks as a dowry. Elephant tusks are used to suggest and marry others as they reflect social status and prosperity.


For business people, elephant ivory is a big investment in this business. Even though it’s illegal and banned worldwide, that doesn’t stop them from turning elephant ivory into a business. Elephant ivory has a very high price, so many people watch over ivory for business purposes.


How to tell the difference between tusks and bones

  • Paying Attention to Ivory’s Distinctive Colors and Textures

Hold the object with your hand and feel its weight. Ivory feels heavy and firm when you hold it. Cradles are like billiard balls, often made of ivory; When you hold it with one hand, it feels solid and firm. If the object you are observing is light, you can rule out the possibility that it is ivory.

Bones can weigh the same as tusks. Just because it feels heavy and hard doesn’t mean it’s ivory.

If you are not sure if the thing is really solidweigh it and compare its weight to an object you know is ivory. The Internet is a resource you can use to determine the dimensions and weight of ivory objects.

Hold the object with your finger to feel the texture. Ivory is famous for its soft butter. It’s not very soft, but ivory is very easy to carve in the right hands. If the surface of the object feels rough and scratched, the object may not be ivory. But if it feels very smooth, it’s probably ivory.

Observe the outer layer and surface of objects with a magnifying glass. In this way, although it is not always successful to determine whether an object is really ivory with a magnifying glass, observations can provide useful clues. Real ivory is shiny and looks beautiful, often with a slightly yellowish appearance. Ivory can also have a light brown color, because the oil comes from people who have stored it for years. If you see any odd dots or markings, it’s probably not ivory. Pay attention to the following characters:

Crossing the line. Parallel lines (with slight differences) will appear along the object. The line perpendicular to the line has the shape of a V or circle called the Schreger line. This line can be found in elephant tusks and mammoth tusks.

Does the surface of the object have dark spots or hollows? If so, then there was a possibility that it was made of bone. It’s just that in some cases the bone has been bleached, so try another test to be sure.

All bones have marrow markings or small spots on their surface. You may not be able to see these marks with the naked eye, but you should be able to see them with a magnifying glass. Ivory tends to have a smoother, harder, and mottled texture.


  • Doing Test With Hot Needle

Heat the pen. Place the needle over the candle or lighter for a few seconds until it is hot enough. You can actually use any type of metal, but straight needles are good for you if you don’t want to leave marks on the object being tested.

Place the hot pen on the surface of the object. Choose a hidden location so you don’t leave any traces or indentations there (even if the object is actually made of ivory, this won’t happen).

Smell the lingering scent with the hot needle. If the object is ivory, no odor will come out. But if it’s bone, it smells like burnt hair.

Real ivory was not damaged in this test as it is hard and strong enough to withstand heat. However, if the object to be tested is made of plastic, the heat of the needle tends to be hollow. Since some types of plastic such as bakelite are much more expensive than elephant ivory, you don’t need to do a hot needle test until you’re sure it’s not plastic.


Ask an antique expert for help to find out the origin of the object. Antique experts have worked with hundreds or even thousands of ivory, bone, and plastic objects, so they can usually easily identify the origin of an object using one of the methods above or by applying their own knowledge.

Be sure to find a trusted antique expert to appraise items. Don’t choose a random antique shop, but one that specializes in ivory so the information you get is correct.

Antique exhibits are a great place to appreciate an object. Find out online about the schedule of such exhibitions in your area.

Ask for a chemistry test. To really convince you that your item is ivory, take it to a forensics lab and request a chemical test. Ivory cell structure is different from bone, but laboratory tests are needed to determine it.

Thus a little discussion about the function of elephant tusks: Understanding and how to differentiate between tusks and bones! Hopefully this discussion can add insight and knowledge for all of us, and we thank you for listening to our review. If you find our review useful, please share it

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