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How to differentiate between Ivory and Bone Messages in this topic - RSS

wca.admin
Administrator
Posts: 39


19/08/2013
wca.admin
Administrator
Posts: 39
Lots of antique items sold on eBay, at antique shows, or in auctions are represented as Ivory. Before making a decision on purchasing verify that is indeed true ivory – you'll be surprised how many times a dealer will mistakenly display bone as ivory.

If you have the ability, do a hot pin test. Choose a discreet location so you won't leave any marks. If it's ivory, you shouldn’t see any mark. If it's bone, it will smell like burnt hair. If it's plastic, it will melt and you'll probably see a dent.

However, most of the time you'll need to verify on the road and prior to purchasing. Testing with a hot pin may simply not be feasible. One other way to quickly gain some assurance that it is ivory, is to check the texture with a magnifier and look for dark minute spots. If the bone has been bleached well you may not see them, but from our experience, most of the time dirt gets into the bone's porous texture and the dark spots become visible, especially under a good loupe.

Check out these two photos for side-by-side comparison – note the black dots in the left image showing fairly clear we are dealing with an item made of bone.
edited by wca.admin on 19/08/2013

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