How Much Does Ivory Cost?
Ivory is a highly sought-out material in cultures around the world. It can be obtained from the tusks of elephant, rhinoceros, narwhals, and walruses. But of all these sources, elephant ivory is the most sought-after due to its softness, unique texture and lack of hard outer coating of enamel. Elephant ivory also exhibits a warm, creamy color, natural shine, and lush grain patterns that transform with the lighting angle, putting the material in extremely high demand. There are many things that ivory can be used to make. Aside from artwork such as sculptures or statues, the most popular thing that is made from ivory is piano keys, thus the popular saying “tickling the ivories.” There are also many pieces of jewelry that can contain ivory. The price you pay for ivory will mostly be determined the form in which you purchase it.
How much does it cost?
- The cost of ivory is going to depend on what is going to be purchased. Ivory by the pound can cost $8 to $50 per pound, while scraps can cost less than $10. Tips, slabs and blocks of elephant ivory can cost an average of $10 to $50 per lineal inch.
- For example, Boone Trading Company, a Brinnon, Washington-based provider of legal ivory and scrimshaw for collectors and craftspeople in, offers legal pre-ban African elephant ivory to artists and collectors. The following are some of the ivory products they offer:
- Cue Ferrule Stock – $13 to $20
- Elephant Tusk, Cross Cut Slices – $16 to $68
- Elephant Tusk Hollows – $47 to $597
- Small Elephant Ivory Scrap – $8.00 per pound, 5 pounds – $30, 10 pounds – $50
- Jewelry Grade Elephant Scrap – $35 per pound, 5 pounds – $150
- Large Elephant Scrap – $45 per pound, 5 pounds – $200
- Elephant Tusk Tips – $16 to $495
- Elephant Ivory Slabs – $15 to $125 each
- Elephant Ivory Blocks – $10 to $40 per lineal inch
- CoastIvory.com, a buyer and seller of pre-ban elephant ivory items, offers elephant ivory items in different sizes and dimensions. Elephant ivory slabs cost $55 to $300 per slab, depending on size or dimension. Elephant Ivory Scales cost $100 to $300, depending on size. Elephant Ivory Tusk Tips, usually used for small carvings and scrimshaws, cost $300 to $450 depending on size and dimension. The items are sold and shipped within the United States only.
- Elephant Ivory Tusks, an ivory buyer, seller, and supplier of legal, pre-ban elephant ivory in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, offers the following ivory products:
- Ivory Knife Handle 1/4″ X 1″ X 4.5″ – $70
- Elephant Ivory Inlay Slabs (random) – $17.95
- Ivory Pen Blank Round (small) – $27.50
- Ivory Ferrule Drilled & Tapped – $19
- Ivory Guitar Nut Blank (standard) – $18.95
- Ivory Scrap (large) or Jewelry Grade – $23.70
- Fossilized Elephant Ivory Bark Knife Slabs – $148.50
What is going to be included?
- Elephant ivory can be bought in different forms and sizes. It is typically used in products like pistol grips, musical instruments, inlay, cue sticks, pens, jewelry and gifts, crafts, skulls and skeletons, fishhook necklaces, carvings, bracelets, and ivory-handled knives. Dealers also provide ivory scraps, hollows, sections, slabs, tips, scrap, blocks, and whole tusks to individuals who create their own ivory products.
What are the extra costs?
- Some dealers charge a $5 processing fee for online orders that are less than the required minimum.
- Custom sizes and dimensions are usually accepted but entail extra charges. The fees depend on the ivory dealer.
- If you are going to use the ivory to create your own artwork, you are going to need specific carving tools.
Tips to know:
- Always make sure that the elephant ivory you are purchasing is legal. Many dealers provide information that they are selling pre-ban ivory. Legal elephant ivory dealers in the United States sell ivory products within the country only and will not sell or ship to anyone residing outside the U.S. However, just because there are many legal ways, poachers are still active and the elephant population is diminishing because of this. Make sure you do research about the company from which you are purchasing the ivory.
- When working on elephant ivory tusk tips to use as a handle or a grip, remember to work slowly, finish the item by hand, and use light buff. The cracks that can appear on the tip while in use can result to problems with knife handle or pistol grip slabs.
- Elephant ivory is normally expensive and is becoming pricier due to its high demand across the world and its increasing value, earning the nickname “white gold” in some countries.
- Remember that while ivory from elephant tusks is the most common, it is not the only type of ivory available.
How can I save money?
- When buying through the internet, find as many legal ivory dealers as possible online and compare the prices they offer for their ivory products. Many of them offer similar items, particularly slabs, sections, tips, and blocks.
- If possible, buy locally. This way you can ensure that the company or seller is doing so legally, you can save on shipping, and you can see the ivory before you pay for it to make sure you like the quality.