Ivory or Bone; How Do We Tell The Difference?

Hello Bling Lovers!  I have been in Hawaii and taking my time to remodel our condo and snorkeling.  I am back and loving my jewelry. I don’t know about you but old jewelry and old pretties just make me happy. I found a carved necklace my Mom had. She bought it from an antique store. It has carved elephants with some brass beads and is labeled as bone and ivory. Hmmm. What does that mean? Are the beads a mixture of both? Take a look….. 

I have  a close up also.  The experts who belong to Jewel Collect have given me information to use to identify ivory. I think at least part of the necklace is made using ivory beads.  See the close-up…. 

I want to share my new-found information about identifying ivory.  I am told one distinction between bone and ivory is bone has dried blood vessels running through it, but  ivory does not. These vessels are often visible under a loupe.   

Another member of JC (Jewel Collect) told me ivory often has a satiny shimmer to it. You can see this best by holding the piece to light and look at it closely. You should almost see it shimmer as you move it.  And you will see lines parallel to each other and need to look for crosshatching.  You should see clear vertical and horizontal lines all evenly spaced. If you see the crosshatching you should have ivory.  
I have this piece and some other items because Mom bought them as antiques. New Ivory is illegal to buy. I would not want to buy it, in any case. I am told the older pre-ban ivory has  light golden patina.  
I really thank the JC members. This information is from them. I am only passing it along. I am also sending this post and pictures to the group. I do hope they can verify what, I think. I am still very green at this part of loving jewelry. I want to find out what I have and to know enough so went it goes to berniesvintage I have it right. See you soon. I love jewelry. Hope you do too. Bernie 




About kalanikaichat

My husband Bruce Gainer and I are owners of 209 and S106 at Kalanikai. We hope to chat with other owners and residents to learn more about our complex and our association. We hope Kalanikaichat enhances communication. Who knows we may make some new friends..
This entry was posted in Vintage Bone Jewelry, Vintage Ivory Jewelry, Vintage Jewelry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ivory or Bone; How Do We Tell The Difference?

  1. Jason says:

    hello i have an ivory swastika button hand carved ww2 era. i was wondering if you know anything about this piece cant find any info..i am told the value is in the thousands?? I am not a collector was just in a box i bought at auction…thank you very nice site

    • Hi, I could try to find out a bit about your item. It sounds rare. Seeing a photo would be very helpful. I will attempt to get an answer from some of my button collecting friends. Another way to get some information is to google “vintage ivory swasitka button” You will surprised at how helpful this can be. Good luck, Bernie

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