Here is a short article that will give you all about Mammoth ivory data you ever wanted to know.

Understanding Mammoth Ivory


Mammoth ivory Raw Tusks

Fossil ivory or mammoth ivory tusk is procured from the modified two upper incisors of the Woolly mammoth. This fossil ivory or Mastodon ivory is harvested from the fossilized remains of the wooly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius)  that have been extinct since the last 10,000 years. The remains of these huge animals are found in Siberia, Alaska and other regions of Russia. The fossilized ivory is a precious commodity which is extracted from the permafrost and thus, has high antique and historical value. The Mammoth ivory is as good as elephant ivory when it comes to its quality and luster.

Mammoth ivory as International Free Trade merchandise

Wooly mammoths have been extinct for the past 10,000 years unlike Asian and African elephants so mammoth ivory is not listed in the Appendices to the CITES nor is mammoth ivory subject to control as per the listed Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, Cap. 187. Mammoth ivory is a precious relic of the past that has been well preserved in the coldest tundra regions of Siberia and Alaska. Thus, mammoths or Mammuthus primigenus is an extinct proboscidan and the only legal source of high grade precious ivory that can be used for carvings.

Caring for Mammoth Ivory

Mammoth IvoryFossil ivory or mammoth ivory is sensitive to surrounding temperature and harsh climatic conditions have an adverse impact. Due to its sensitivity to humidity and temperature, when it expands and contracts, it can split due to stress. We ensure that only the purest of ivory is used that is free of any imperfection after being acclimatized for a number of years above ground. To protect your ivory, it is recommended that you rub mineral oil twice a year to replenish its natural oils. Renaissance Wax can be used to give it a protective polished shine.

However, please bear in mind and do not:

  • Spill or put ink on ivory
  • Make the ivory wet
  • Put the ivory in direct sunlight
  • Let the ivory heat up or freeze
  • Expose the ivory to fluctuations in temperature and humidity

Basic differences between Elephant ivory and mammoth ivory

Using the angles of Schreger lines in Mammoth ivory can differentiate between elephant ivory and fossil ivory. You can see this reflected in the cross section photographs of both elephant and mammoth ivory.


Schreger lines in Elephant Ivory Schreger lines in Mammoth Ivory
 elepschr  elepschr

It is clearly reflected in the photos that the angle of Schreger lines on the mammoth ivory are less than 90 degrees while those on elephant ivory are more than 115 degrees. This is the best way to do differentiate between the two ivories.

 For how long will mammoth ivory be available?

In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand of mammoth ivory which has led to an unquenchable proportion. But if you look at the current scenario, mammoth ivory is non replenishable. There are only limited mammoth ivory that can be extracted from the fossilized carcass and how long can that be done?

Most researchers have estimated about over 9 million carcasses are still buried under the deep permafrost in the Tundra regions and about the same number are available to be harvested in the higher regions in China. There is a high demand of mammoth ivory in China where not only do sculptors need this powerful medium to carve and sculpt but traditional herbal medicine practitioners require the low quality mammoth ivory chips and dust to put into traditional medicines.

After the banning of elephant ivory in 1999, fossil ivory became much in demand as an alternative medium to elephant ivory. However, there is another aspect of paleontologists and archeologists to harvesting ivory. According to them, excavating the carcass for harvesting the tusks, which has been buried for centuries and converted into a fossil leads to damage of scientific data. But fossil ivory traders have a different view and claim that it is better to unearthed the precious material from the soil and sculpt it for people to enjoy the beauty of ageless ivory.

Where does mammoth ivory lay buried?

Mammoth carcasses have been found mostly in Alaska and Siberia under the deep permafrost. In Alaska and Siberia, the constant ongoing tussle between the archeologists and mammoth ivory traders continues with the increase in demand of mammoth ivory as it is the only legal ivory that is used to create some of the most beautiful sculptures.

Even after there are enforced laws that protect Alaska’s ancient heritage and history, there are people that just don’t care. There are numerous interstate commercial traders dealing in illegal mining of whalebone, walrus ivory and mammoth tusks on public land to create jewelry, sculptures, scrimshaws and assorted art pieces.


Browse our Mammoth ivory collection.

18 thoughts on “All About Mammoth Ivory

  1. janet smith says:

    I have a set of swords a holding stand an sheaths that are wooley mammoth but cant find any info can you help me I bought them at a auction

  2. Mr T Williams says:


    I have 5 carved statues and one carved vase of mammoth ivory which I am looking to sell, I have had the articles a

    number of years now. The tallest is 40cm and they are all in good condition.

    Photographs can be supplied.

    Yours faithfully…….Mr T Williams

    1. admin says:

      Please send me the pictures of the pieces + measurements

      Sincerely Yours,
      Sagiv Shast

    2. Rick says:

      Do you still have any left?

      1. admin says:

        Any what left?

  3. Gloria Puckett says:

    I have a small carving of an elephant of Russia Magadon mammoth ivory how much is it worth I’m looking to sell?

  4. Jason Desmarais says:

    I have a tusk of some kind I be;ieve to be mammoth. The carving is of elephants. I can send pictures I would like to find out value and where/how to sell it. Please let me know. Thanks


    1. admin says:

      Dear Jason
      Please send us pictures to

      1. David J Morgan says:

        I’m trying to sell seven lucky God’s in ivory possible wooly mammoth there netsukes do you know buyers

  5. Lucy says:

    I have a miniature mammoth tooth carving of two figures having tea. I have the certification of authenticity and wish to sell it for 2,,y00. Can forward pictures…beautiful piece.

    1. admin says:

      Dear Lucy
      Please send us pictures to

  6. Soren Cicchini says:

    You have the incorrect photograph for the Schreger lines in Mammoth Ivory. You’ll be wanting

  7. Bill Breen says:

    I have 75 Japanese ivory carvings, all collected by my father in 1948 and 1949 while he was stationed in Occupied Japan. They are about 2″ inches tall and some are signed on the bottom of their feet. How can I tell if they were carved out of Mammoth ivory or Elephant ivory? My dad told me they were all carved pre-world war II .

  8. alireza says:

    I’ve got some mammoth ivory dating back lot and still am.
    Of course, not fossils. I was wondering which of the buyer’s Coast. Photograph well. I can send to the buyer.

    1. shahinnmoshiur says:

      Please send pictures & measurements to

    2. admin says:

      Please send pictures & measurements to

  9. Bende bir obje var.gerçek değerini bilmiyorum .35 cm.boyu takriben alt çap.7 çm. Bilardo topu gibi ağır ve sert ,kaygan orjinal olduğunu sanıyorum .satmak istiyorum.ilhan tuğrak .facebook.mail Resimlerini gönderebilirim

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