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Mammoth Ivory


Chuck Leake

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I started out carving ancient walrus ivory almost 30 years ago. it is still my favorite material. Over 20 years ago I switched over to mammoth ivory. At that time it was much cheaper

and readably available. in 1990 with the elephant ivory ban in place I started buying and selling tusks and cut up material to supplement my income from carving. In a good year i would buy from five to ten thousand pounds. Most of it would be used for knife scales and scrimshaw. Almost all the placer gold mines in the interior of Alaska that were producing mammoth ivory are no longer in production. Most of the ivory sold in Alaska now comes from remote villagers who find it as the permafrost melts. We get almost no material that compares to the A grade Siberian but from time to time a tusk will show up that has a solid core that is satiable for carving.

The going price for decent mammoth in Alaska is from $40 to $120 per pound.

it seems only real shortage is in the top quality material that is suitable for larger carvings.

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  • 2 years later...

Does anyone know a good supplier of small pieces of Mammoth Ivory? I'm based in the UK and bought some new elephant ivory back in the early 1980s that I never used. Obviously this will have to remain unused now due to the CITES ban and ethical issues. I have an old snooker ball that I found many years ago in a second hand shop in the UK but I'm even nervous about using that these days.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Bella. Your man in Canada contacted me and is struggling to find the kind of pieces I'm looking for. The main reason for this is that the Chinese are buying up as much of the Siberian mammoth ivory as they can get their hands on so he's finding it hard to get good grade materials to sell. Apparently they'll pay up to $1000 a kilo for good, pale cream ivory. I've managed to get a couple of small pieces that will work for the new designs I'm drawing up thanks to the kindness of another member of the TCP forum.

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