The use of Mammoth Ivory

As most people know, is called the material of Stroßzähne of elephant ivory. This weir teeth of elephants are prolonged Schneidezäne. They are permeated almost to the top with nerve pathways and therefore from the roots to just before the end of hollow tusk and the jaw approach with relatively thin walls. This Horn, a mixture of phosphate of lime, cartilage and humidity can easily be processed with saws, knives, files and polishing equipment. It feels wonderful after processing and is suitable because of its excellent tonal characteristics wonderfully as saddles and ridges on plucked instruments. Since ivory is not any available and is also outweighed ever gold, making these advantages the elephant along with his tusk unfortunately an endangered species.

Already in Roman times used the animals as comrades and the horn as a payment method. One can only imagine all too well that the Romans had so eradicated almost all North African elephants. And today it is not different. Of course, they are no longer used for military applications, but their ivory is triggered cruel poaching and a lucrative, global black market. In the 19th century lived nearly 10 million of the pachyderms in Africa, today it counts little more than half a million. In order to preserve global elephant from extinction, presented to the species protected species and thus each trade bans with elephant products - including the ivory.

Please not use elephant ivory - your order supports illegal poaching, about 80% of the ivory's available on the world market has been illegally "produced". The remaining 20% ​​are therefore died !!

Since ivory possesses incredible tonal transmission properties and a wonderful feeling conveyed, such materials are used in particularly valuable instruments. A normal web for a "New Yorker" is easy times 180,00DM cost. Since it is now there - what can you do?

To use ivory yet, you can use the, an already extinct species. For a little over two and a half to three million years ago came the first mammoths to Europe. Years ago, over 100,000 this had finally adjusted to the adverse weather conditions in my coat and then came the big global warming and the danze species died out about 10,000 to 25,000 years ago. Many of these mammoths are conserved in the ice and their tusks come in relatively large quantities from Siberia or Canada. Chance are found tusk fragments with us. It is basically similar in the workability of elephant ivory. But it is significantly harder and more brittle, as it had also somewhat longer located in the ice. Therefore, yes come cracks and discoloration of the material.

Mammoth ivory (fossil) has the following features:


Siberia, Canada, rarely Europe




Saddles, ridges, deposits


Ivory from mammoth does not fall under the Endangered Species Act.


Not allowed to be hot or wet during the processing, since the material is HYGROPHIL

I bought a tooth fragment and show here a few excerpts in the processing of mammoth ivory.

Tooth fragment outside Front view of Holbzahnes Inside of the tusk

The piece is slightly longer than 30cm and weighs about 2kg. There is a half tooth and was separated from a larger tusk part and professionally preserved. Since I could not judge from the outside, it looks like inside, I milled with the Dremel a bit. It is quite soft and smells like burning hair strictly night or so. This piece was then severed on the band saw in 3mm wide strips cut parallel to the belt sander and cut to the engültige form.

Sawing with bandsaw Milling of a specimen
Test piece removed Section of ivory for further processing

After the material had been found to be extremely useful (it can also be comin 'strong crumbly and not polished), I cut the fragment and processed it further. With sandpaper, files and polishing wheel can be produced a very smooth guitar part.

Bridgeinlay from heavily grained Mammut Sharpened outer layer
Mammut web Above bone, plastic, mammoth, mammoth

A museum visit complacent? German Ivory Museum Erbach