Tusk lumps - news story - 21 Jun 2013

Ivory in

We've just got some pieces of woolly mammoth ivory in stock. It's from Siberia, and between 10 and 40 thousand years old. The mammoths from here were Mammuthus primigenius, one of the last of the mammoth line, and was related to today's Indian elephant. There are bits from £5 to £40, some with the outer 'bark' and some without. 

Mammoth ivory is used today as a substitute for elephant ivory. It's relatively abundant, being thrown up by the gradually thawing permafrost of the Siberian tundra, and the better grades are perfectly suited to carving. Tusks show growth rings, like a tree, and the age of a mammoth can be determined from a cross-section of its tusk. A pair of dark and light rings represent one year, with the lighter ring showing growth over the warmer months.