Ivory is opulent and lustrous, adorning royal palaces and one of the most preferred materials for inlay for centuries. Today due to the incessant poaching, elephant ivory is banned worldwide. However, the demand for ivory has not gone down and to fill the gap, mammoth tusk ivory is in vogue. The large and husky wooly mammoths perished in the last Ice Age and the freezing Tundra permafrost has managed to preserve the ivory well.
Although there are numerous scrimshaws, netsuke and tusk carvings that are available at different prices, if you are not sure about the authenticity of the mammoth ivory sculpture you have bought, it is time to know more about it. As fake abound online, it is essential to view the mammoth ivory art piece virtually and check for the inherent criss-cross pattern on the tusks, figurines and even netsuke. Look at areas where there is no or less carving on the sculpture and check for inherent criss-cross V-shaped patterned lines on legal ivory.
Additionally, look for bone lamination and joints. High value mammoth ivory tusk carvings are crafted from a single piece. If you see numerous bone lamination, it can be a sign of making the sculpture from animal bone and not ivory. However, brown pigmentation on natural mammoth ivory is common due to the seepage of various soil minerals within the porous organic ivory as it lay buried under the permafrost. The discoloration ranges from dark brown to fawn color and some maybe in shades of grey. Check out more information on mammoth ivory carvings and sculptures at http://www.mammothivory.info