Intense studies and lab research has shown that mammoth tusks that were frozen in clear waters resulted in white ivory even after polishing and cutting has been done. The large crosshatch pattern or Schreger lines are clearly visible in mammoth ivory as compared to the inherent patterns on elephant ivory.
For minerals colors to seep in from the soil to the ivory takes at least 10,000 years and when you see a dark piece of ivory or hues of colors on the outer mammoth tusk, know that it has been there for a long, long time. The darker the color and penetration to the inner layers means that it has been buried in mineral rich permafrost for the longest number of years.
Another way to date mammoth ivory is by the hardness levels. Considering that mammoth ivory is not fossilized due to the fact that the core element still remains ivory and have not been replaced by minerals that lead to petrification, it can be carved. With the minerals of the soil in which the ivory is buried work up the ivory a few millimeters over thousands of years, dating colored ivory is easier than before. But if the permafrost melts and the mammoth tusks are exposed, the ivory dries up quickly and becomes useless and flaky. This is due to the exposure to direct sunlight which robs the ivory of its inherent moisture and temperature difference leads sudden brittleness. Usually ivory is dried very slowly and that stops it from crumbling.
Ivory has always been a preferred material for royalty and nobility since time immemorial and some of the beautiful statutes and sculptures in medieval churches have been carved in ivory. From crosses, rosaries and figurines, there is a vast and assorted variety of classic Greek and Roam art and later Christian art that is crafted from pure ivory. Going by the traditional cravings and sculptures, even today, the demand for crosses, religious jewelry and artifacts, is high. Though you’ll find most of these items in ivory, the only difference is that today legal mammoth ivory is used to carve them.
Ivory panels, crosses and religious bookmarks since early 4 to 8 century were embellished with gems and metalwork. Usually the carvings of angels, apostles and saints were sculpted on them. Ivory covers were crafted as bindings for manuscripts and ivory plaques were in use. Most of them are spread out through different museums due to its antique value and relevance.
After elephant ivory was banned, mammoth ivory procured from extinct wooly mammoths has become the base for all ivory carvings which are legal for trade worldwide. Though there are numerous replicas of original work, each of them has been crafted with fine details, handcrafted by expert Master artists. You might be interested in looking through some of the most exquisite workmanship and artistic caliber of the artists before adding to your collection. If you are looking for Christian religious art products in mammoth ivory, you’re in luck. Check out a wide range of beautiful products online at www.mammothivory.info