How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Doris Your Own Question
Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9642
Experience:  Antiques store owner 10+yrs.Best of City Two Years. Collector 56+yrs.USPAP compliant. Member AOA.Founded part of antiques, silver & art collection at local museum.
Type Your Antiques Question Here...
Doris is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have anecklace, I. Have a bracelet, necklace made of

Customer Question

I have anecklace
JA: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: I. Have a bracelet , necklace made of carved beads that I think are ivory. How Cani tell for sure it is I ory
JA: Is there anything else the Antiques Appraiser should be aware of?
Customer: ivory. I think it is old. I am almost 80 and have had it quite a while. It has screw in beads to hold it together si it can be a necklace and bracelet or put together for a longer neck piece .
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques collector, dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you.

To tell if your pieces are ivory, see below quoted from reputable online specialist.

I have always used the needle/burn method.

  • "Get or use a jewelers loop (or a good magnifying lens) and study the item carefully. You will be looking for little streaks or pores known as "Haversian System" which, if the signs are all there, indicates that it is bone, not ivory.
  • Bone and Ivory weigh more than a synthetic material such as celluloid which is oftentimes confused as ivory. "Knock" on the item and listen carefully... bone and ivory will sound less hollow than plastic or celluloid. Plastic has a different sound when it's tapped versus bone and ivory.
  • True ivory will yellow naturally with age. The darker the color, the older the ivory is. However, be careful when looking to buy an item that's been identified as "antique ivory" as there are people out there who will try to take ivory and darken it using tea or other means to make it appear older than what it really is. There is an easy way to tell if it's been artificially aged: Take some saliva on your fingertip and rub the ivory. If color comes off on your finger or the area you cleaned is lighter than the rest of the item then it's been colored to fake it's age. This will only work with saliva.
  • Another surefire way to tell between bone and plastic versus ivory is to take a needle and burn it with a lighter until it's red hot. Then take the needle and touch the ivory in a non-conspicuous spot. True ivory cannot be burned but if it's bone or plastic a burn mark will be left. This tip was given from an episode of Flea Market Mania.
  • Hold the ivory up under strong lighting and look closely for a "cross hatch" or wavy pattern. If you can see it then turn the angle 90 degrees and check again. If it's true ivory you will be able to see it the first time but not be able to see it once you turn the angle 90 degrees. It will also appear as a pearlescent."

Unfortunately, I must tell you that ivory is on the "Endangered Species" list of items banned for sale. I used to sell antique ivory in my former store but it was over 100 years old and I had a license to sell antique items on the endangered list.

The license was issued here in the US by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Agency.

However, the laws have become much more strict lately. You will need to check with the appropriate authorities in your country to see what the current laws are.

As carved faux ivory or bone, necklaces sell for about $150; bracelets, $80-90; earrings 60-90 all assuming good condition.

In general, a private seller to a dealer, via consignment or at auction can expect 30-50% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 10% more than retail values.

I hope I have helped you.

If I can help you with further questions about this answer, please let me know before you rate me.

All my answers are quoted in USA dollars.

I endeavor to give realistic, honest answers in a timely manner.

Please take a little time to give me a POSITIVE RATING NOW SO THAT I AM CREDITED BY JA for my knowledge, time and effort.

Please do not rate me down because of system difficulty.

Please let me know if you have difficulty with the site's rating system. To rate me, you should see 5 stars near my answer. 5 stars gives me the best rating.

Kind regards.


If you would like to use me on any future questions, requesting me expires in a short time. If you put "For Doris Only" as the first of three words of the question, most professionals on the site will respect that request.

Expert:  Doris replied 10 months ago.

Hi there!

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help or do you have more questions about your item that would help?

Kind regards,