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TOM BUCKLEY

Is a mammoth tusk ivory or has it been mineralized? Thanks.

 

Tom

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Hi,

 

Did you forgot your pic ? (If I well understand your question).

 

Coco

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TOM BUCKLEY
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Coco said:

Hi,

 

Did you forgot your pic ? (If I well understand your question).

 

Coco

Coco,

I was asking about mammoth tusks in general,  not a specific specimen.

 

Tom

Edited by TOM BUCKLEY
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OK Tom, I wasn't sure I well understood ;)

 

Coco

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TOM BUCKLEY
2 minutes ago, Coco said:

OK Tom, I wasn't sure I well understood ;)

 

Coco

:thumbsu:

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fossilus

If you are asking about tusks that come from permafrost, those are probably most often not mineralized as there is really no way to get minerals into the tusk that is in frozen ground. They need treatment to get them to not fall apart.

I've seen pieces of tusk here in Texas that range from poorly mineralized (crumble when you pick them up) to heavily mineralized. I've seen piles of shards that used to be tusk.

I know that most of the tusk material I pick up needs to be treated.

 

For me, most of what I see is not so much like true ivory, as in having the same properties (density and strength) as modern elephant ivory.  Also it is often poorly mineralized at best.

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TOM BUCKLEY
17 hours ago, fossilus said:

If you are asking about tusks that come from permafrost, those are probably most often not mineralized as there is really no way to get minerals into the tusk that is in frozen ground. They need treatment to get them to not fall apart.

I've seen pieces of tusk here in Texas that range from poorly mineralized (crumble when you pick them up) to heavily mineralized. I've seen piles of shards that used to be tusk.

I know that most of the tusk material I pick up needs to be treated.

 

For me, most of what I see is not so much like true ivory, as in having the same properties (density and strength) as modern elephant ivory.  Also it is often poorly mineralized at best.

 

This particular tusk came from the North Sea so it's been in salt water rather than permafrost. I guess what I was really asking is..........is the ivory replaced by minerals, as in fossilization, or is it still chemically ivory? It seems to me that Pleistocene material isn't old enough to have been mineralized.

 

Tom

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fossilus
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TOM BUCKLEY said:

 

This particular tusk came from the North Sea so it's been in salt water rather than permafrost. I guess what I was really asking is..........is the ivory replaced by minerals, as in fossilization, or is it still chemically ivory? It seems to me that Pleistocene material isn't old enough to have been mineralized.

 

Tom

I would think that if it was lying on the seabed that it would likely not be mineralized.

Edited by fossilus
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pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon

Unfortunately can't give you a definite answer as I don't believe the chemical composition of mammoth ivory has been compared to that of modern elephants, but from what I've seen of North Sea ivory in terms of it flaking and responding to exposure to sunlight in much the same way as elephant tusk, I'd say it's not (and certainly not heavily) mineralised. The fact that it's often so indistinguishable from modern elephant ivory is one of the reasons it's favoured so much in Asian/Chinese traditional crafts production, and that it causes problems in law enforcement in countries such as the Netherlands, where trade in modern ivory is restricted, but mammoth ivory is not.

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TOM BUCKLEY
27 minutes ago, pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon said:

Unfortunately can't give you a definite answer as I don't believe the chemical composition of mammoth ivory has been compared to that of modern elephants, but from what I've seen of North Sea ivory in terms of it flaking and responding to exposure to sunlight in much the same way as elephant tusk, I'd say it's not (and certainly not heavily) mineralised. The fact that it's often so indistinguishable from modern elephant ivory is one of the reasons it's favoured so much in Asian/Chinese traditional crafts production, and that it causes problems in law enforcement in countries such as the Netherlands, where trade in modern ivory is restricted, but mammoth ivory is not.

 

Thank you all for your informative answers. I have a more complete understanding of mammoth ivory now.

 

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...
Bone Daddy

I've found a lot of Pleistocene tusk material in the Peace River in Florida. Most of it is mushy and soft and falls apart quite easily. Some of it is pretty hard and likely to be partially mineralized. Most of the hard pieces I have seen are smaller broken fragments that have been river-tumbled. Not sure why those start to mineralize and others don't. Both of the larger tusk sections I have found were soft and required stabilization.

 

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