View Full Version : Question Re: Elephant ivory

07-02-2003, 09:41 AM
Well I posted this in General Knife Discussion but didn't get any replies, I hope my luck is a bit better here.

I'm from Toronto, Canada and very new to knifemaking. A good friend of mine gave me a fairly large piece of what I'm quite sure is elephant ivory!
It came from a very old desk set (his grandfather was a missionary doctor in Africa)--the kind with a pen holder and a couple of cups for pencils and paper clips. I figure I can get at least 2-3 good pairs of scales from the outer bark and at least as many core slabs as its about 10-12" long by about 3" across and about an inch thick.

Are there any laws that would prevent me doing so? I'm sure the ivory is from before the ban, but of course there is no paperwork to support that claim.

If I use the ivory to make a knife for myself and not for sale would it make a difference.

I don't approve in any way of poaching or illegal slaughter of animals for this type of material but it seems like a waste considering the age of this ivory.

Any advice you could give is greatly appreciated



Don Cowles
07-02-2003, 09:57 AM
Canadian/provincial laws may well be different from US law. With that caveat, my guess is the artifacts you have are probably worth more as they are than they would be as knife handles.

Legal elephant and mammoth ivory is available from many sources. Check for sample pricing.

07-02-2003, 07:56 PM

Unfortunately the desk set was in sorry shape, the ivory was pretty much garbage-picked.

The only info I've been able to find is about how import/export of ivory is prohibited, nothing regarding ivory thats been here for many years. I think I'm going to send an email to the CITES office in Ottawa.

I have to say that anytime I've had a question about knifemaking the answer has been somewhere in these forums. Its been an invaluable tool and a tremendous source of information.

Thanks again for the help