Understanding Schreger Lines to Identify Mammoth Tusk Ivory

by ani.choudhary on March 5, 2014

Though fakes abound, you can be a cautious buyer and understand the basics about identifying real ivory before you buy it. The main feature of identification of both elephant and mammoth ivory is the inherent cross-hatch pattern which is clearly visible in both these types of ivory. These transient lines are actually organic microscopic tubes commonly known as Schreger Lines.

That is why they cannot be duplicated in fake ivory products and are one of the easiest recognizable aspects of real, genuine ivory. Whether you need to identify elephant ivory or mammoth ivory, these lines need to be present to be qualified as genuine ivory. These lines are easy to see when the ivory has been cut at right angles and especially at the bottom of carved statues or art pieces.

Most of the time Schreger lines are used in the identification of mammoth ivory from banned elephant ivory. If you are looking to buy legal ivory, you certainly do not want to be sold any artifact or sculpture made of elephant ivory as it is illegal to trade in it, worldwide. Lines less than 90 degrees indicate that it is mammoth ivory while Schreger lines of more than 115 degree are seen in elephant ivory.  This is done by studying the patterns on the outer edges not on the center of the tusk.

Unlike fakes which are carved from resins, plastics and other artificial substances, natural ivory is living tissue with a variable form and direction of growth. This is the reason that ivory grain and Schreger lines can only be seen in legal and genuine mammoth and elephant ivory with ease. Check out real mammoth ivory products at http://www.mammothivory.info


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