has been used in arts and crafts for as long or
longer than ivory and there are beautiful items made
from bone. Many larger pieces would just be too
expensive to market if made from ivory. Bone also
provides an affordable alternative to ivory and many
pieces rival the beauty of ivory, but from a
very easy to identify, but often hard to accept,
especially if you invested a considerable sum for a
particular piece. Unlike teeth and tusks, bones have
tiny canals that run through them to carry nutrients
and house nerves and other organic material. Often
times, some of this organic material adheres to the
walls of these canals and turns dark as it decays.
In well bleached pieces, this organic material may
be very hard to see but the canals are still there
and will show if you move the piece back and forth
to reflect the light.
of dark spots and/or canals are generally easy to
spot and resemble Dad's face at bedtime or Saturday
afternoon. Scroll down for pictures of bone pieces
with the dark patches visible.
tell-tale sign that a larger piece is made of bone
is that numerous pieces of bone need to be glued
together or Laminated to make an item larger than a
couple inches wide. Here are some pictures of
laminated bone. Look for the seams.