Difference between Ivory and Bone

Ivory vs. Bone

What is difference between Ivory and Bone? There are many products and crafts available which are made of ivory and bone. Sometimes these products are expensive due to the base material and its design. But there are also fake products. The fake products are made of cheap plastics or other materials that are similar to ivory and bone. You should be able to differentiate between the fake of the originals as well as to differentiate between the ivory and the bone.

Difference between Ivory and Bone

Ivory is dead matter like nails and hair. It comes from the teeth and fangs of mammals. The most popular ivory is that which comes from the tusks of elephants. The teeth of seals are also considered a good ivory. Another type of real ivory comes from hippos, mammoths, wild boar and mastodon. The ivory obtained from Asian elephants is much more white and dense than the tusks of African elephants. Asian ivory is much softer.

The bone will always have pores on the surface and these pores look black or brown. The pores are the result of the blood vessels that run through them. They are not visible to the naked eye. You would have to use a magnifying glass to see them. If you look at the ivory, you will notice that instead of pores, there are some lines. These lines can be cross-shaped or circular.

Fake ivory will have bone or ivory dust. A test can be done to identify the false ivory of the true one. In this test, a person will try to make a hole in the ivory. If the ivory is not real, the pin will go through the ivory. By doing this simple test you can identify the real ivory. While if the bone is exposed to heat, it will be painted smoke color.

The ivory is much harder than the bone therefore it is not easy to make some ripping in a piece of ivory as it could be done in a bone. The ivory, if it were to break can be easily stuck, but if it breaks into pieces it is very difficult to stick. You can easily stick the ivory because of its smooth and shiny texture. But the bone is very dry, so it is not possible to stick bones without it being noticed very easily.

In Summary:

  1. Ivory comes from the teeth and fangs of mammals while bone is a component of the skeletal system.
  2. The bones have tiny pores due to the presence of blood vessels that run through them. Ivory has lines or circles.
  3. The bones are very dry and rough in texture. Ivory has a smooth and shiny texture.
  4. Ivory is harder than bone, therefore it cannot break easily.
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