Ivory facts

Ivory tusk
  • People have used ivory ever since the days of the cave men.
  • The Egyptians had many beautiful ivory objects, and India has long been famous for its intricate ivory carvings.
  • Ivory is a type of tooth dentine present in the tusks of certain animals. 
  • The word ivory likely derives from the Ancient Egyptian âb, âbu "elephant", through the Latin ebor- or ebur.
  • Ivory is harder than bone. Its chief source is elephant tusks.
  • The ivory in the tusks of an adult elephant may weigh as much as 90 kg.
  • Ivory can be carved easily. It can be beautifully polished, too.
  • Ivory products include piano keys, billiards balls, chessmen, knife handles and carved ornaments.
  • King Solomon, the Bible tells us, had a whole throne carved out of ivory.
  • Some ivory is found buried in the ground in northern countries. It comes from the tusks of mammoths and mastodons that lived there thousands of years ago during the great Ice Age. A little ivory comes from walrus tusks.
  • The chemical composition of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same regardless of the species of origin.