How Much Is Ivory Worth? (2022 Numbers)

Last Updated on April 24, 2022

Ivory comes from a highly respected animal, the elephant, that’s why it became a status symbol. Ivory is fairly easy to carve into works of art and its cultural uses make it highly prized.

The high point trading of ivory in Africa was from the 15th through the 19th centuries which eventually expanded to Europe and beyond. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the demand for ivory has drastically increased.

Keep on reading to learn more about Ivory and its value.

How much is ivory worth?

The price currently paid for raw ivory is between $597 per kg and $689 per kg. Meanwhile, a single pound of ivory can sell for $3,300 and $200 an ounce.

What is ivory?

Ivory is actually massive teeth that protrude beyond the mouths of elephants. Just like human teeth, these tusks are deeply rooted. 

Much of the tusk is made up of hard, dense tissue. The tusk is wrapped in enamel, which is the hardest animal tissue.

Is ivory worth more than gold?

Newfound wealth in Asian countries like Thailand and China is fueling demand for ivory causing prices to skyrocket. With that said, the massive teeth are worth more than gold.

How can you tell if ivory is real?

By observing the tunnels in the bones, authentic ivory has no striations. 

Because of ivory’s high value, many sellers try to imitate it with bone or even plastic, making it feel like real ivory. So, it’s important to check it thoroughly or ask help from the experts.

Who are the biggest buyers of ivory?

China is by far the biggest importer of ivory. Other countries like the United States, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Germany and Thailand import ivory directly from Russia.

Is owning ivory illegal?

Yes, owning ivory, possessing or displaying ivory is illegal if it was not lawfully acquired. Federal wildlife laws and regulations such as AfECA, CITES and the ESA prohibit the illegal ownership.

Is antique ivory valuable?

Antique dealers are in a tough spot actually since the value of antique ivory is still unclear. Ivory dealers once placed antique ivory at nearly $12 billion, however the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reiterated that it should be less than 1% of that.

What is ivory still used for?

Billiard balls, piano, organ keys and decorative are just some of the commercial uses of ivory. Meanwhile, ivory is used for electrical appliances and electrical equipment in the modern industry.

Does real ivory turn yellow?

Yes. Ivory quickly absorbs moisture, affecting its color overtime and develops surface coloring called a patina. The change of color is an indication of aging.

Can you bleach ivory?

Yes. While bleaching can whitens the ivory, it can damage it and make it more prone to cracking. 

If you need to clean your ivory, you can use lemon juice instead.

How can you tell the difference between bone and ivory?

Ivory tends to feel slightly smoother than bone. If your item feels rougher to touch, this may be an indication that you’re holding a bone. 

Ivory feels buttery smooth. Still, you need to do additional testing to confirm the authenticity.