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The laws of Ivory: The Truth of Buying and Owning It
Ebay ^ | May 4, 2010 | scrimshander2

Posted on 02/16/2014 12:17:28 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

The biggest misconception that we hear or read about is that "all ivory is ILLEGAL to own, buy or sell". If you believe this statement then I will be selling a beautiful bridge, located in New York, on EBAY next week... no reserve! In the next few paragraphs I have put together a simple summary of the INTERNATIONAL and U.S.FISH & WILDLIFE laws which regulate the commerce of ivory, which in turn is regulated by C.I.T.E.S. (Convention on the International Trade in endangered Species) and the 'Marine Mammal Protection Act'. C.I.T.E.S. is an organization that was formed in 1973 as a multinational protege of the United Nations to meet every 2 years to review data and set quotas to maintain levels of protection on species of both plant and animal. Here's what they say on regulation of ivories:

AFRICAN ELEPHANT: This is on the C.I.T.E.S. endangered species list. The importation, selling and buying of this ivory IS NOT ALLOWED INTERNATIONALLY. It cannot be exported or imported to the U.S. and most of the countries delegated to the U.N., BUT... it is LEGAL TO OWN, SELL, BUY, or SHIP within the boundaries of the U.S. and there are NO PERMITS or REGISTRATION requirements! *The majority of african elephant ivory is "old estate" ivory that was brought into this country since its' inception.

ASIAN ELEPHANT : Also on the C.I.T.E.S. Endangered species list and is ILLEGAL to buy, trade, sell, import or export anywhere internationally or INTERSTATE within the U.S.

MAMMOTH/MASTEDON: These are two distinctively different animals for one thing but the ivory is difficult to distinguish between the two. These mammals are extinct and were on this earth 10 to 40,000 years ago so this ivory is COMPLETELY UNRESTRICTED! Distinguishing the difference between Mammoth/Mastedon ivory and Elephant ivory is determined by the angles where the cross grain lines bisect each other. Angles greater than 120% indicate elephant ivory and angles less than 90% indicate Mammoth/Mastedon ivory. Other distinctions include the color of the inner layers of the ivory and the outer layer referred to as the 'bark'.

HIPPO/WARTHOG: These species are protected but not endangered. Because of over population and a danger to humans, these animals are legally hunted by regulation for 'cull' purposes. Permits and documentation are required for importing or exporting this ivory but once it is in the U.S., NO PERMITS OR DOCUMENTS ARE NECESSARY to buy or sell interstate.

SPERM WHALE: An endangered species and regulated since 1973 by The Marine Mammal Protection Act. NO IMPORTATION/EXPORTATION PERIOD! Interstate sales of REGISTERED PRE-ACT teeth with SCRIMSHAW is allowed under a special Federal Permit. Unregistered pre-act teeth can NO LONGER BE REGISTERED and CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED across interstate lines for commercial purposes. THEY CAN BE SOLD 'INTRASTATE' so long as STATE LAW does not prohibit it!

ANTIQUE (100 YRS +) Scrimshaw Teeth can be sold Interstate.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: buying; elephant; ivory; selling
I have a piece of elephant tusk about 12" long which my parents purchased in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. It was legally brought in upon our return from Asia in 1969. It was given to me after my father's death in 2006. What are the laws regulating this piece of ivory?
1 posted on 02/16/2014 12:17:28 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
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To: All

Oh, and by the way, I am NOT going to respond to any hateful comments, so don’t waste your time.


2 posted on 02/16/2014 12:19:24 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I bought an ivory spoon in an antique store


3 posted on 02/16/2014 12:22:35 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Only elephants need ivory.


4 posted on 02/16/2014 12:22:40 PM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: yldstrk
Here's another story:

Click here for Washington Post story.

5 posted on 02/16/2014 12:23:41 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

Well, apparently other collectors feel the need for it as well. This piece is from a 1962-63 purchase well BEFORE any restrictions were in place. It’s mine and it’s going to stay mine.


6 posted on 02/16/2014 12:26:28 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
What are the laws regulating this piece of ivory?

ASIAN ELEPHANT : Also on the C.I.T.E.S. Endangered species list and is ILLEGAL to buy, trade, sell, import or export anywhere internationally or INTERSTATE within the U.S.

Looks like you have a keeper piece unless you can sell it to someone in your state.

7 posted on 02/16/2014 12:26:56 PM PST by xone
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I also have old ivory from Hong Kong, purchased in the early Seventies, that I inherited. If I had the receipts I certainly would be more comfortable about showing the pieces to others. It seems that you can hold onto the ivory you have but may have difficulty in selling the ivory.


8 posted on 02/16/2014 12:28:25 PM PST by 12Gauge687
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To: ilovesarah2012
Only elephants need ivory.

Walruses might hate life without it, as would sperm whales. Hippos couldn't chomp those navigating african rivers without it. If the animal is dead they have no use of it. Kill poachers. If legally obtained, one should be able to sell it. Kill poachers.

9 posted on 02/16/2014 12:30:49 PM PST by xone
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
The sale of antique ivory and scrimshaw will go underground.

Anyone who has paid wads of money for the stuff knows where to go to sell it when the time comes.

I'm told that the CEO of Yum Brands (Taco Hell, Pizza Hut, KFC) is one of the largest collectors of antique scrimshaw and is actively trying to stop the restrictions.

A friend of mine recounted an incident that happened in England not too long ago, where some prisoner of war scrimshaw was impounded and then was ground to bits to destroy it.

This madness needs to end. There's no good reason to destroy works of art, antiques, and utilitarian goods that were made long ago. It's not going to bring any elephant back to life, all it does is make the animal whackos feel good.

10 posted on 02/16/2014 12:34:02 PM PST by Lovely-Day-For-A-Guinness (Eenie meanie, chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak....)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Ayers has a jar full of human teeth.


11 posted on 02/16/2014 12:35:22 PM PST by Track9 (hey Kalid.. kalid.. bang you're dead)
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To: xone
Looks like you have a keeper piece unless you can sell it to someone in your state.

Yes, apparently so. It is not for sale. Was trying to find a pocket knife with real ivory handles to buy and suddenly discovered all of the restrictions upon reading some more. Wow. The world is going completely down the drain in an unrestricted spiral.

12 posted on 02/16/2014 12:38:03 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
What are the laws regulating this piece of ivory?

It is illegal to own and you would likely go to prison for posessing it.

I'll secretly offer you $10 for it via freepmail and give you my address.

Don't worry, this is our secret and no one will ever know that you are illegally in posession of ivory.........

As a side note, if you should decide not to accept my secret offer, I can't guarantee that the proper authorities won't find out about your illegal contraband........

In other words, I will be making you an offer you can't refuse.......

13 posted on 02/16/2014 12:45:05 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Was Occam's razor made by Gillette?)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I have an ivory necklace of carved elephants brought back from Africa in 1962 by an older brother. Sorta hesitent to wear it. Its like wearing furs..people can get weird.


14 posted on 02/16/2014 12:46:48 PM PST by Conservative4Ever (waiting for my Magic 8 ball to give me an answer)
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15 posted on 02/16/2014 12:52:47 PM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Sounds like it’s “old estate” and can be sold anywhere in the US unconditionally. Export rules are probably different. Certainly nothing illegal about your owning it. Yet.


16 posted on 02/16/2014 12:53:41 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Track9

Or a custom-made leather lampshade.

:^\


17 posted on 02/16/2014 12:55:31 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I’d keep any documentation for the piece close by, the feds are big into ‘seize now, seizee try and prove it later’ activity, like polar bears hunted legally years ago.


18 posted on 02/16/2014 12:55:48 PM PST by xone
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To: Track9
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Ayers has a jar full of human teeth.

It complements his tattooed lampshades so well.

19 posted on 02/16/2014 12:58:05 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Cyber Liberty

Warped minds think alike.


20 posted on 02/16/2014 12:59:02 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Funny how quickly those warped minds converge when the name “Ayers” comes up.


21 posted on 02/16/2014 1:04:41 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Except your likely to get it confiscated no matter and then destroyed before you can prove it’s legal. If you even can.

Right?


22 posted on 02/16/2014 1:27:33 PM PST by Usagi_yo (Standardization is an Evolutionary dead end.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/ivory-age-test-is-key-to-trade-ban-1-1363787

Published today, how about that?


23 posted on 02/16/2014 1:33:16 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ilovesarah2012

Only live elephants need ivory. After they die humans should be tree to enjoy it.


24 posted on 02/16/2014 1:41:17 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

One issue with a lot of pre-ban ivory (and other things like certain rare species of wood) is that you have to be able to prove how old the ivory or wood itself is. If you have ivory keys on a old piano, or inlaid in a vintage Gibson mandolin for example, the age of the instrument is not proof the ivory is pre-ban, you still have to be able to prove that the ivory itself is old enough to allow transport across international borders or to be sold in a commercial transaction in the U.S. (in other words just showing the serial number of the instrument dates it back 1930 means nothing).

Proving how old individual parts of an item are is next to impossible of course, and it’s the reason concert pianists have replaced the ivory keys on old pianos with plastic, and why many musicians have stopped traveling with vintage instruments.

In the U.S. you will probably have the item seized by Customs or the Fish and Wildlife Service but if you can afford an expert witness you have a small chance of getting it back if you show up at a special court that decides these things (assuming it’s legitimately vintage). If you are traveling overseas many countries just automatically seize any ivory or rare woods without regard to age, or items containing them, and there’s zero chance of ever getting it back.

Even in the U.S., if some Gov’t official decides to seize an item, the Gov’t bears no burden at all to prove anything, it will be 100% up to you to have documentation in order to get it back.


25 posted on 02/16/2014 1:43:40 PM PST by Stevenc131
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

” it is LEGAL TO OWN, SELL, BUY, or SHIP within the boundaries of the U.S. and there are NO PERMITS or REGISTRATION requirements!”

That is, unless Gibson wants to use it for guitar inlays!


26 posted on 02/16/2014 1:47:39 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Cyber Liberty

“Or a custom-made leather lampshade.”

Custom-crafted by Ed Gein?


27 posted on 02/16/2014 1:48:36 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

“They’re ivory. Only a pimp from a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would carry a pearl-handled pistol.”

George S. Patton


28 posted on 02/16/2014 1:55:23 PM PST by Einherjar
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To: Tijeras_Slim

This states only ivory from elephants alive pre-1947 is legal.

I have ivory purchased in the South Pacific in 1975 and presumably from China. It could easily come from elephants alive after 1947, yet when I purchased it and brought it into the US, it was legal.

OTOH, one of my smaller pieces is likely not ivory at all, but bone. I see pieces on eBay all the time that resemble my ivory and they all say *bone* and are priced accordingly.

At one time, several years ago, my large, common, carved ivory bridge was selling on eBay for $1500 or more. I believe I paid around $250 for it in 1975. I believe I bought it in Australia.


29 posted on 02/16/2014 2:21:49 PM PST by reformedliberal
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To: freedomfiter2

Well, a lot die to get their ivory.

Two-thirds of forest elephants killed by ivory poachers in past decade

The forest elephants of Africa have lost almost two-thirds of their number in the past decade due to poaching for ivory, a landmark new study revealed on Tuesday. The research was released at an international wildlife summit in Bangkok where the eight key ivory-trading nations, including the host nation Thailand and biggest market China, have been put on notice of sweeping trade sanctions if they fail to crack down on the trade.

“The analysis confirms what conservationists have feared: the rapid trend towards extinction – potentially within the next decade – of the forest elephant,” said Samantha Strindberg of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), one of 60 scientists on the research team.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/05/two-thirds-forest-elephants-killed


30 posted on 02/16/2014 3:14:31 PM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Well, it won’t do the elephant any good now.


31 posted on 02/16/2014 3:15:12 PM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Giving up your piece of ivory is not going to bring the elephant back to life.


32 posted on 02/16/2014 3:59:01 PM PST by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: ilovesarah2012

What about Walrus tusk?


33 posted on 02/16/2014 4:07:42 PM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about walrus tusks. Or boar tusks. Or any other tusks. Walrus tusks seem to be for sale all over the internet, though.


34 posted on 02/16/2014 4:34:50 PM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Just posted to check on the law about the trading of ivory and now the elephant-huggers come out of the woodwork. Where did all of this empathy for elephants come from when there is little or no empathy from that side of the aisle for the unborn and knockout game victims? This nation is upside down already.
35 posted on 02/16/2014 7:07:31 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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