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New bans on ivory

FYI copying this from another list for anyone operating or shipping
to New Jersey or New York.


In June, the sale of all antique elephant ivory and fossil
mammoth ivory has been banned in New York and New Jersey. For
some reason teeth are also included.

States Ban the sale or trade of Mammoth Ivory Tusks and Teeth.
AAPS, Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences

New York Passes Law Banning Sale of
Elephant & Mammoth Ivory, Jewels du Jour

A related web page is:

Elephant versus mammoth ivory

That is the most ludicrous law yet. Fossil Ivory, and the only
reason I can see for it is that they admit their law enforcement is
too stupid to learn the difference. If they are that stupid then I
guess next all plastic, french ivory will be next to be banned.

I agree with the bans on new ivory of any type. However the depth to
where this ban goes in some states also includes the bridges, nuts,
and string pins on my 60 year old Guild and Martin guitars. This is
a stupid enforcement of an otherwise good law. Unless some sensible
clarification is made I will be a criminal just for possessing these
instruments in some jurisdictions.

Don Meixner

An additional part of the regulation is mammoth Ivory. The are
already extint and certainly not an endangered or threatened animal.
As a person that embellished knife handles with exotic materials. I
have felt that mammoth ivory is certainly cool to use. Oh well, no
mention about Walrus ivory…

California has passed similar laws on ivory and it is stifling
legitimate business even with antique ivory.

But why would they impose laws on Mammoth ivory? Are they endangered
too? More nanny state. The US consumes a small fraction of elephant
ivory, the vast majority goes to Asia. Making it illegal here will
barely help the elephants abroad. The same goes for bear, tiger,
rhino parts/products. Don’t get me started on that! Sam

We had warned all orchid subscribers along time ago about the ban
andwhat outrageous stipulations the US wildlife was setting and
customson it. Bobby Mann the for most expert on ivory and a teacher
of it warned many groups. He is the President of the Greater
Washington DC GIA alumni Association and should be contacted there
if you wish to fight these stipulations.

What this will mean is that any and all ivory held by anyone will be
confiscated by the US Government without payment or restitution It
also means they can come into your place of business or home and if
they think its ivory they keep it even though it could be bone,
antler, horn, wart hog tusk or teeth or even old legal mammoth ivory
or even plastic by untrained customs or government officials It also
means that the government will be taking and can take all museums
ivory collections (legal) as well as even the Smithsonians and as
well your old legal ivory jewelryor anything looking like ivory,
pianos(keys) guitars, and any string instruments, etc enator to do
away wi.

You will spend thousands on legal fees and in court and get nothing
I know this as a friend of mine bought $100,000 of tanzanite in
Tanzania from a company there on a trip with a legal bill of sale,
duty, and legal export papers, etc from tanzania about 6 or 7 years
ago US customs kept he package he had sent and despite over a
$100,000 investment as they claimed he had bought it from a
terrorist group. His lawyer proved to the Judge and court that he
had no knowledge the seller was terrorist. Yet despite two court
cases he never got back his tanzanite and neither could Senator
Spector at thetime. I happened to ask Senator Spector why he was not
given back his goods as customs and the courts had cleared him of
having any knowledge the seller was a terrorist. Spector could do
nothing. I asked if there was a list of such companies for foreign
buyers so that I or others would not be dealing with a terrorist
owned business. I was told by Spector, Customs and the US Homeland
Security that such lists were secret and not available for anyone
doing business overseas Yet its the US innocent buyer and business
that is out $100,000 !! I would strongly suggest you contact your
congressman as US Customs and Wildlife has gone way way too far on
this matter. By the way if you aren’t aware illegal ivory gathered
by the Tanzanian, Kenyan and other governments from poachers is sold
at auctionto international buyers(chinese, etc) and allowed out of
Kenya or tanzania Yet such ivory is illegal to be in the USA
although sold legally at auction by certain African governments This
is just how stupid and ignorant our US government officials are !!
Contact Mr Bobby Mann Ivory Expert and organizer President
Washington DC GIA alumni society to support him and others. before
no legal ivory or anything that looks like ivory is forever gone
even in our museums, etc

Lee Horowitz M. Ed, CAGS

Sounds like destruction of the world’s cultural heritage to me.
Perhaps there should be an exit channel made available to get
culturally important items to safety in another country if the US is
determined on destruction.

Anyone for burning books?

There are 3 bills in congress now that will stop a federal law on
the ivoryban but it also needs to be addressed at the state level. A
good site is

Also know that the AAPS, Association of Applied Paleontological
Sciences is also fighting for clarity in state laws and also there
are 3 bills in Congress against federal banning of antique Ivory
trading. These laws must also be fought on state levels. Obviously,
this law affects artisans and jewelers. From instrument collectors
to knife makers and to scrim artists like myself banning Mammoth
Ivory yet no mention Of fossil walrus ivory. It is just ludicrous
waste of time and money by people ignorant of the benefit of fossils
trade to the sciences and arts.


What happens to resale of old pianos with ivory keys?

The government can take any ivory period including legal old ivory
IT doesn’t matter under these new regulations Contact Bobby Mann
President and world ivory expert at Washington DC GIA alumni Society
or also the alumni society itself.

Lee Horowitz

I suspect the motive for the change is the current bans on (for want
of a better term) new ivory are clearly not working. Closing any loop
hole possible.

The problem is also US customs as well as US wildlife officials have
no clue or no training as to what mammoth ivory is versus anything
else including plastic., bone, antler, etc so that everything can be

Lee Horowitz


So far the governments response on anny illegal sales are to
confiscate and burn them. I assume they will be using books as
kindling. it hurts to even think of this waste of taxpayers money
and time let alone the destruction of historical artifacts and
antique musical instruments.


Where has this law passed?

I’m curious about old piano keys too as I have several I haven’t
used yet and bought years ago thinking they would be okay because
they were post ban.

Feeling a bit guilty for even owning them.

I was born in Kenya, where elephant used to roam in their thousands.
I returned for a holiday after 40 years and was horrified by how few
remain - to see a family group of a dozen, mostly immature animals is
cause for excitement. The reason - ivory poaching. I’m in Australia,
so not familiar with the proposed laws; nor do I know how difficult
it is to tell the difference between ivory from a modern elephant and
mammoth ivory.

However, I’m certain the majority of Ganoksin contributors would not
wish to be party in any way to hastening the extinction of African or
Asian elephants.

I couldn’t agree with you more, Jane. I have some beautiful carved
component pieces made from mammoth ivory, and I would be sad to lose
them, but now I wouldn’t dream of using them in anything made to sell
or even to wear myself.

I also have small pieces of old elephant ivory that I collected over
the years that I had expected to use in jewelry but now won’t, not
only because of the new rules, but because I can’t be certain that
ANY decorative ivory use doesn’t somehow add to the desire for ivory,
and by extension, to more poaching to obtain the ivory.

Losing access to beautiful, historically significant art made with
ivory is difficult to contemplate, and surely a heavy price to pay,
but the continued poaching-to-extinction of ivory bearing animal
species is certainly far, far worse, is vastly more significant and
ethically indefensible.

I recall the response of Buddhist leaders when the Taliban destroyed
the ancient, towering, stone Buddha sculptures in Afghanistan, maybe
a year before 9/11, and the rest of the world was up in arms about
it: All life is impermanence. Nothing is meant to last forever;
everything transcends.

Of course we do not wish to hasten the extinction of any animal.
However, these laws are not going to change anything. We HAVE
existing laws regulating all of the trade of pre-ban ivory and
fossils. This legislation is not of need it is of ego. The
politicians unfortunately including President Obama are using this
topic as eco-friendly propaganda. It is also a matter of lobbyist
groups paying for these incentives by lining politicians pockets
with cash.

I would think our President has bigger things to worry about than
banning all sales of pre-ban ivory and fossilized mammoth ivory.
They intend to confiscate it and BURN IT. How many artifacts and
antique historical musical instruments will be lost to thoughtless
political tripe.

I imagine they will be lighting the fires with rare books using the
trampled constitution as tinder.

p. s. if they really knew what they were talking about… I mean
they didn’t ban fossilized walrus ivory. it is just slip shod
political nonsense wasting time from more important matters.

Teri Davis

The facts are and my wife and family are kenyan and many live in
Nairobi, Voi, etc THE Kenyan government legally sells poached ivory
at auction and the Chinese cant buy enough In fact the Chinese
Government and embassy as well as Chinese citizens and military along
with corrupt Kenyan politicians, police, customs etc are in on the
poaching Read the New York Times article. The same has gone on in
Tanzania. It is the Chinese who are the biggest buyers legally and
the sole buyers illegally with pacts with the poachers. As examples a
wholehidden van of tusk was discovered owned by an employee of the
Chinese embassy. Chinese Military high ranking personnelhave been
caught with such and let go due to diplomatic immunity. It is also
smuggled out with customs officials paid off at both ends, in Kenya
or Tanzania and in China. It is smuggled in diplomatic pouches by
chinese and others from the embassy. YOu would noteven know what goes
on in Kenya EVen banned congolese diamonds end up in New York NY via
diplomatic kenyan pouches by the highest government officials in
kenya (I cant say who for fear ofmy families well being in Kenya). I
can assure you parliment members, police, even higher up then
parliment members and families are involved in illegal trading.

Thus confiscating old ivory. legal ivory or banning such here solves
none of the problem Maybe our government and homeland security ought
to start an especially the Kenyan and Tanzanian governments ought to
start scanning and searching diplomatic baggage, pouches and packages
of the real smugglers of ivory, diamonds, etc It starts way way up in
the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments with and goes directly to the
Chinese embassy.

Lee Horowitz