How do I know if my piano keys are ivory or plastic?

Ivory keys are made in three pieces–key, stem and front, where as plastic keytops only have two pieces–the top and front. If you look closely at the keys, you can see the fine line that is the joint between the keytop and the stem. If this line is present, your keys are indeed ivory.

What are antique piano keys made of?

Plastic keys are less expensive, easier to work with, and less prone to damage, unlike ivory which chips and cracks easily when overused. Pianos built over 300 years ago, had keys made from wood entirely, but then ivory became a preferred material due to its excellent quality and durability.

When did they stop using ivory on piano keys?

Many American piano manufacturers discontinued using ivory in the early 1970s, however, some international manufacturers in parts of Europe and Asia continued using ivory throughout the 1980s, until ivory trade was finally banned in an effort led by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in …

What do I do with old ivory piano keys?

So what can you do with ivory keys you don’t need? The best thing you can do is give them to your piano technician. Many times a technician will keep some ivory key tops with them in case one needs to be replaced on a piano. No two ivories are the same.

How can I tell if something is made of ivory?

The test consists of heating up the point of a needle until it’s red-hot and then pricking what you believe is your ivory carving. If the needle goes in, it’s plastic; if not, it’s probably ivory, or at least bone.

Do ivory piano keys turn yellow?

Whether your piano features ivory or plastic keys, over time they can become yellow and/or faded. Many players accept this as simply part of owning a piano. However, you don’t have to “deal with” unsightly keys.

Is it legal to sell old ivory piano keys?

Selling and trading ivory is illegal.

Ebay, for example, will immediately pull any listing that mentions ivory. You can’t transport ivory overseas, and there are even laws in the United States against carrying ivory over state lines.

Is it illegal to own a piano with ivory keys?

The short answer to this question is no, you can’t buy new pianos with ivory keys anymore. They have been outlawed on new pianos since the 1970s in the United States although some European manufacturers continued to offer ivory keys on select pianos into the 1980’s.

How do I know if my piano keys are Ebony?

It has extremely fine pores and doesn’t absorb sweat or oil from fingers easily. Ebony sharps will eventually begin to show some wear on the keys played most often but they are easily refurbished and will look like new. Tactile feel.

How much is an ounce of ivory worth?

At $200 an ounce, a conservative evaluation of the trade in illegal ivory comes in around $1.44 billion a year—enough to motivate some people to kill.

When did Bosendorfer stop using ivory?

When did Bosendorfer stop using ivory? Although ivory featured only as a thin veneer to cover the keys, it was used on just about every piano up until the 1950s when it was replaced by plastic.

How do you clean ivory piano keys?

When cleaning your ivory piano keys, there is a mild solution of just warm water with a little bit of dish soap that will be sufficient and effective. Be sure that whatever cloth you decide to use, it is best if it is white in color so that no other colors bleed onto the white keys.

Can I sell my antique ivory?

It is now illegal to sell or have the intent to sell ANY IVORY within the State of California or to sell it to any bidders within the State of California REGARDLESS OF THE AGE of the ivory.

Is ivory illegal?

The United States implemented a near-total ban on elephant ivory trade in 2016, and the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other elephant ivory markets followed suit. Most significantly, China took the remarkable step of closing its legal domestic ivory market at the end of 2017.

What is the current price of ivory?

The price currently paid for raw ivory in Asia, according to an investigation by the Wildlife Justice Commission, is currently between $597/kg and $689/kg, in U.S. dollars. Ivory sourced in Africa and sold in Asia has additional costs such as transportation, taxes and broker commissions.

What ivory is legal?

It cannot be raw ivory taken from an animal. There must be less than 200 grams of ivory in the item and it must have been manufactured prior to July 6, 2016. The ivory must be a small part of the overall value of the item and the ivory’s value cannot exceed 50% of the item’s value.

How much is a pound of ivory worth?

Poachers are now slaughtering up to 35,000 of the estimated 500,000 African elephants every year for their tusks. A single male elephant’s two tusks can weigh more than 250 pounds, with a pound of ivory fetching as much as $1,500 on the black market.

What does real ivory look like?

Under normal circumstances, genuine ivory (with no or little patina) should appear white under long wave black light and genuine ivory always has grain. Elephant ivory always has Schreger Lines, a cross hatch pattern, when seen in cross section.

What states can you sell ivory in?

California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington are the only states with their own ivory trading bans. Since 2015 California, for example, has allowed ivory items to be sold within the state only if they’re more than a hundred years old and composed of less than 5 percent ivory.

Does elephant tusks grow back?

Elephant tusks do not grow back, but rhino horns do. An elephant’s tusks are actually its teeth — its incisors, to be exact. … But once removed, these tusks don’t grow back.

How can you tell bone from ivory?