Ivory vases are beautiful decor accessories for home. Authentic ivory vases are made from the tusks and teeth of elephants, whales, and other animals, although this practice is highly illegal in some regions. Today, ivory vases are often imitation, but real ivory does exist, and there are some ways to tell if yours is authentic.
A good way to tell if you have genuine ivory vases is to hold it and feel their weight. Real ivory vases are heavy and dense, and they have a solid, sturdy feel. If you ivory vases are lightweight, they may not be made from real ivory. Because bone can sometimes weigh the same as true ivory, it is a good bet to weigh your item and compare it to similar items you know to be authentic ivory.
Still not convinced to whether or not you have real (or fake) ivory vases? A good test is to run your fingers over the surface, and make a judgement call. Authentic ivory feels very smooth, but not necessarily soft, so be able to discern between the two textures.
A good way to determine if you have genuine ivory on your hands is by running your piece under a magnifying glass and inspecting it thoroughly. Real ivory has a very lustrous and beautiful appearance, and typically has a slight yellow color. Furthermore, the patina may appear brownish if it has been exposed to oil over the years.
Have an ivory bedroom with ivory comforters and ivory pillows, and just want to know if those ivory vases are real? Do your pieces have cross hatched lines running length wise with occasional irregularities? Does the surface have darkened spots or pits? What about small flecks of marrow in the surface? Check your ivory vases carefully for these minute details to determine if you have the real deal!
Still not satisfied? You can heat up a straight pin, hold it over the surface of the vase, and smell the location in which you touched the hot pin to the vase. If you have real genuine ivory vases, you should not be able to smell any odors that were not there before. Furthermore, no damage should be causes by the heated pin, because true ivory should be able to withstand it.
If worst comes to worst, and you just cannot determine whether or not your ivory vases are made from true ivory, take them to a professional and get them tested. Antique dealers can appraise them, or have them chemically tested.