It’s hard to feel good about owning jewelry made from elephant tusks. The nagging thought that an elephant was killed for its tusks adds a lot of guilt to owning jewelry made from ivory.
Russia has come up with a perfect solution to those who want guilt free ivory, and it’s not synthetic. Wooly mammoths last roamed the Russian far east thousands of years ago, but their often well preserved remains are frequently dug up for profit. The London Telegraph reports as follows on Russia’s booming trade in wooly mammoth tusks.
“It is exporting 60 tons of mammoth ivory to China, the world’s biggest ivory market, per year, and scientists estimate there is plenty more where that came from.
In fact, they believe there may be as many as 150 million dead mammoths frozen beneath the Siberian tundra just waiting to be dug up.
“Every year, from mid-June, when the tundra melts, until mid-September, hundreds if not thousands of mostly local people scour the tundra in northern Siberia looking for mammoth tusks,” a new report on the subject said.”
Michelle Obama has reportedly lent her prestige to the new source of ivory by wearing jewelry made from it.
Mammoth ivory is a winning business proposition all around. At over $600 a kilogram, it is a lot more expensive than elephant ivory. And from the viewpoint of conservationists, you can’t kill something that’s already dead. Additionally, the competition with African ivory from live elephants will reduce the price of elephant ivory and discourage poachers. There is one nagging question about ivory from wooly mammoths. How long will it last before it’s all been dug up?