Piano Lessons / piano parts / Are Ivory Piano Keys Worth Anything? One of the most common questions we get here at the store pertains to ivory keys and whether or not they are worth money. Since ivory is scarce today – and also illegal to buy/sell in many instances – it seems that they might be valuable on the second-hand market.
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.
Key Service: If you are looking to have your old piano keys replaced with plastic or new ivory which is cut from pre-embargo ivory tusks try ww.walkerpiano.com there is a wealth of information on their website which specializes in key cover replacement and sale of used ivory.
Old Piano Ivory Heads & Tails are used by artists, craftsmen, collectors, & hobbyists for ivory jewelry, ivory necklaces, ivory pendants & marquetry inlay. Due to new laws, it is now illegal for us to sell ivory at all (see Elephant Ivory Trade Q&A). However, there are currently no laws prohibiting us from giving it away.
Do you live in the USA? Do you have a piano with ivory keys? You may soon be conducting illegal activity if you try to sell your piano, according to proposed changes by the Obama administration announced on Febraury 11,2014. First of all, I want to clear the air by saying that I don’t believe… Read More
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One of the most common questions we receive is whether ivory piano keys are worth money. Indeed, ivory is illegal to buy and sell in most places today. Since ivory is scarce, it makes sense to think that they have some value if in good condition. Sadly, this is far from the case. Understanding "Ivory Keys" Through the 1940s, the white keys of a piano, also called the naturals, were cover...
Nonetheless, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed new regulations regarding ivory that will affect the sale and transportation of pianos with ivory keytops. The new Federal regulations will effectively eliminate the import and export of pianos with ivory keys, and would prohibit most sales of ivory-keyed pianos across state lines.
The truth is, if you are in possession of a piano built pre-1950, your piano keys are almost certainly covered with ivory. There’s also the consideration of maintenance and repair–ivory keys should be replaced with ivory keys, both to maintain the value of the instrument, and for aesthetic reasons.
Because of the way ivory was harvested, it was necessary that one piano key be made with two pieces of ivory, not just one. The head of the key is the part that sticks out in front of the black keys, and the tail is the thinner part of the key that is between the black keys.