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Bill Da Costa Williams cole7112 HobbittBass Hardaker Luboš

Ivory pick given to me by Samson

Samson just gave me this pick, but it seriously smells like elephant. anyone know how to get rid of the smell? i'm entertaining boiling it, spraying it with cologne, soaping it, etc ...

the thing plays amazingly well; there's no slippage on the thumb.


  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    can you post a picture?
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    Is that Samson the player, or Samson the poacher you are talking about?
  • DuozonaDuozona Phoenix, AZNew
    Posts: 159
    Oh boy, this one could get bad.

    Im sure its faux elephant right nelson?
  • nelsonnelson New
    Posts: 4
    Samson the player. i'll post a pic when sometime later (it's at home).

    naw, it smells too much to be faux. it's real ivory ...
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Hey Nelson, You're not the Nelson that goes to Florida state and plays Classical and Jazz are you??
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • nelsonnelson New
    Posts: 4
    nope, i'm in washington at the moment but live in california.
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Hahaha, I didn't think so but the Nellie made me think again.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    I have worked with ivory for years.. Never had a piece that smelled unless you were cutting it, grinding or burning it.

    Are you sure it's ivory. Does it have visible grain lines, or tiny dark flecks
    If it has dark flecks...could be bone... and a source of bacteria...

    If you want ( at your own risk) soak it in some mouthwash...
    or a tiny amount of bleach in a glass of water..

    Be sure to air dry it for at least a day after soaking for 15 minutes.. again
    at your own risk.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    It's probably Tagua nut. A lot of what is sold as Ivory is Tagua nut and they're not uncommon. Does it have a slightly brownish discoloration in the center of the pick? That's a dead giveaway - the center of the Tagua nut has a void in it and the areas surrounding that void are dark.

    Acutally - I love Tagua picks - they've been used since long before any of us were born. Cheap, renewable - and they play great. My two favorite natural materials are Coconut and Tagua. Both make great picks, IMHO better than Ebony/Rosewood.

    Post a picture and I may be able to tell you.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
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