Elk Tooth Jewelry: A Distinctively Western Look
If you have never seen elk tooth jewelry, you may be pleasantly surprised at the beauty and versatility that are available. One of the top elk tooth jewelry artists in the country is Sarah Buckles-Larner the owner of Silver Spur Jewelry in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. For 30 years she has produced a line of fine jewelry inspired by the West. Elk tooth jewelry is one of her specialties. To create her elk tooth jewelry pieces, Sarah does not just drill a hole through the tooth and put it on a string or chain. Each tooth is carefully set in a custom designed piece which may be a ring, bracelet, cuff link, belt buckle, or a pendant. See examples here >> Elk tooth jewelry.
Preparing the teeth for use in elk tooth jewelry
After the teeth or tooth has been boiled and cleaned to get off any remnants of skin or meat, it is buffed and polished on a wheel. Ivory is softer than stone, so it does not take very long to smooth off the rough edges and shine it up. The teeth have many different colors and shades ranging from creamy ivory to dark brown.
How elk tooth jewelry is made
In order to make the jewelry, Sarah uses teeth that customers bring in, or she can rely on one of the many local hunters and taxidermists that she has worked with. Usually the teeth for the elk tooth jewelry are brought in by customers who want to have something special to remember a particular elk or hunt, and they don’t want to simply hang the antlers or the head on the wall. Once it is in the shop, Sarah works with the customer to design a piece of jewelry to fit their needs and preferences. Usually the elk tooth jewelry setting includes yellow or white gold, or even silver, and sometimes it is paired with turquoise.
You can have a single tooth set in your custom jewelry piece or you can have multiple teeth. You will often see matched teeth used in cuff links, a belt buckle or a bracelet, while a single tooth is used to make a ring, a money clip or a pendant. No matter what type of jewelry you choose, you can be assured that it will be a great looking memento of the West.