Ivory in cues, now What?

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Last year I sold a Gina that was loaded with Ivory. I went to Nevada to ship it, and sent it via Priority Mail WITH NO INSURANCE! Why, you might ask did I do that? First of all I feel like putting a high dollar value on your cue is like putting a target on it, and I know from past experience that the chance of collecting several thousand dollars from the post office is almost nil, unless you can supply an original bill of sale, and that might not be enough. They might also want proof that specific cue was the one that was shipped. In other words you are screwed either way if the cue gets confiscated or stolen. IMO, it is more likely to happen if someone/anyone thinks there is something very valuable in that box. I have shipped several expensive cues that way and have yet to have a problem with any of them.

I did sell three high end cues late last year (Joss West, Tad and Prewitt) and shipped them via Fedex, mainly because the mail had become so unreliable and slow, thanks to our new postmaster and his main accomplice. What I've noticed already, after the first of the year our mail service has picked up again, back closer to normal delivery times.
I agree that sending any USPS item with heavy insurance has two big drawbacks- it becomes a marked item for thieves and you are spending money for insurance that may be worthless anyhow. I love ivory ferrules and I actually like the idea that my cues have natural materials as functional items on the cue- joints and ferrules. I also think that the marriage of woods and other natural materials help add to the persona of a cue - beautiful woods and plastics together just don't seem right to me- Every one of my customs has some ivory and they are all staying with me for now.
 

jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's a lot of bad information in this thread, so I would advise that if you have a cue with ivory that you are looking to sell, or are considering purchasing one with ivory, do your research! Interstate is virtually forbidden, unless the cue is over 100 years old and documented, and so forth. Here's a resource:

Fish and Wildlife Service: What Can I Do With My Ivory?

This is so for musical instruments, too. I did some research recently and passed on purchasing bagpipes with ivory mounts from a fellow in California. It would have been illegal to complete the purchase, and I would never have been able to take them out of my state, or sell them out of state; and soon, I'm afraid, even sell them in-state.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
I just read the de minimus portion of the above link. It seems that there is some relief in this rule. Billiard cues are listed as an example of worked ivory, but that is only one part of the reg.

Any cue made before January 18, 1990, is likely to be okay. There is a tremendous problem, however if one has to prove that his cue incorporates "ivory . . . imported into the United States under a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use".

The remaining criteria seem simple:

fixed or integral component . . . not in its current form the primary source of the value of the item -- not more than 50 % of the value of the item

ivory is not raw

item is not made wholly or primarily of ivory -- not more than 50 % of the item by volume;

total weight of the ivory component or components is less than 200 grams (7 ozs.)

manufactured before July 6, 2016.

The obvious point of attack on this regulation is the difficulty of an individual satisfying the CITES certificate requirement. The government is applying a rule intended to apply to large companies to individuals who have very little chance of supplying the requisite certificate.

Has the government prosecuted any individual engaged in only incidental sales?
 

muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Effective lobbyists, as it relates to the pool and billiard industry, has a very slim chance in ever happening. It comes down to money, and they do not begin to have enough of it. I worked for 35 years as the head commercial photographer for one of the top corporations in the US, and world over all. We had two full time lobbyists, and I would go to yearly award dinners for them, where speeches by the lobbyists and the top level people of our corporation would be told on how they would get what we needed passed. It was quite eye opening. While a corporation may have a particular view,, they had no problems dealing with whatever side they needed to to get their desired result. There would always be tons of laughter and applause, when the lobbyist would bring up stories on how they got this or that passed, and especially if they could do it for less money than they had planned for. This is why not much gets done in congress, as the truth of the matter is they spend most of their day on the phone, and in person, begging for money for their campaign coffers. There may be opportunities on a state level, but not really much at the Fed level, as even if they support what you want, they still will not support legislation on it, without a contribution. It's really ironic that bribery by the likes of the mob and such is illegal, but as it relates to the politicians of our country, it's the standard practice.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
"The following types of items may qualify for the de minimis exception: many musical instruments (including many keyboard instruments, with ivory keys, most stringed instruments and bows with ivory parts or decorations, and many bagpipes, bassoons and other wind instruments with ivory trim); most knives and guns with ivory grips . . . measuring tools with ivory parts or trim, baskets with ivory trim, walking sticks and canes with ivory decorations, and many furniture pieces with ivory inlay, etc.). However, to qualify for the de minimis exception, all of the above criteria must be met (either (i) or (ii) and (iii)-(vii)). To view examples of items that may meet de minimis criteria, click here."

"Worked items include carvings and components of larger finished products such as knife handles, billiard cues, musical instruments and furniture. Raw ivory means an elephant tusk, or any piece of tusk, the surface of which, polished or unpolished, is unaltered or minimally carved, including ivory mounted on a stand or part of a trophy."
 

dirtvictim

Registered
I have sold well over 100 cues, I have always shipped usps without incident. I always insure full value and never once indicated content of materials.
I am a watchmaker by trade and have shipped in the range of 4,000 watches in 10 years again without incident over usps. I have shipped to every continent and most countries. I had 2 watches get "lost" overseas and usps covered the full insured value both times. Maybe I'm lucky.
 

magnetardo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"...this problem would be easily resolved".

Overturning state statutes is never easily resolved. Then multiply by 50.

Even when law can be proven unconstitutional, it is a tedious process.

And the "other side" has partners with very deep pockets. Think Disney, General Motors, Subaru to name a few.
It only took about 30 years to get an unconstitutional handgun ban reversed in Chicago, they should be able to knock this out in 40-50 years no problem.
 

jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This ivory ban is the result of rabid animal rights activists getting what they want from idiotic and unthinking politicians. It's a "taking" in my opinion, for the govt. to do this. They should at least be required to compensate folks for taking their property rights.
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That’s generally how it works with most things someone wants to acquire.
The more scare something is, or becoming, the more it tends to be worth.

Who know what one of my cues might be worth in 20-25 years, presuming
they remain in great condition? 50% less, maybe or perhaps 51% more? It
ain’t my headache to deal with & I don’t think my kids would be selling them.

All things considered, my gut tells me the cues should appreciate but it really
is anyone’s guess about what the future holds. I’m just glad to have what I do.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This ivory ban is the result of rabid animal rights activists getting what they want from idiotic and unthinking politicians. It's a "taking" in my opinion, for the govt. to do this. They should at least be required to compensate folks for taking their property rights.
HUH???? 'Property rights'????? Good luck with that case. Look, the ban(s) were enacted to try to stop the slaughter of animals just so their teeth/tusks could make pretty stuff. You ever seen how they do it?? They shoot the elephant, walk up and saw off the tusks and walk away from the rest. In some countries they've used choppers and machine guns to speed up the process. I'm pro-2A and a hunter but that my friend is nothing but useless slaughter.
 

jayman

Hi Mom!
Silver Member
HUH???? 'Property rights'????? Good luck with that case. Look, the ban(s) were enacted to try to stop the slaughter of animals just so their teeth/tusks could make pretty stuff. You ever seen how they do it?? They shoot the elephant, walk up and saw off the tusks and walk away from the rest. In some countries they've used choppers and machine guns to speed up the process. I'm pro-2A and a hunter but that my friend is nothing but useless slaughter.
HUH???? 'Property rights'?????

Yes, privately owned possession.

Look, the ban(s) were enacted to try to stop the slaughter of animals

Yes, poorly and that's a gift!

They shoot the elephant, walk up and saw off the tusks and walk away from the rest. In some countries they've used choppers and machine guns to speed up the process. I'm pro-2A and a hunter but that my friend is nothing but useless slaughter.

Yes and they deserve the same!! But corruption is rampant with the people charged with protecting them. They just can't get a break. Sadly it makes people want to get all they can while they can. $$$ Sad situation, little common sense, not real helpful. If it were on U.S soil it would be a very different situation that's for sure.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
HUH???? 'Property rights'?????

Yes, privately owned possession.

Look, the ban(s) were enacted to try to stop the slaughter of animals

Yes, poorly and that's a gift!

They shoot the elephant, walk up and saw off the tusks and walk away from the rest. In some countries they've used choppers and machine guns to speed up the process. I'm pro-2A and a hunter but that my friend is nothing but useless slaughter.

Yes and they deserve the same!! But corruption is rampant with the people charged with protecting them. They just can't get a break. Sadly it makes people want to get all they can while they can. $$$ Sad situation, little common sense, not real helpful. If it were on U.S soil it would be a very different situation that's for sure.
Not illegal to possess. Selling and shipping is what regs cover.
 

Matt_24

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Last year I sold a Gina that was loaded with Ivory. I went to Nevada to ship it, and sent it via Priority Mail WITH NO INSURANCE! Why, you might ask did I do that? First of all I feel like putting a high dollar value on your cue is like putting a target on it, and I know from past experience that the chance of collecting several thousand dollars from the post office is almost nil, unless you can supply an original bill of sale, and that might not be enough. They might also want proof that specific cue was the one that was shipped. In other words you are screwed either way if the cue gets confiscated or stolen. IMO, it is more likely to happen if someone/anyone thinks there is something very valuable in that box. I have shipped several expensive cues that way and have yet to have a problem with any of them.

I did sell three high end cues late last year (Joss West, Tad and Prewitt) and shipped them via Fedex, mainly because the mail had become so unreliable and slow, thanks to our new postmaster and his main accomplice. What I've noticed already, after the first of the year our mail service has picked up again, back closer to normal delivery times.
Jay - I ALWAYS do this. Same reasons. Great minds. (INSURANCE is a joke. Good luck collecting. I shipped a $2500 guitar via UPS and had THEM PACK IT...and the neck was cracked upon delivery. It was a NIGHTMARE and took forever to get reimbursed)
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Never owned or played with a cue inlaid with ivory. Never gave it any thought. I try to stay way from all the fancy cues with inlays. Reminds me of guys with ear piercings, nose rings, a ring on every finger and tattoos.
 

CLAUD

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Many, but not all, cues with ivory will meet the de minimis exception. If you have invested in a cue with more than 7 ounces of ivory or it's composition is more than 50% ivory. You can't sell it, period. You have lost that right. Cues with Ivory handles come to mind.
Even though your cue meets the de minimis exception you have lost the right to freely sell it. Perhaps you have been a collector and accumulated your items legally over many years and now you have lost the right to sell your collection or any part of it. You have been financially damaged because some politicians decided this was the way to save an elephant, (or maybe just another issue to line their pockets). I wonder what the next right we currently have, and maybe take for granted, will be stripped away.
 

jimmyco

NRA4Life
Gold Member
Silver Member
Never owned or played with a cue inlaid with ivory. Never gave it any thought. I try to stay way from all the fancy cues with inlays. Reminds me of guys with ear piercings, nose rings, a ring on every finger and tattoos.
So, your concern on the subject has the same merit as your input on the matter, absolutely zero.
 

jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Not to mention nothing has been taken. The cues are still the owners' to enjoy.
A "taking" in the legal, constitutional sense. If the government deprives you of your property rights to something, including whether you can sell it or use it (including travel with it), it's a taking, in my opinion, and they owe you compensation.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Humans have a way of glorifying everything that seems bigger than us. I catch a couple of rats a week in my trap out on the back deck. Why is no one crying about them? They have feelings too.
I think you just found an untapped market! I for one would love a cue with rat leather grip, tip and scrimshawed rate bone inlays! ;) :)
 
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