New York Bans Virtually All Ivory Sales

Virtually all New York ivory sales have been banned by a new law signed Aug. 12 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar law for his state on Aug. 5.

The law bans sales of elephant ivory, mammoth ivory, and rhino horn and is tighter than the federal ban on elephant ivory sales passed in March. 

Exceptions to the ban include: 

– 100-year-old antiques composed of less than 20 percent elephant ivory with documented proof of provenance

– Musical instruments (string, wind, and piano) manufactured before 1975 

– Elephant ivory where transfer of ownership is for education and scientific purposes, such as to a museum

– Elephant ivory where transfer is to a legal beneficiary of a trust or estate

While most first infractions involve fines, selling articles with a value exceeding $25,000 is now a Class D Felony, with a penalty of up to seven years’ imprisonment.

This law takes effect immediately, although existing license and permit holders may sell ivory and rhino horn as defined on their licenses and permits until they expire.

JCK News Director