Sharks are magnificent creatures and their teeth are prized possessions for many people. Most people collect shark’s teeth as souvenirs, while others have a passion for fossils. If you’re in the market for a shark’s tooth, it is important to ensure that the tooth you buy is authentic—not some cheap imitation or replica. Here are some reliable tips on how to determine a shark’s tooth authenticity.
Identify Possible Fake Shark Teeth
There are three main types of fake shark teeth: cast copies, molded pieces, and carved pieces.
Cast copies are made by pouring plaster or resin into a mold of an actual tooth. These copies are usually easy to spot because they often have bubbles in them or lack fine details. You can also hold the tooth up to the light. If you see light shining through the tooth, it is not authentic.
Molded pieces are also made from plaster or resin, but instead of being poured into a mold, they are manually shaped to look like teeth. Molded pieces often lack the fine details that authentic teeth have and they frequently have sharp edges.
Carved pieces are exactly what they sound like—pieces of wood or bone that have been carved into the shape of teeth. Carved pieces are often easy to spot because they don’t look like real teeth at all. They also tend to be lighter in color than authentic teeth.
Check for Signs of Wear & Tear
Shark teeth are typically made from enamel, which is one of the hardest substances found in nature. As such, they tend to be very durable and resistant to wear over time. An authentic shark’s tooth will show signs of wear and tear—even with careful handling—due to its age. If there are no signs of wear or damage on the tooth, it may be a fake.
Authentic sharks’ teeth take millions of years to fossilize, so they should display characteristics common with ancient fossils—such as cracks or pits in the surface due to weathering and erosion. A fake tooth will usually not have any visible signs of age or fossilization processes like this.
Examine Color & Texture
An genuine shark’s tooth will have an uneven coloration that fades from darker near the root to lighter near the tip; this is because as new layers of enamel form over time, they cause variations in coloration due to different mineral concentrations in each layer. Fake sharks’ teeth may look too uniform in color throughout.
An authentic shark’s tooth should feel smooth but slightly gritty at the same time; if it feels too smooth or too rough then it may be a fake.
Verifying a shark’s tooth authenticity can be challenging. However, by following these known facts when examining your potential purchase, you can increase your chances of buying an authentic product in good faith. These master tips can help you avoid buying an imitation tooth. Good luck!