Can I sell my ivory chess set?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or situations, but I can provide you with a detailed answer to your question.

The sale of ivory chess sets in the United States is now prohibited by law in most cases. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) implemented regulations that restrict the sale, import, and export of ivory and ivory products in an effort to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and protect endangered species.

The ivory used in chess sets often comes from elephants, which are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The trade of ivory has been linked to the decline of elephant populations, as poaching continues to be a significant threat.

If you own an ivory chess set, it is important to understand the current regulations and your options. Selling your ivory chess set, especially across state lines or internationally, is likely illegal under federal law unless you can prove that it qualifies for a specific exemption.

However, you do have alternative options for your ivory chess set. Instead of selling it, you may consider donating it to a museum or educational institution. Some organizations may be interested in acquiring ivory chess sets for educational purposes or to raise awareness about the conservation of endangered species. It is advisable to contact these institutions directly to inquire about their policies and interest in accepting such donations.

Another option is to contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to inquire about their Ivory Surrender Program. The USFWS allows individuals to voluntarily surrender ivory items, including chess sets, without penalty. By participating in this program, you can ensure that your ivory chess set is properly disposed of and will not contribute to illegal wildlife trafficking.

If you are unsure about the legal status of your chess set or need further guidance, it is recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in wildlife or environmental law. They can provide you with personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

To summarize, selling your ivory chess set is generally prohibited in the United States due to the regulations aimed at protecting endangered species and combating illegal wildlife trafficking. Instead, you may consider donating it to a museum or educational institution or participating in the USFWS Ivory Surrender Program to ensure its proper disposal. It is always important to stay informed about the current laws and regulations regarding ivory trade to avoid any legal issues.