Bone is a porous material that absorbs oils from your skin. Over time this turns it into a soft golden or warm honey colour. This is normal and naturally strengthens and enhances the bone.
When you first purchase a bone carving, it will have been highly polished. As you wear the bone in, the polished effect can be maintained with a soft cloth. I wouldn’t recommend using household cleaning compounds on your carving. Too much could make it go a bit brittle.
Traditionally, the wearer would rub it with their hands over many months and years. This would produce a beautiful sheen and gradually takes on the energy of those who are wearing it. Handling the carving allows your body oils to enter the carving making it a part of you. Thus, bone carvings are a comforting tactile object. They can also become very special heirlooms.
Because bone is porous it will absorb liquids, so I do not recommend dunking it in red food colouring. Or bathing with it if you have strong coloured bubble bath. This will stain the Taonga. Unless of course you want to stain it… bathe away.
Stained carvings will fade over time. This is normal. Salt water will fade the stained portions of your carving as well so take it off if swimming with whales, dolphins, sharks or jellyfish.
Although bone is quite strong, it doesn’t like being dropped on to anything hard like concrete. (Or being stomped on). This can cause them to break.
Technically speaking Bone is jewellery, therefore it’s best to take it off at night when sleeping. This avoids it from catching, or depending on the design, stabbing yourself, (or your partner)…
The cords will not last forever. So, every so often check that it is still in good form. My carvings come with a lifetime cord replacement guarantee (postage and packaging fees may still apply).
Rain is no problem. It’s ok for them to get wet. Therefore, it’s fine to wear them while swimming although this will shorten the life of the cord. The longer the carving has had against your skin and absorbed your body oils, the more resilient it will be to elements such as the sun.
Avoid wearing it in a very hot shower or spa or in natural thermal waters. If you bathe in a thermal pool, the cord and Taonga itself will be very effective at absorbing the wonderful aroma of sulphur and you may be mistaken by your cat or dog as being a bit rotten. (Although some of them might like that).
May your Taonga last a very long time.