Sometimes the trigger man, or the man who shot the elephant, trades the tusks for clothes, salt and sugar. As one former poacher says, “This was a sign of wealth because we were able to meet our basic needs” (Joseph).
Other trigger men sell the tusks to local coordinators for cash. In 2013 a trigger man could get $10 per pound of elephant tusk ("Al Jazeera"). Thus, for an average female elephant with two 25-pound tusks, a trigger man would have made $500. To put that in perspective, since the average income in Tanzania is under $2,000 per year, in 2013, a man would have made more by shooting four elephants than he would have by working all year ("United").
To finish the story, in 2013, the local coordinator could have sold the tusks to a trader for $16 per pound, who could have sold them to a smuggler for $52 per pound, who could have sold them to a Chinese distributor for $136 per pound, who could have sold them to the end-user for $364 per pound ("Al Jazeera;" “Elephants”). That means the local coordinator would have earned $300, the trader would have earned $1,800, the smuggler would have earned $4,200, and the Chinese distributor would have earned $11,400 -- all from one average, female elephant.
In 2014, ivory nearly doubled in value, but in 2015 and 2016, it returned to its 2013 level, so the above numbers still hold.
The ivory-colored section of these elephant tusks used to be inside the skull. The dark part is where tree sap stained the exposed part of the tusks. The darker the tusks are, the more time the elephant spent in forested areas.
Elephant tail hair is valuable. Thick and rubbery, it is easy to turn into jewelry.
The black bracelets are made from elephant tail hair. The cream-colored bracelets are made from the cartilage in the elephant's foot which explains why they shrink over time.