DOTS: SHELL, IVORY, AND HORN

Used primarily for guitar fingerboard and side position markers, but also popular for jewelry, pool table, box, and furniture decorations, sometimes in elaborate geometric designs using many nested dot sizes and materials. Also seen occasionally on pool cues, duck calls, canes, and signs.

<white mop, click to enlarge> <gold mop, click to enlarge> <black mop, click to enlarge> <paua ab, click to enlarge>
<green snail, click to enlarge> <fossil walrus ivory, click to enlarge> <buffalo horn, click to enlarge>  

Dots are available in white, gold, or black M.O.P., one size of Green abalone ,Paua abalone, Green snail, fossil walrus ivory, and water buffalo horn-please specify when ordering. All dots are .050" (1.27mm) thick unless otherwise noted, and are individually lathe-turned by hand, not just core-drilled, to assure maximum uniformity of size and a vertical sidewall. We only supply dots in multiples of 100 of any type or size (actual count will be about 2% more, to compensate for the few with defects). We can make custom sizes for larger orders.

It is possible to achieve spectacular effects with simple little dots, if you are willing to spend some time with a tweezers sorting your shipment into various grades of color and/or figure. Pearl dots can have green, red, and blue "flash", and shades between, as well as a dozen types of figuration (or lack of it). Paua abalone displays a complete spectrum of colors from almost colorless pinks to deep exotic blues. These graded dots can be used either as a matched set, or combined to create a controlled change of effect; ask us about some of the tricks being done with them. When used in this controlled manner, it is important to inlay dots flush with finished surface: we suggest super-gluing short lengths of flat toothpick across each dot, allowing the pieces to project past the edges; drill the hole slightly deeper than the inlay, load the cavity with filler/glue, press the dot down until the toothpicks rest on surrounding surface, cover with waxed paper and apply light weight or pressure until cured.

GOLD M.O.P. dots are pale straw colors to deep butterscotch, with lots of intense red and green iridescent flash, and are warmer looking than white material, very much like pearl underneath old yellowed varnish; a good choice for a mellow, vintage effect. BLACK M.O.P. dots are smoky gray to solid black, often with enough colorful flash to look almost like abalone from certain angles; commonly used as side dots in light colored bindings, or as fret board markers on maple boards. GREEN SEA SNAIL dots are a creamy-textured, very lightly greenish color without any dark lines or blotches, with plenty of iridescence and a typical dome-like rolling movement in the light due to the strong curvature of the shell from which they are taken; an elegant substitute for white shell, with a long history of use in instruments and fine fashion accessories up through the 1930's,but very difficult to find in the current era. PAUA ABALONE is the most colorful nacreous shell in the world, very much in demand, very hard to get, and very costly; these dots will show up well to a close observer, but will be more difficult to see at a distance (especially if placed in darker background), but are widely used because of their spectacular butterfly-wing colors. FOSSIL WALRUS IVORY is off-white, buff, to medium brown (but we can not ship it outside the U.S.A.). WATER BUFFALO HORN is dark brown to black and takes a nice polish; most dots have soft fuzz on some edges, which does not interfere with installation (true horn is composed of fused hair).