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A Guide to the Sharks Tooth : Meaning, Properties and Everyday Uses

Written by: Jessica Kramer

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Time to read 11 min

sharks tooth

Introduction


Sharks tooth are some of the most unique and captivating stones found in nature. Composed of calcium phosphate, these intriguing natural wonders are not minerals or rocks at all, but derived from an actual living creature - sharks! 


Shark teeth originate within the jaws of sharks and contain the same chemical composition as mammalian bones and teeth. However, their hardness comes from a process called biomineralization, which deposits minerals along the intricate structure of dentine tubules. This results in teeth that are harder and more durable than human teeth.


Throughout history, sharks have evoked both fear and fascination in humans. Their menacing jaws lined with serrated teeth certainly convey a primal sense of danger. Yet shark teeth also reflect the incredible resilience and evolution of these apex ocean predators, which have thrived for over 400 million years.


Beyond their biological role, shark teeth hold a deep symbolic power and have been coveted for decorative and spiritual uses since ancient times. From Polynesian necklaces to modern surf culture jewelry, shark teeth are more than souvenirs - they embody attributes like strength, transformation, adaptability, and connection to the sea.


This article will explore the essence and appeal of these mystical ocean gems, including their healing properties, cultural significance, practical applications, and role in conservation. Discover what makes shark teeth so captivating and how to tap into their unique energy in your own life.


Meaning and Symbolism 


The shark's tooth holds deep symbolic meaning in many cultures around the world. Regarded as a talisman of protection and power, the shark's reputation as an apex ocean predator imbues its tooth with a sense of strength and fierceness.

In Polynesian culture, shark teeth were believed to be imbued with mana - the life force and spiritual power of the shark. Warriors would string shark teeth together and wear them as necklaces, bracelets, and anklets before going into battle. The shark teeth were thought to invoke the shark's courage and ferocity, empowering the wearer.

Similarly, in ancient Hawaii, warriors wore lei niho palaoa - a necklace of braided human hair and shark teeth. It was believed that this necklace connected the warrior to the ocean spirits and the wisdom of shark ancestors. The shark tooth necklace was considered a protective talisman in combat.

Shark teeth were also significant in rites of passage for young men entering adulthood. The youth may be required to retrieve a shark tooth themselves by battling a shark. The shark tooth would then be incorporated into a necklace or weapon to represent the boy's transition into manhood and warrior status.

Beyond war, shark teeth talismans were worn by Hawaiian chiefs as symbols of their rank and status. The number of shark teeth in a lei niho palaoa was an indication of the chief's importance and power.

Even today, shark teeth are regarded by many as bringing focus, discipline and courage to those who wear them. The long history of sharks as symbols of strength and protection persists in modern interpretations of this ancient talisman.

raw sharks tooth


Healing Properties


The shark tooth stone has long been prized for its healing energies and protective qualities. Here are some of its most notable healing properties:


Emotional Healing and Letting Go

  • The shark tooth supports emotional healing from past traumas, grief, anxiety, or anger. The stone's grounding energy helps process difficult emotions and feelings in a healthy way.
  • Encourages letting go of negative attachments, past hurts, and unhealthy patterns. Shark tooth promotes forward movement into a happier state of mind.
  • Its cleansing vibration, characteristic of the shark tooth, clears out old emotional baggage and attachments that no longer serve your highest good.

Protection from Negative Energy

  • Shark tooth creates a protective shield against negative energies, psychic attack, or destructive vibrations. Wear or carry the stone when feeling vulnerable.
  • Filters out draining or harmful energy, leaving you feeling clear and energized. Keep a shark tooth by your front door or workspace for ongoing protection.
  • Said to ward off bad dreams, nightmares, or sleep paralysis. Place one by your bed or under your pillow for restful sleep.

Physical Vitality and Strength  

  • Boosts physical vitality, energy, and stamina. Hold a shark tooth during physical activities for an extra boost.
  • Supports a robust and healthy immune system. Use the shark tooth to guard against illness.
  • Shark tooth promotes the structural integrity of bones and teeth. Alleviates joint or muscle pain when placed on the body. 
  • Instills courage, confidence, inner strength and resilience during challenging times. Keep shark tooth in your pocket when you need extra support.

Everyday Uses


Shark tooth can be incorporated into daily life in creative ways to utilize their potent energy for personal growth. Here are some suggestions:

  • Jewelry - Wearing a shark tooth pendant or bracelet keeps the vitality and courage of the shark close. The energy of the shark tooth infused into jewelry is believed to grant the wearer those same attributes.
  • Meditation - Holding a shark tooth during meditation connects you to the spirit of the shark. The stone's clarity can bring enhanced focus and intuition to your practice. 
  • Feng Shui - Placing shark tooth strategically around the home according to feng shui principles is said to offer protection. Its yang energy provides strength to deflect negative influences. Position shark tooth near entryways or windows where external energy enters.

Shark teeth are versatile allies that can be used in simple, practical ways to harness their essence. Keep one with you, display them in your environment, or meditate with one to integrate the many beneficial qualities of these powerful ocean treasures into your life.


Protection and Cleansing


For centuries, sharks teeth have been revered for their protective powers against negative energies and malefic forces. When worn or carried as an amulet, shark tooth is believed to shield the bearer from envy, anger, fear, and undue influences seeking to do harm.


The shark tooth's inherent energy acts as a shield against bad luck and negative intentions directed at you. Sharks are powerful apex predators commanding strength, courage, and survival instincts - wearing their tooth allows you to harness those same primal qualities.


However, in order to maintain the tooth's potency, regular cleansing is required. Below are some effective methods:

  • Smudging - Hold the shark tooth over the smoke of burning sage, sweetgrass or palo santo to remove any accumulated negative energy. This restores the amulet's protective purity.
  • Moonlight - Leave the shark tooth out under the light of a full moon overnight. The lunar rays will renew its energetic field and amplify its power. 
  • Salt water - Soak the shark tooth in sea salt dissolved in water. The ocean's healing energies will cleanse the amulet and revive its natural vibrations. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

With proper cleansing routines, the shark tooth retains its shielding strength. Keep it near you always for ongoing safeguarding against ill-wishes and dark forces seeking to penetrate your aura. Its raw primal power will help repel and deflect any attempts to undermine your wellbeing or peace of mind.


Selecting and Caring for Your Shark's Tooth


When selecting a shark tooth to add to your collection, there are a few key factors to consider:


Choosing by Size, Type, and Color

  • Size: Teeth range dramatically in size depending on the shark species. Consider which size of a shark tooth you prefer based on intended use and display method. Larger teeth make impressive display pieces while smaller teeth work well for jewelry or carrying as talismans. 
  • Type: The shape and structure of the shark tooth can indicate which part of the shark's jaw it came from. Distinctive serrated edges, coarser textures, and arrowhead shapes of shark tooth are worth noting.
  • Color: Shark teeth span a palette from pearly white to black, with striking tiger striping on some fossilized teeth. Choose shark tooth in your favorite tones.

Proper Storage and Handling

  • Store shark tooth in soft cloth bags or acid-free tissue paper to prevent scratching and breakage. 
  • Avoid contact with other hard materials to prevent chips and cracks.
  • Display shark tooth in secure settings like enclosed shadow boxes rather than loose on shelves.
  • Handle gently by the edges and avoid prolonged handling to prevent color fading or damage from the natural oils on skin.
  • Keep your shark tooth away from direct sunlight over time which can cause discoloration. 
  • Consider applying mineral oil sparingly to nourish and protect the tooth's surface if displaying long-term.

With proper selection and care, your shark tooth can remain an amazing artifact to cherish for years. However, the most important factor in choosing a right gem is to find a stone that you love! While the following factors are great indicators of what the masses seek, be sure to find a stone that resonates with you.


Shark Conservation


Sharks face numerous threats in the modern era, making ethical sourcing of their teeth an important consideration. 


Overfishing poses a major danger to many shark species. Global demand for shark fins and meat has led to unsustainable fishing practices that deplete populations faster than they can recover. Many countries lack regulations to protect sharks, and enforcement can be weak even when laws exist. 


Habitat loss is another serious concern. Coastal development, pollution, and damage to underwater ecosystems increasingly squeeze sharks into smaller areas, threatening their ability to thrive. Climate change and ocean acidification also degrade the marine habitats sharks rely on.


When sourcing shark teeth, only buy fossil shark teeth. Teeth that are fossilized or were naturally shed cause no harm. But the trade in freshly extracted teeth has been linked to finning and cruel hunting methods. Seeking teeth from abundant species over endangered ones is an ethical choice.


Purchasing legally certified shark tooth helps discourage black market poaching activities that accelerate the decline of already vulnerable shark populations. Supporting shark conservation groups and sustainable ecotourism provides economic incentives to value sharks as more than just commodities. 


Making informed choices allows buyers to appreciate shark teeth as wonders of nature without contributing to the exploitation of these ancient marine survivors.

rough sharks tooth

Notable Examples 


Shark teeth, particularly fossils of the prehistoric Megalodon, are highly prized collector's items. Megalodon was one of the largest and most powerful predators to ever exist, reaching over 60 feet in length. Its teeth can measure over 7 inches and are thicker and more triangular than modern Great White Shark teeth. Significant Megalodon tooth discoveries include:

  • A 6.5 inch fossil shark tooth found in South Carolina that sold for over $13,000 at auction. This shark tooth dates back 25 million years. 
  • A private collector in Florida owns the largest set of Megalodon teeth in the world, including a 7.5 inch shark tooth recovered from Peru.
  • Fossil hunter Vito Bertucci discovered a Megalodon nursery off the coast of South Carolina containing over 500 teeth from infants and juveniles. 

In addition to individual specimens, Megalodon teeth have been found at major archaeological sites around the world. In Panama, teeth were uncovered at the Cana and Monte Oscuro sites, giving clues about early human and shark interactions. Teeth found at Wakulla Springs in Florida revealed that Megalodon lived in the area at the same time as prehistoric humans.


Other significant discoveries include teeth recovered from underwater caves in the Dominican Republic, an excavation site in Maryland, and from dredging operations in countries like the Netherlands. These finds help paleontologists learn more about Megalodon behavior and habitat range. With so many teeth still buried, amateur and professional fossil hunters continue searching coasts and rivers worldwide, hoping to uncover the next jaw-dropping Megalodon specimen.


FAQ

 

Where do shark teeth come from?


Shark teeth originate from sharks! They are constantly replaced throughout a shark's lifetime, with some species shedding thousands of teeth over their lifespan. When a shark tooth is lost or falls out, a new one grows to take its place. Shed teeth can be found washed up on beaches worldwide.


Are all shark teeth the same? 


No, shark teeth come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the species. Some are thick and triangle-shaped for grasping prey while others are thin and needle-like for piercing. The variation allows different sharks to be specialized hunters.


How old are fossilized shark teeth?


One fossil shark tooth can range from a few thousand years old to over 50 million years old. Teeth are preserved well in sediment since they are made of calcium phosphate. Ancient fossil teeth are found in marine deposits and can reveal insights about prehistoric sharks and ocean conditions.


What are shark teeth made of?


Shark teeth consist of both organic and inorganic compounds. The base of a shark tooth is formed of collagen-like fibers that anchor the tooth, while the harder enamel crown is composed of fluoroapatite, a mineralized substance containing calcium and phosphorus.


Are shark teeth valuable?


Some fossilized shark teeth can be quite valuable, especially teeth from rare prehistoric species. Factors like age, condition, type of shark tooth, and the shark species all impact value. Common modern shark teeth have minimal monetary worth but are treasured by collectors for their beauty and symbolism.


Is it legal to collect shark teeth?


In most areas it is legal to collect shark teeth that wash up on public beaches. However, it is illegal to take a shark tooth from live sharks. Some countries have bans on collecting fossils, so check local laws. Also be mindful of protected wildlife areas.


How can you tell if a shark tooth is real?


An authentic shark tooth has a glossy enamel coating. A real shark tooth should feel heavy and dense. Fake teeth are usually too white and lightweight. Examine the root structure and surface texture closely. Ask a professional if uncertain since fake teeth are getting more sophisticated.


Where are the best places to find shark tooth?


Some of the world's best shark tooth hunting locations include Venice Beach in Florida, Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, and Bracklesham Bay in the UK. Look for fossil-rich coastal areas with erosive wave action. After storms can be prime tooth-finding conditions.


What is the largest shark tooth on record? 


The largest shark tooth ever found came from the extinct Megalodon species. It measured over 7 inches long and weighed over 2 pounds! By comparison, the shark tooth of a modern great white shark is typically just 2-3 inches long.


Conclusion


The shark's tooth holds significant meaning and purpose throughout history. With its connection to themes of instinct, transformation, and overcoming challenges, the shark's tooth has much to offer on one's spiritual journey.


By incorporating a shark's tooth into your daily rituals or carrying it as a protective amulet, you can harness its primal energy. It shields you from negative influences while enhancing your inner clarity and intuition.


When used consciously, the shark's tooth offers ancestral wisdom. It awakens your senses and reveals life's hidden depths.

Call upon the shark's tooth for courage as you face new challenges. With focus and purpose, you can experience profound transformation.