The keys on violins are made of ivory, which can be purchased over a period of time on the open market. The ivory comes from several sources:
All are mined or manufactured within Europe. Ivory is a non-durable metal and cannot be polished or painted onto a violin. In order to produce a violin that matches your taste, you will need to purchase the key.
There are 2 keys to worry about when you buy your first violin:
A key has a number. You will either hear it mentioned on the package or in the description of the keyboard. (The first number on the package will be the number of the violin the key is intended for.)
A key has a color. You will either hear it mentioned on the label or in the description of the keyboard. (You will hear these colors in the key’s markings, along with the name and the price of the violin). The key with a color number is often used for a set of keys to go with the string sets.
When purchasing keys online, try to be aware of the type. Not all manufacturers use gold or black keys to make a violin.
How are keys sold?
There are a variety of ways how keys will be sold. Some have an “up” price. Others can come in sets or as individual parts. Some keys will be hard to find. Most sellers will ask you for the key number in your order. Other sellers may ask for your initials.
You probably want to buy key number 3 to be one of the “guests” to watch as they play your violin.
Are keys all alike?
They are not. There are unique qualities to the keys (like ivory or gold). Some keys do have colors like the rest of the strings.
The way this information is presented and the information surrounding key numbers and colors is not unique or unique to violins. Even the names that surround them can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and the way the keys are sold is not specific to violins.
How much should I pay for the key?
Different violins have key numbers for the same strings, and you will usually hear a lower price if you are looking to buy a set of the same keys. A lot of sellers will ask you for the key number, but not the price of the violin. When you purchase a new string
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