TAGUA JEWELRY IS A TREND THAT INTRODUCES TROPICAL FASHION IN AN ECO-FRIENDLY WAY
Because it's made from palm seeds in natural off-white color, marbled grain tone and texture similar to that of elephant ivory, Tagua nut is dubbed as "Vegetable Ivory."
It resembles the look and feel of Elephant Ivory, and is equally hard and durable.
It is a guilt-free ivory substitute that can be transformed into vibrant pieces of nature-made jewelry.
TAGUA - WHAT IS IT AND WHERE IT COMES FROM?
Tagua nuts are harvested from tropical Phytelephas or Yarina palm trees,
which develop inside pods called cabezas.
In the pods, they can grow up to six centimeters or more than two inches in size.
They grow along with the palm trees.
Over time, they get their thickness and structure that's perfect for carving jewelry.
Aside from Yarina palm trees, Vegetable Ivory can be produced by palms like natangura, real fan, and Caroline ivory-nut. These trees mostly cultivate in rainforests or marshy, shaded environments of Ecuador to Peru along the Amazon River and Panama to Colombia. Some of these trees are also found in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caroline Islands.
In many South American regions, the nuts grow continually every year.
Locals harvest them when they are ripe, without harming the tree and the forest around them.
Then, they are dried for weeks or months. The amount of time for this process depends on the condition of local weather.
Jewelry makers and artisans will purchase the dried vegetable ivory to design, carve, and polish them.
Even with its firm and durable material, they are not waterproof. To lessen the effects of water on organic Tagua jewelry, they are covered in a transparent protective varnish.
Tagua nuts have different names in different places. They are called corozo in Brittain, palmivoor in Colombia, and coquilla in Brazil.
VEGETABLE IVORY VS ELEPHANT IVORY
Phytelephas, the species that are the primary source of Vegetable Ivory,
is a word that means "elephant plant."
This is the first indication of how similar vegetable and elephant ivory is.
As mentioned, their color and texture have a very solid resemblance.
However, there are several reasons that make tagua a better material to use for making jewelry.
First off, the organic alternative to ivory are fair trade products that make sustainable jewelry.
Tagua saves the lives of many elephants. Unlike the illegal process of achieving animal ivory, obtaining tagua is environmentally friendly.
It does not involve animal cruelty.
No trees are damaged because hundreds of nuts are produced annually.
There are so many, that one year is enough for a tagua palm to outnumber the total ivory produced by a female elephant over the course of her entire life.
The production of tagua nut jewelry has also helped many locals of different developing countries like Ecuador.
New opportunities are given to people to fight not just irresponsible forest management, but also poverty.
Another thing that sets tagua apart from elephant ivory is its ability to absorb wonderful colors and combinations to blend well with its composition.
Tagua can be easily colored with organic