Vegetable Ivory – Tagua Nut

Vegetable ivory comes from a few species of tropical plants native to the Amazonian rainforests of South America. The most important source is the plant known as the ivory-nut palm i.e Phytelephas Aequatorialis.

Phytelephas meaning ‘Elephant Plant’.
Aequatorialis relating to the equatorial regions native to the plant.

The Ivory Nut Palm

The Ivory Nut Palm

Bearing large clusters of fruits that contain special ivory like seeds known as Tagua nuts, these palms grow along the banks of rivers along the Amazonian basin through Colombia, Bolivia and Peru.

These seeds are almost identical in colour, texture and hardness to elephant ivory and are carved in a similar fashion, providing a perfect alternative to the slaughter of elephants for their tusks.

Vegetable ivory is a wonderful, sustainable, natural resource and it’s export and use in the making of jewellery, carvings and countless other beautiful artifacts helps boost the economies of it’s native countries. It also provides a good alternative to the destruction of rainforests and animals for illegal or unsustainable produce.

The Tagua Nut

The Tagua Nut

This palm is leading the way in the battle to save it’s natural jungle habitat as more areas of forest are preserved in order produce more of this wonderful material.

Vegetable ivory is not only beautiful, but an extremely important sustainable alternative to elephant ivory and is making a huge contribution to the welfare and environment of the Amazonian Basin and it’s people.

When you purchase an item of jewellery from Original Artisan made from vegetable ivory, you can be confident that what you are wearing is about as ethical and sustainable as you can get.

Take a look at our wide range of bracelets, necklaces and earrings made from Tagua and various other beautiful Amazonian seeds and materials. We also feature some amazing vegetable ivory keyrings and other accessories.

Our jewellery section is relatively new and will be expanding on a daily basis. Please check back every few days to see what’s new.


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