Tagua Seeds are commonly known as ivory palms, ivory-nut palms or tagua palms. Its scientific name is phytelephas which means “Plant elephant.” Tagua is a botanical seed that grows in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. It has the same physical characteristics of elephant ivory, and is commonly referred to as vegetable ivory.  

Tagua seeds are harvested from a specific species of palm tree. The medium-sized palm reaches up to 60 feet tall + grows quickly and easily in shady, humid places hidden below larger trees. Tagua grows from regenerative pods which emerge from the palm’s trunks. The pods are removed from the palm and the seeds are left to dry in the sun. Many of the Tagua seeds are collected from a single fruit armored with a hard + spiked exterior. They are slightly smaller than an egg and covered in a thin brown shell. They are naturally white with a fine grain structure which can be easily dyed.

The drying process for tagua is weather dependent. In the dry season the process lasts from a few days to a week, but during rainy season it can take months for the seeds to dry. Once the seeds are harvested + dried in the sun, they are polished, dyed + cut, all by hand by artisans to create tagua jewelry. Depending on the piece, this process takes from 5 to 8 weeks. 

Because the seeds hold any color they are dyed,  tagua jewelry ranges from bright statement necklaces to subtle and delicate earrings. The finished product can slightly resemble the tagua seed or they can even maintain the mystery of their source.

Since ivory is an integral part of the jewelry and culture, Haute joaillerie designer Alexandra Mor + many other designers started using it in their jewelry collection pieces to raise awareness of the alternative to ivory + to save the Elephants. They presented Tagua seeds as a luxury material + effective alternative for elephant ivory. Some of the designers favorite characteristics of this plant-based exotic jewelry is that it doesn’t absorb heat, making it perfect for any occasion to a poolside summer afternoon. The pieces are lightweight, unique + effortless, transcending seasons with their versatility.

Using sustainably sourced Tagua seeds fine jewelry is a beautiful + natural alternative to traditional ivory. You can gift it to someone you love or add it to your own collection and enjoy this gorgeous handcrafted high-quality jewelry made from a cruelty free mineral. 

Stop in today at GSCO to make your selection from our lovely luxury collection + emphasize this elephant-friendly, natural experience.