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What is Tagua or Vegetable Ivory?

Vegetable ivory, also called tagua or corozo, is the albumen of the fruit of ivory palm (species of genus Phytelephas) that grows in dense, shady forests, on the side of the valleys, between 300 and 1,200 meters above sea level.
It is found in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, in Colombia, Peru, and other countries of the world where it was introduced. These very particular palms, can reach 6 meters high; they begin to produce fruit after about fifteen years. It is the albumen which, when it hardens, forms the vegetable ivory. The seeds, wrapped in a large cluster of pineapples fall palm tree, naturally.

The seed is dried, it becomes very resistant and it is at that time that she is worked. Punctured, painted, pierced, carved or left in the natural state, tagua allows multiple uses. 

For decades it has been used by Indians in the confection buttons and even some sharp utensils. It offers jewelers the same characteristics as animal ivory: texture, resistance, smooth touch, while respecting nature.

By the way, the Latin name of the genus Phytelephas which means vegetable elephant originates from these characteristics.