Jewellery Stories
By Niki Bruce
9 Dec 2020

The art of sustainable jewellery with the Tagua Nut

The jewellery industry has introduced new fine jewellery materials like the Tagua Nut, that’s also known as vegetable ivory, due to the increasing focus on sustainable and ethical practices in every sphere of life. 

The art of sustainable jewellery with the Tagua Nut 1

The Tagua Nut comes from the Phytelephas Macrocarpa palm species. It grows only across the tropical rainforest of South America’s pacific coasts. The fallen ripe Tagua Nuts are dried over a period of two to four months when they become extremely hard like ivory.

Tagua Nuts have been used by carvers for two hundred years to make chess pieces, dominoes, dice, and even buttons. However, the phenomenon and popularity of indestructible and cheap plastic led to the virtual disappearance of Tagua Nut products.

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Carvers in Japan still practise the art of tagua carving but with growing rarity. A relatively latent tagua industry has survived in Ecuador. However, for the last two decades, global attention has shifted to finding a plausible natural alternative to ivory.

Fine jewellery with Tagua Nuts

Eminent designers of haute couture jewellery have understood the growing demand among clients who prefer to invest in their sustainable materials. A clear move towards something green is a way forward for modern buyers. As a botanical alternative to ivory, tagua seed has garnered interest among both buyers and jewellers alike. The fine jewellery industry has taken note of it. There has been a visible trend where tagua has been crafted with gold and precious gemstones to design something entirely unique.

The art of sustainable jewellery with the Tagua Nut 2

Tagua Nuts deliver a fantastic texture and finish with a bit of polishing. They can be cut in every possible form and shape. Apart from its original ivory colour, the seed can be dyed in an astonishing array of natural shades. The process beautifully reveals the veins and overall structure of the cellulose material of the nut, lending each piece a touch of individuality and a natural appeal.

Unique jewellery designs

The best part about tagua is its uniqueness. You won’t really find anything quite like this. When combined with precious metals and gemstones, fine tagua jewellery becomes a collector’s piece de resistance. From bracelets, earrings, to necklaces, Tagua Nut has been used in combination with diamonds to emeralds. 

The exceptional background of tagua helps the vivid gemstones to stand out. The distinguishing line running in the middle of the seed adds an interesting twist to the designs.   

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The diversity of tagua allows it to be moulded into virtually any silhouette and size. This versatility is one of the reasons behind its diverse usage. A well-crafted piece of Tagua jewellery is filled with energy, sensuality and movement.

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Slowly but steadily, jewellers and consumers have made a difference in the world of ornaments by opting for environmentally responsible jewellery. It is a critical step towards choosing everything planet positive.  

Discover our unique fine jewellery collection featuring the Tagua Nut.

To create a bespoke piece of jewellery or redesign a family heirloom, call us on +65 6733 4100, or send us an email at bespoke@thejewelbox.com. Our atelier is open to customers, or we can organise a virtual appointment if you prefer. 

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