Monday, December 6, 2010

Tagua Bead Jewelry Kit Giveaway

By on Monday, December 06, 2010 25 Comments

Never heard of tagua beads? You are in good company - I hadn't either. Well, ever since Fabrizio Vera of contacted me about a giveaway, I've learned lots!

Tagua nuts are the seeds of ivory palms (Phytelephas) found in Central and South America. Their scientific name means "plant elephant". That's because the nuts are so hard, they can be carved just like elephant ivory. They are also easily dyed.

Elephant ivory is no longer traded nor should it be so tagua nuts are a wonderful alternative hence their other common names, vegetable or plant ivory. They are also environmentally sound as the palms are not harmed in any way.

Harvesting the economically viable nuts provides not just a living to those who live the area but it also discourages the cutting down of rain forests to make way for farms. Yep, tagua nuts save elephants AND the rain forest!

Tagua palm treeTagua Palm via Wikipedia

One of the questions I had for Fabrizio was whether the beads were fair trade. Apparently I was not alone. Not only do their customers ask this, some have turned up to inspect their factory! He was honest and said he did not know much about the trading within the rain forest areas as it is informal and not yet regulated. He added, " A family gathers 2 pounds of nuts, gets a boat across the river, gets to the town and sell it to local merchants." From that point though, trading is traceable.

Their workers are treated well. The factory looks well equipped as you can see from the pictures Fabrizio sent me.

Raw Bead Warehouse and the Shaping Machines

The Polishing and Dyeing Machines

Drying beads and the Quality Control ladies!

Finished tagua and coconut necklace
See here for the  video tutorial

EcuadorianHands is giving away a $15 gift certificate towards a few of  the jewelry kits shown here. There are cell phone charms, bracelets and simple necklaces. Remember any of these can be disassembled or made into different designs mixing in some of your own bead collections.  I have selected a couple of kits which I liked :

To win the certificate, all you you have to do is make a comment below. Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower or also on my Facebook Fan page or Twitter. Please say so in the comments. The giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, December 13. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to come back and check!

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Thanks for this informative (and green) blog. Elephant ivory is beaufiful and should remain on the elephant! This is a great alternative.

    From what I have seen/felt - these types of beads are relatively light in weight.

  2. I absolutely love Tagua beads! They add a rather unique element to any design and there are so many fun colors, styles, and shapes to choose from! My usual source for them is Antelope Beads. I follow The Beading Gem on Facebook and Twitter so I am sure not to miss anything!

  3. Nice...I remember hearing about the palm nuts in villages across my country( in my language Tamil - they are called Panang kottai) and are usually used as counters in playing games. I have seen only the brown/black ones till now..the colours are new to me..but they look so beautiful

  4. Hi Pearl, thank you for the introduction to Tagua Beads, love to win some to try them out. I am a follower... Have a great week.

  5. A faithful reader/subscriber and Facebook Fan Page follower here!

    I was intrigued with these beads because I love anything ethnic, frequently use beads from around the world in my designs, and sell items made by Women of Worth in Uganda.

    And artisans are frequently inspired by nature!

  6. These are beautiful! I would love to win a kit! I follow your blog and like you on FB!

  7. I love these beads! They're gorgeous!

  8. I read about tagua nuts on a sustainability blog a while back, and I think they're awesome! I want to add sustainability to my crafting habit. I'm a blog follower and a fan on facebook.

  9. Very informative post, Pearl! Thanks! I learnt about tagua nuts when I received a bracelet in one of the BeadingDaily swaps. It was made with a painted tagua nut. I love it!

  10. Wow these beads are great! This is my first time here. I stumbled upon this blog while searching for chain mail tutorials this morning and have been here for about an hour and a half now! Thanks for all the great info, I will definitely keep coming back!

  11. Your blog continues to be my most favorite - why you ask? You show us innovative ways to make great pieces of art, you educate us about source materials, entertain us with history, stories and great pictures, and create awareness about important topics such as this! Not only does this post emphasize the importance of knowing where our craft materials originate, but it teaches us about how our choices to use certain materials, such as as tagua nuts, can help save a species - actually 2 - human and elephant! You make learning about different parts of the world and the contributions of other cultures enjoyable!
    Keep up the awesome posting!

  12. Love these beads!Been following your blog for over a year now. Thank you for all the wonderful information!

  13. The cell phone charm kits are really cute!!! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  14. I follow you via twitter!! (@elisekayem)

  15. I like the beading gem on facebook too! :)

  16. i loved these beads ..they are very pretty ..

  17. i am subscribed to your blogs via e-mail

  18. Came across your blog recently, Its beautiful, so much to learn. the beads are beautiful too...I am a follower too..

  19. I love these beads! Thanks for this informative

  20. Never seen them before so of course I would learn about them here. :) Fabulous!

  21. Hello there, If you like tagua beads and would like to learn more about it, please follow us in facebook

    or twitter

    cheers :)

  22. Giveaway! Share your designs with us and Win $20 in tagua beads monthly! is proud to feature your artwork, and we invite you to submit images of your favorite projects to the Customer gallery section and participate in our monthly draft. You can win packages of tagua beads and coconut beads to incentive your creativity and environmental awareness using ecofriendly beads. Here’s how you can be included: