Do elephants live in South America?  Obviously not. But tagua nuts collected there are connected to these majestic beasts in Africa in a totally different way.

They are plant alternatives to ivory with similar looks, feel and even porosity. Just like real ivory, tagua nuts are also easily carved and dyed.  So no elephants are harmed in the process.

The nuts are harvested from the aptly named ivory or ivory nut palms after the mocochas or kernel containing the nuts naturally ripen. This practice fulfills two additional and  important aims - it not only encourages the protection of the rainforest but also provides an alternative income source for the local community.

Those of who have been reading my blog for some time may remember a past giveaway from Ecuadorian Hands, one of the enterprises making and selling tagua beads.  Well, they are back with a super $40 gift certificate giveaway to one lucky winner.  I should also mention, in the interests of full disclosure, that they also advertise on my blog.

If these exotic ivory beads are new to you, you might be interested in seeing how they manufacture the beads after collection.  The highly polished beads come in a range of rainbow colors. What's also interesting to note is the natural patterns seen on some of the beads which sort of resembles gemstones.

If you would like to get started with using these eco-friendly beads, then try your luck with the giveaway. All you have to do is make a comment below. Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or are an existing GFC follower (I no longer have the widget for new followers) etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway,  those will count as additional entries too!  Please say so in the comments.

This international giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, March 5, 2012

Before You Go :
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips