Tagua beads are wonderful substitutes for elephant ivory.  These beads are made from the nuts of the ivory palm trees which grow in Central and South America.  They are the same hue as ivory and can also be carved.   Here is the latest design with some of the beads Ecuadorian Hands sent me some time ago.

The turquoise and black beads are all tagua. As you can see from the focal, there is a beautiful natural grain to the material.  The durable tagua beads have been dyed and highly polished. Unlike gemstones, these feel warm to the touch and are lovely to work with.  I mixed the organic beads with glass ones for a unique necklace.

It is in my shop - 100% of the net proceeds from its sale will go to the International Elephant Foundation. This organization does much to support the conservation, education and research of African and Asian elephants so they may still be around for future generations.

The illegal poaching of elephant tusks is increasing at an alarming rate - mostly to satisfy demand in China where ivory is viewed as a status symbol by a growing affluent population. Adding to this mix is evidence that elephant ivory could be bankrolling terrorist groups. China though is beginning to join the global push to stop the illegal trade.

Elephants are such noble creatures. They are highly intelligent and social animals.  They show compassion for others in distress, even those who are not in their family group.  The elephant equivalent of a hug is a chirping sound and a gentle touch with the trunk or even placing the trunk in the other elephant's mouth.

Researchers have discovered that poaching causes long term damage to young survivors who witness the slaughter of their family members. They suffer from something similar to post trauma stress disorder (PTSD).  The loss of the family matriach is especially devastating as the group loses its most experienced member and the survival knowledge she has. Like us, elephants grieve and mourn their dead.

If you would like to make tagua bead jewelry and perhaps do your part and raise awareness of the plight of elephants, then  have a go at this Ecuadorian Hands giveaway for  $40 worth of tagua beads. Please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, March 10, 2014 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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