One thing I love about tagua beads is how colorful they can be.  These beads come from the nuts of palm ivory plants which grow in Central and South America.  The natural color of tag nuts resemble that of the real ivory. The material can also be carved and dyed.

I received some really colorful tagua beads as well natural hued ones from Ecuadorian Hands who are sponsoring yet another awesome giveaway. These beads are elephant friendly because no elephants have been harmed!  They are also a source of income for the people who collect the nuts and who convert them into beads.  So these beads are also eco-friendly as people protect their livelihood by not harming the rainforest.

As you can see from the close-up below, the beads, especially the coloured ones, show natural markings. A thick protective coating of varnish protects the beads.  They feel warm to the touch unlike cold gemstones, and are very light.

The tagua hoops could be used as small pendants but I chose to make earrings out of them as they were not too large.  Don't these earrings remind you of armor?  Maybe I should have called them warrior earrings!

All I did was to strategically bend the small vintage brass discs so that their holes align with that of the tagua hoop. The ball part of the head pins I used is not visible as it is behind the discs.  The trick to making these discs stay put is to make sure the wire wrapped loops are very, very tightly done. 

The triangular tagua beads were a riot of color so I decided to use several for a bib style necklace.  The beads were not regular so I went with irregular wire work using copper.  I aligned the triangular beads such that the wide bases were alternatively placed every other bead.  Look carefully and you can see how I used wire weaving to link the beads together.  The necklace does not stay flat until it is worn.

Wild elephants are now being slaughtered in unprecedented numbers all to satisfy a perverse craving to show off wealth with ivory carvings or believing in the outrageous claims for powdered rhino horn.  At this current rate of poaching, elephants and rhinos face extinction in 10 years!   Both these pieces are now in my Etsy store. 100% of the net proceeds will go to the International Elephant Foundation.  I've also donated to this current nonprofit Indiegogo crowdsourcing project to help equip park rangers with nighttime surveillance drones and computers for zero poaching results.

I posted it to my long neglected Etsy a couple of weeks ago and it immediately generated some interest including being shared on Beadworthy - an inspirational jewelry site run by Hayley.

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 $60 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 30, 2015 . 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
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips