Tagua beads are made from the nuts of ivory palm which grows in Central and South America. These lightweight beads have some of the properties of ivory - the same natural color and a good material for carving.  But unlike real ivory, using tagua beads in art and crafts does not mean the demise of the African elephant. So you could say these beads are humane and eco friendly.

Ecuadorian Hands, a small eco friendly company, in South America processes tagua nuts into beads. They slice, punch out holes, dye the beads and cover them in a protective coating.  I received these flat sliced ones with big holes from them.  Their tagua bead packets like these come in a range of colors. You could use just one but like this past tagua bead necklace design, I decided it would be much more fun to use a number of them in a wire wrapping project. Yup, statement necklace time!

I played around with the beads and picked 5 of them which complimented each other. I love how the irregular slices made the necklace so much more distinctive.  The tutorial for this necklace is here. This wire wrapping project is easy and forgiving.

This necklace is now available in my Etsy store where 100% of the net proceeds from its sale will go to the Air Shepherd Initiative (The Lindbergh Foundation) which uses drones to police large areas and stop the unprecedented killing of elephants and rhinos in Africa. The tusks and horns go to the Far East where owning ivory is a status symbol and where the rhino horns are used as unproven folk medicine.

This initiative works.  They said, "Where we fly, the poaching stops. Completely."  The on board cameras use infra red sensors to catch poachers who kill at night. The outnumbered and ill equipped park rangers in the front line need all the help they can get in this increasingly violent endeavor. That's because killing elephants in Africa also finances terrorism.

Last year alone, 40,000 elephants perished; in the past 3 years 100,000 of them died. They are not merely endangered - they are facing imminent extinction. Back in the 1940's there were 3- 5 million of them in the African grasslands. Today there are less then 500,000. Do the math. The killing is increasing, they may be gone in less than a decade.

If you would like to make tagua bead jewelry and perhaps do your part and raise awareness of the plight of elephants (and rhinos), 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, September 14, 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!


All the natural light photographs were taken on my iPhone 5 with the help of the camera+ app and the Modahaus Tabletop Studio (TS320) and the tallest Steady Stand (overhead picture).  The model was my mannequin "Bertha"!  I've always preferred photographing tagua beads on black backgrounds. For some reason, it is trickier with white backgrounds. Go figure.

Check this link for more information on my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar.

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