From Tree to Treasure — What Is Tagua and How Does It Become Jewelry?

Equal parts fashion accessory and artisanal statement, tagua nut jewelry is bold as it is beautiful. Tagua jewelry's splashes of color in a cultural array of worldly wonder transcend style and wearability; they encapsulate a compelling story of naturally harvested sustainability — and tagua's tale begins in the trees of South America.

Tagua Nuts: Growth and Harvesting

Tagua nuts have turned into jewelry, but they've got quite the organic odyssey behind them. Tagua is made from the endosperm of seeds of palm trees (specifically, Phytelephas macrocarpa) in the tropical rainforest of Ecuador and other parts of Latin America. They are round and oval, typically measuring approximately five to seven centimeters long with a diameter of five centimeters. It takes around 10-15 years for a female palm tree to begin producing Tagua nuts, and after that, they have a steady yield for decades.

After the nuts mature, artisans harvest them by hand, meaning no harm ever comes to the palm trees. The nuts are then dried until hard enough to work with, a process that can take anywhere from 2-3 months. The drying process is critical to curing the raw material to make it long-lasting and hold up to the shaping process that produces such items as our Tagua necklace.

A Look Into the Jewelry Making Process

Once the nuts have been dried, they are either dyed or immediately shaped into Tagua By Soraya Cedeño jewelry. The natural color of tagua is a creamy white with a marble-like appearance. Artisans cut, carve, and polish the nuts into the intended shape. If desired, the shaped material can be dyed before it is incorporated into a piece of jewelry.

Tagua nut jewelry is made with natural materials, so it is normal and expected to see slight variances in color, texture, and size. These differences only make the finished jewelry more alluring. tagua earrings, bracelets, and necklaces should be treated with care. The dyes may fade if left in direct sunlight for too long, and the jewelry can be damaged if exposed to water. Treat your pieces right, and they will last!

A tagua bracelet or other accessories is the perfect addition to any outfit. You can choose something with a colorful splash or opt for the neutral tones of the un-dyed tagua nut. Many pieces use other natural materials as accents and embellishments, such as our knockout tagua and wood earrings. Whatever your personal style is, there is a piece of Tagua By Soraya Cedeño jewelry out there that's bound to become your new favorite.

Tagua By Soraya Cedeño Jewelry: By the People, for the Planet

Since palm trees reproduce their goods to be harvested every year — unlike elephants, who must give their life for precious ivory —, the process of making tagua nut jewelry is wholly sustainable and eco-friendly. Moreover, materials leftover from the tagua palm tree nut are salvaged and used to feed livestock of the village where the jewelry is produced. Only organic dyes are utilized in granting Tagua By Soraya Cedeno jewelry their striking appearance; no chemicals, no environmental impact.

Sharing the Story: The Handmade Work of Soraya Cedeño

Ecuadorian native Soraya Cedeño recognized the talent of the artisans in the community she grew up with and decided to create a fair-trade jewelry business with her love as the inspiration. Thus, Tagua By Soraya Cedeño was founded. Our company provides educational resources for the artisans to develop their knowledge and skills, as well as the economic opportunity to have their handmade jewelry appreciated by many.

If you are looking for some gorgeous new pieces of eco-friendly fashion jewelry to stand out, explore our collection of tagua nut jewelry! The best part? You'll be supporting the efforts of some remarkable Ecuadorian artisans by purchasing a piece from our magnificent selection. For more information, reach out to the Tagua By Soraya Cedeño team today!

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