What Is The Tagua Nut?
It comes from a palm like tree that grows in South America and it produces a vegetable ivory nut or seed called a Tagua nut. They can range in size from a cherry to a grapefruit but most commonly they are about the size of a walnut.
When the nut becomes ripe it falls to the ground where it is gathered to be dried out which can take approximately 4 to 8 weeks at when dried they are extremely hard.
The nut looks like elephant ivory but much more resilient, dense and non toxic making it very popular for carving items from chess pieces to umbrella handles and so much more.
With the introduction of synthetics the tagua nut took a back seat for many years until the slaughter of elephants for their ivory was causing a global concern, so the nut is making a comeback since it looks and feels like ivory but no harm is done to the elephant population.