The seahorse at the center of this necklace is hand-carved out of a Tagua Nut and painted. The attention to detail is amazing! The surrounding double-strand mixes faceted quartz, freshwater pearls in multiple sizes, Swarovski crystals and tiny sterling silver spacers. It is finished with a beautiful sterling silver turtle clasp.
Tagua (pronounced TAH-gwah) nut carving is a way that local master artisans make money for their families in these third world countries. This seahorse pendant is an exquisite tagua nut or vegetable ivory carving done by a master carver from the Wounaan Darien Rainforest tribe in South America.
As if that were not reason enough to like this richly ivory-colored seed from a tagua palm tree, another great reason is the fact that tagua nuts are now being sustainably harvested from the rainforest floor, providing jobs for people who might otherwise be destroying the rain forest to make a living. This palm tree grows as high as a four-story building and is a renewable resource native to Panama, Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador. The pod is called a cazeba and the nuts grow slowly in this pod, with 7 to 8 pods on one tree. The pods grow to the size of a hen’s egg. Then the pods fall from the tree, and the nuts now have a sweetish, milky center.