Plant Ivory... We hear more and more about it, but do you really know what it is?
It is in fact the seed of a South American palm tree, Phytelephas Macrocarpa. This seed is called "Tagua nut". It should be noted that the palm trees are not of course cut down for the production of these nuts, but raised and maintained for their tagua production.
It is therefore a natural 100% material, very robust and produced according to fair trade rules.
The tagua nuts are taken out of their pods (bogue) and left to dry for a few months before being hand polished to remove the brown layer that protects the ivory-like surface. Hence the nickname "Ivory Plant", as it is very similar to animal ivory in appearance and feel.
Once polished, the nuts are then cut and dyed (traditional processes), and the jewellery is patiently assembled one by one.
For your information, piano keys are now made of this material. In the past, before the advent of plastic, buttons for clothing were also made from this material!