Tagua - the extraordinary jewellery that grows on trees

Watch the video of how this stunning jewellery is designed and created!

When we opened Gigglewick Gallery in August 2022 we did not have a solid plan of what we wanted to exhibit and sell. We are not good at following directions or maps and basically decided to set-off and primarily rely on instinct. 

We had talked about making and selling jewellery but nothing felt right and, anyway, we had so much to do! Then, in late August, we stumbled across the story of the Tagua palm and our instincts kicked in!

We loved the jewellery; the bold colours, the underlying ethics and the variety. However, we needed for them to be very well made and affordable. We selected a few suppliers, bought some pieces and took them to a local jeweller to give us an independent opinion. Our heart was there - we just needed our head to be there as well!

The jeweller was pretty impressed and an initial investment confirmed our instincts. Our clients loved it!

Why do we love it? The extraordinary Tagua palm is a lesson for us all in sustainability.  The palm produces tightly packed clusters of woody fruits that can weigh up to 10kg! Each fruit generally contains four to nine cavities, each the size of a hen's egg.

Amazingly, the seed cavities initially comprise a thirst-quenching liquid, similar to coconut water. If left the liquid congeals into an edible sweet gelatine.

Finally, when left to dry for several weeks, the gelatine matures into a very hard white nut that mimics elephant ivory. 

As an ivory substitute, the Tagua can truly be called an elephant's best friend!

Natural, Sustainable, Fair and Social

The Tagua jewellery which we stock is the product of a well organised Fairtrade sustainable manufacturing process organised by Cecilia and her team at Nodova in Southern France.

The Tagua fruits are collected naturally from the Ecuadorian rainforest by indigenous Kichwa women. Organised through a women's co-operative of family artisans, the nuts are shaped and coloured before being sent to Nodova in Perigord, France. 

The jewellery is designed and assembled in Nodova's workshop with meticulous attention to quality standards. These standards are driven by respect for the environment and people, and an insistence on sustainable, natural and or/recycled materials.

Each jewellery piece compensates the work of Kiswa women at it's fair value in line with Nodova's and Gigglewick's underlying social ethos. The Tagua work is a source of autonomy, financial independence and empowerment for the Kichwa women.

Beautiful Fashionable Handcrafted Natural Jewellery

The jewellery is well made colourful, natural and chic!  It will not look out of place at dinner parties, coffee shops, on the school run, at work or around the home! No two pieces are the same and they provide a great talking point and a lovely warming story!

Take a look at our current stock here or pop-in to see what we have at the gallery in the Royal Arcade!

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