Tagua nuts are small (roughly 2″ long) seeds from palm trees in the Phytelephas genus. Beneath the thin, brown, flaky skin of the nuts lies a stark white tissue that closely resembles animal ivory: hence Tagua nuts are sometimes referred to as palm ivory.

The average density of the “ivory” material is approximately 75 lbs/ft3 (1,200 kg/m3). Although oily and non-porous, Tagua nuts can be glued to wood or each other using epoxy or CA glue. At the center of each nut lies a very small void (see image below). Because of their small size, Tagua nuts are typically only used for inlays, accents, and small carvings.


Tagua nut

Tagua nut


Tagua nut (cut open)

Tagua nut (cut open)