I found these beads at a local shop and started making jewelry with them. Also known as vegetable ivory, tagua nuts (and the seeds inside them) grow on tagua palms (Phytelephas aequatorialis) in the rainforests of South America. Use of the nut is considered environmentally friendly because once dried out, the tagua can be carved in the same way elephant ivory can be, and thus limits the killing of elephants. Furthermore, tagua palms can be grown without destroying rainforest land, so having this as a viable product lessens the need for local peoples to cut down rainforest to farm.
Tagua nuts and seeds can be dyed just like elephant ivory, and they are becoming popular for jewelry. Check out these colors; they're look like candy! I like the natural ones, too - such a lovely ivory color.
More in the new vegetable ivory jewelry section of my Etsy shop!