SciBugsCollections

Colorful Tagua Nut and Insect Wing Jewelry

Athens, Georgia · 51 Sales

SciBugsCollections

Colorful Tagua Nut and Insect Wing Jewelry

Athens, Georgia 51 Sales On Etsy since 2016

5 out of 5 stars
(12)

Announcement   We feature colorful earrings and unique necklaces using Vegetable Ivory (Tagua Nuts) from Ecuador and Real Jewel Beetle or Real Butterfly Wings. Everything is eco-friendly, sustainable, all natural, and conservation minded so shop with a clear conscience knowing you are wearing the hidden gems of nature!

::**ABOUT THE JEWEL BEETLES**::
The beetles are all sustainably farmed from Thailand. Adults only live 3-4 weeks, the larva are eaten by people and it's been used since antiquity for jewelry. The beetles (Sternocera aequisignata) are in the family Bupresidae (Jewel Beetles). The color is all natural! They're naturally that shiny and come in a variety of shades ranging from green, to blue, to bronze, to gold. Due to their iridescence they're sometimes called "Dragon Scales."

::**ABOUT THE BUTTERFLIES**::
The butterfly and other insect wings are either collected after the insect has died naturally or are taken from student collections from the University of Georgia. Students need to complete physical insect collections to learn identification and preservation techniques. After the semester, the extra unwanted insects are placed into the museum. However, sometimes there is a surplus of specimens. Instead of throwing them away, I use their wings in my jewelry.

::**WHAT IS TAGUA?**::
Tagua is a palm nut that grows on the coast of Ecuador. While it can be eaten most people use it for handicrafts. I buy all my tagua from a woman who lives in the Ecuadorian city Otavalo and we sit on her floor and hand select each piece!

::**FOLLOW US**::

::Facebook::
www.facebook.com/SciBugsCollections

::Instagram::
www.instagram.com/SciBugs.Collections

::Pinterest::
http://www.pinterest.com/SciBugs

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/SciBugs

Blogs:
www.askentomologists.com
www.scibugs.tumblr.com

Announcement

Last updated on Feb 26, 2017

We feature colorful earrings and unique necklaces using Vegetable Ivory (Tagua Nuts) from Ecuador and Real Jewel Beetle or Real Butterfly Wings. Everything is eco-friendly, sustainable, all natural, and conservation minded so shop with a clear conscience knowing you are wearing the hidden gems of nature!

::**ABOUT THE JEWEL BEETLES**::
The beetles are all sustainably farmed from Thailand. Adults only live 3-4 weeks, the larva are eaten by people and it's been used since antiquity for jewelry. The beetles (Sternocera aequisignata) are in the family Bupresidae (Jewel Beetles). The color is all natural! They're naturally that shiny and come in a variety of shades ranging from green, to blue, to bronze, to gold. Due to their iridescence they're sometimes called "Dragon Scales."

::**ABOUT THE BUTTERFLIES**::
The butterfly and other insect wings are either collected after the insect has died naturally or are taken from student collections from the University of Georgia. Students need to complete physical insect collections to learn identification and preservation techniques. After the semester, the extra unwanted insects are placed into the museum. However, sometimes there is a surplus of specimens. Instead of throwing them away, I use their wings in my jewelry.

::**WHAT IS TAGUA?**::
Tagua is a palm nut that grows on the coast of Ecuador. While it can be eaten most people use it for handicrafts. I buy all my tagua from a woman who lives in the Ecuadorian city Otavalo and we sit on her floor and hand select each piece!

::**FOLLOW US**::

::Facebook::
www.facebook.com/SciBugsCollections

::Instagram::
www.instagram.com/SciBugs.Collections

::Pinterest::
http://www.pinterest.com/SciBugs

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/SciBugs

Blogs:
www.askentomologists.com
www.scibugs.tumblr.com

Nancy Miorelli

Contact shop owner

Nancy Miorelli

View all 36 items

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(12)
scottkirkton

scottkirkton on Feb 11, 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Bought this for my daughter's 8th birthday because she loved my wife's. Another great experience with Nancy's shop.

scottkirkton

scottkirkton on Feb 11, 2017

5 out of 5 stars

I bought this for my wife. She loves it and gets so many compliments at work. Great materials, well constructed, and arrived expertly packed in a short period of time.

View all 12 reviews

About

SciBugs Collections features ecofriendly bug jewelry made with natural products from all around the world! Why not add a bit of sparkle to your day?

I've always done a little jewelry making. A little here. A little there. Mainly for friends and family, but I never made anything that I just fell in love with.

Then I moved to Ecuador! I'm an entomologist living in the cloud forests studying bugs. I had some leftover jewel beetle shells from other projects. When I found that I could buy tagua, a palm nut that grows on the coast of Ecuador and a very common material used in Ecuadorian Jewelry, I knew I finally had what I was looking for. Endless possibilities of colored tagua paired with jewel beetle shells or butterfly wings. Because all the products are natural, no two pairs of earrings, and no two pendants are alike!

I started by just selling jewelry at the Ecolodge where I work. This jewelry really gives me a springboard to talk about bugs and their conservation! After so many people telling me that they loved my earrings, I took my 100lb rice bag full of jewelry supplies to my bug conference in Orlando, Fl. I sold earrings there to help raise money to build houses in Ecuador after the earthquake and was successful enough to fund the constructions of three houses! (www.scibugs.tumblr.com)

From there, I decided to get serious! I now have two people who help me out with everything as I still live in the middle of the jungle. Allison handles all my shipping from the states and packages everything with a personal touch and Carlos who lives in Ecuador does my videography work and a lot of my photography.

We would all like to thank you for stopping by and taking a look!
~Nancy (aka SciBugs)

Tweet

Shop members

  • Nancy Miorelli

    Owner, Creator

    I started this whole thing! After living in Ecuador for a year and being inspired by the local markets, I decided to use the tagua found here and combine it with my number one passion - Bugs!

  • Carlos Cañizares

    Photographer, Assistant

    Sometimes you need people on the ground! Carlos is a guide for the Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve in Ecuador and helps out rebuilding houses on the coast after the earthquake. The rest of his time he devotes to studying tourism in Quito!

  • Allison Johnson

    Shipper, Assistant

    Allison is an entomologist in Athens, Georgia. She enjoys crocheting, knitting, and playing roller derby. She takes care of the bugs in the UGA insect zoo and will be going for her Master's in the fall!

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Feb 15, 2017
Frequently asked questions

What is Tagua?

Tagua is a nut that grows on the coast of Ecuador from a palm tree. It can be cut, dyed, and polished. It's not farmed like other palms. People just pick up what falls to the ground and use it in handicrafts.

It's nickname is "Vegetable Ivory" due to its hardness and natural ivory color.

Where do you get the beetle wings? Are they sustainable and ethically sourced?

Yes! They are sustainable and ethically sourced.

The jewel beetle wings come from a supplier in Thailand. There, the jewel beetles are sustainably harvested by the locals who eat them. The shells can't be eaten, so they are sold to venders who then sell them. The locals are paid for the shells. The beetles are harvested and maintained somewhat like cattle. The protects wild beetles.

Where do you get the butterfly and other insect wings? Are they sustainable and ethically sourced?

Yes! They are sustainable and ethically sourced.

The butterfly (and other insect) wings come from two sources. One, is that I collect only dead specimens that I find. Sometimes they die because of old age or fungus. Sometimes I find just the wings as birds and other predators rip the wings off and then will just eat the body. (Nature is rough sometimes...)

Otherwise, I save wings from old student collections. Students, in most entomology classes, are required to create physical insect collections to learn the basics of morphology, identification, and processing. At the end of the semester, some specimens are placed in the museum. All others would be thrown out. I collect them and use their wings in my jewelry to give them a new life.

Where do you get the butterfly and other insect wings? Are they sustainable and ethically sourced?

Yes! They are sustainable and ethically sourced.

The butterfly (and other insect) wings come from two sources. One, is that I collect only dead specimens that I find. Sometimes they die because of old age or fungus. Sometimes I find just the wings as birds and other predators rip the wings off and then will just eat the body. (Nature is rough sometimes...)

Otherwise, I save wings from old student collections. Students, in most entomology classes, are required to create physical insect collections to learn the basics of morphology, identification, and processing. At the end of the semester, some specimens are placed in the museum. All others would be thrown out. I collect them and use their wings in my jewelry to give them a new life.

Do you do anything to the butterfly wings?

Yes. I coat them in a type of thin plastic to ensure that they are waterproof and protected. Many butterfly wings that you can buy encased in glass cannot be exposed to moisture unless the seller has sealed the wings perfectly. That's because many butterflies, like the shiny ones, use specialized micro-structures to make their colors. If water enters the structures, they don't reflect light correctly, and they look brown. This process ensures that the butterfly wing always stay vibrant and shiny!

If you're interested in learning about the micro-stuctures, check out my YouTube video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjRU7nxOJ8

Are the beetle shells fragile

I'm probably the most destructive person you'll find on the planet.
That being said, when I motorbike through the jungle and I wear these (and sometimes they flap around in the wind) and I haven't had any break.

I did have one that I left in the bottom of my backpack for a week and the end of the shell chipped off.

So with regular care, nothing is going to happen to them. Chitin (the stuff that insect exoskeletons are made of) is naturally really hard! In fact, there's one beetle - called the "Iron Clad Beetle" and its shell is so hard that people actually have to use an industrial drill to drill holes through them. #randombugfact

Do you do anything to the beetle shells?

Nope! They're 100% natural. They range in colors naturally, are naturally hard and durable, and really are that shiny! Nature is amazing! I urge you to read about Jewel Beetles.

Are the earrings heavy?

Nope! The beetle shells are really light and since the tagua is cut pretty thin, it's not that heavy either. Obviously, the smaller earrings are lighter than the bigger clunkier ones. That being said, I drive on my motor bike, wind whipping at my face, and haven't had a problem.

Are the earrings and necklaces hypoallergenic

Yes! All the metals I use are both nickle and lead free.
I do not yet have the option to make jewelry with silver, gold, or platinum but check back soon as I'm considering adding these options.