The Phytelephas aequatorialis is a palm that grows in northwestern Amazonia. The natives use to call it Tagua, but its translation from ancient greek is “elephant tree”. Its fruits are very similar to the coconuts, but when they dry and harden, they become white and compact like the elephant ivory. During the years the elephant poachers in search of ivory caused the extinction of the African pachyderms, while the vegetable ivory, even if with different features, can easily replaces the white ancient gold without incur in the illegal commerce. Tagua nuts are one of the biggest economical and renewable resource in Ecuador and in their manufacturing are involved a lot of families and local artisan cooperatives that realize costume jewellery, statuettes and buttons through the exported goods. During the XIX century the spread of buttons made with Ecuadorian Tagua culminates in the United States and in Europe, until the 50’s when the synthetic materials had the upper hand over. But in Italy the Tagua buttons are still used by Italian designers in jewellery and fashion.