Like wood, vegetable ivory is essentially composed of dead cells; however, unlike grainy hardwoods it has a texture and hardness similar to ivory. The base of the embryo cotyledon swells into an absorbing organ that fills the entire cavity of the seed as it digests the endosperm. Apparently Fairchild did not have that actual "blind coconut" from which the pearl was derived. Although there are many varieties of coconuts, they all belong to either of two major types known as niu kafa and niu vai. The seed is surrounded by an outer brown layer called the seed coat or testa.
Perhaps some reports of hard, white objects inside coconuts are remnants of dried endosperm tissue. With a hardness and luster of true ivory, it can be polished and used in jewely. Four or more large seeds are produced in a spiny fruit the size of a grapefruit. Reyne, fraudulent coconut pearls are common and widespread throughout Malaysia, particularly Celebes. This beautiful palm with huge pinnate leaves grows wild along the Napo River in Ecuador, a major tributary of the Amazon. It can be carved and polished like ivory tusks, without endangering whales, elephants and walruses. During germination, a spongy mass develps from the base of the embryo and fills the seed cavity. Reyne, chief of the Coco-nut Research Station at Menado, Celebes, studied the structure of so-called coconut pearls in public and private collections, and concluded that they were pearls from giant clams of the genus Tridacna. How could multinucleate coconut water liquid endosperm and a pulpy, cellular mass composed of cellulose and protein turn into a dense calcareous stone, unless it was buried in sediment for centuries and petrified by mineral replacement. Called "taguas" by local Indians of the Napo River, the endosperm of immature seeds is pulpy and sweet--food for people and animals of the region. Jet is a black mineral similar to hardened coal, formed by the carbonization of ancient conifer forests buried beneath the sea. Some palm seeds contain vegetable ivory, hardened endosperm tissue containing a polysaccharide called hemicellulose. Without a germination pore the embryonic growth within the hard-shelled nut is supposedly retarded, and this abnormal situation may in some unknown way be related to the formation of a stone. The center of origin for ocean-dispersed coconuts appears to be the Indo-Malaysian region. This is the brown material that adheres to the white "meat" or endosperm when it is removed from the endocarp shell. It takes a high polish and makes beautiful pendants and necklaces. Based upon tertiary fossil evidence in the South Pacific long before the voyages of ancient mariners and convincing dispersal studies by Harries and his associates, coconut palms probably originated on tropical islands of the Indo-Malaysian region. In fact, vegetable ivory is remarkably dense, with a rating of roughly 2. The polished coconut endocarp is made into earrings and other jewelry. The stems of some bamboos, including spiny bamboo Bambusa bambos , contain silica concretions composed of silicon dioxide. Another source of vegetable ivory is Hyphaene ventricosa, a beautiful African palm native to islands and banks of the Zambesi River in the vicinity of Victoria Falls. Eventualy, the developing palm becomes self sufficient, as its leaves produce sugars through photosynthesis and its roots absorb minerals from the soil. A lovely vegetable ivory necklace made from polished seeds of the ivory-nut palm Phytelephas aequatorialis. The thick, fibrous husk mesocarp that surrounds the endocarp has been removed. Riedel and concluded that it came from a giant clam. The "pearl" given to Dr. However, milled nuts can be fused into a larger, solid mass with modern bonding cements under heat and pressure.
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