Acacia Koa, endemic to the islands of Hawai’i, takes its name from the Hawaiian word “koa,” meaning brave, fearless, bold. A royal tree reserved for the Ali’i class, the highest social caste in ancient Hawai’i, and reserved especially for the Kahuna, the expert craftsmen. Used for perfectly sculpted dugout canoes, ukuleles, and fine jewelry, the koa has a special place in Hawaiian history and culture, representing the boldness of the early island hopping Polynesian explorers, the fearlessness of their warriors, and the regality of their society.
A simple ring: titanium body with an inlay of wood cut from a barrel used to age Jack Daniels whiskey. It’s a ring for a craftsman, a ring for an artisan. The man who wears this ring understands the beauty in simplicity, the art of subtlety. He needs a ring that will catch the eye, but one that still represents him in all his forms and one durable enough to keep up with his rough lifestyle. It’s in the pocket of his faded jeans until the saw is turned off and his safety goggles are removed. Then it’s back on, sliding over his calloused, dirty fingers.
Deep in the woods of the Appalachians, somewhere hidden away on the slopes of Mount LeConte above Gatlinburg, there’s a single-room distillery. Just a few big copper stills in a cinderblock room, and along the walls are dozens of barrels aging its sweet nectars. The proprietor is a hearty man with a leather smock, a carefully curated beard, and eyes that glisten with a genuine passion for his art. Ask him for his secret, and he’ll tell you that the wood is everything. And the wood is everything.
The prized Hawaiian Koa, the sacred wood of the ancient Polynesian dugout canoes, their earthly companion as they explored the furthest reaches of the Pacific in search of the luxurious and prosperous insular rainforests. The koa was the monarch of those ancient forests, prized now for its sturdiness, fine grain, and beautiful red color. This wood is the heart of exploration, of adventure, and of the endless pursuit of prosperity.