When I launched the KoaWood Ranch retail store, I did so with a vision of curating an assortment of products that best highlighted the beauty of Koa wood. There was no question that the iconic Koa wood ring would be one of those products. Like most Hawaii aficionados, I appreciate its beauty, feel, and what it represents.
But what is the significance of a Koa wood ring? The Koa wood ring is a symbol of strength, sophistication, romance, and commitment. Koa Wood typifies courage and exclusivity that is defined by Hawaiian history, while the ring’s metal is a symbol of strength and the circle shape reflects the endless nature of commitment.
Whether you own a Koa wood ring or plan to give one as a gift, the emblematic nature of the ring is often overshadowed by its beauty. But the 2 oz piece of jewelry is packed with historic reference, reverence, and nostalgia that surpasses its lustrous attributes and comparable competitors.
Its meaning is derived by the collective symbols for which it is made of; wood, metal, circular shape, Hawaiian brand, and history.
Koa Wood is a Symbol of Strength
Koa wood reflects strength and courage, the word Koa means warrior. In ancient Hawaii, it was the go-to wood used in the making of many ancient warrior tools. In part because Koa is a hardwood. It was used to construct canoes, swords, and hand weapons of all kinds. Its solidity and rigidity served to support ancient Koa warriors in combat. Koa wood is engineered by nature and capable of enduring the toughest abuse.
The combination of symbolic strength (of Koa) and its substantive hardiness creates a Koa wood ring that both reflects and embodies vigor.
Tungsten Represents Permanence
Although Koa wood rings are available in all different kinds of metal, my favorite and the most common is the Tungsten. Like wood, Tungsten is known for its strength. It has the highest melting point of all metals and is rated at about a 9 on the Mhos scale of hardness (A diamond, which is the hardest substance on earth, is rated at 10.) Tungsten is often used to make tips of drill bits, high-speed cutting tools, and in mining machinery. Tungsten is the strongest naturally occurring metal on Earth. As a result, Tungsten is less susceptible to scratches and damage than most metals including titanium and cobalt chrome. In addition, Tungsten rings are able to retain their luster without having to perform regular polishing. Its meaning IS its strength and permanence.
With that said, metals go way back in history. Some ancient people viewed metals as mysterious materials found deep inside the ground and perceived them to be full of spiritual and creative powers. They were thought of as having a spiritual connection. Tungsten in particular was thought to carry protective energy.
Koa Ownership is Exclusive
Because of the fearless and courageous meaning it embodies, Koa wood was highly regarded and thought of as legendary by the ancient Hawaiians. It was so highly thought of that is was “kapu” or prohibited for anyone to possess Koa unless you were part of the royal class. Koa was a traditional gift used and exchanged amongst monarchs. Koa wood ownership was only for the privileged. Being exclusive, refined, and expensive, it often adorned the walls and halls of palaces.
Still today, Koa is exclusive and expensive. Although it grows in Hawaii it’s hard to get, in part because it’s against the law to harvest a tree on public land. Its availability is limited. Subsequently making it arguably the most expensive wood in the world. Respectively, Koa remains very special and serves as a symbol of sophistication and exclusivity. It is cherished most by those who are lucky enough to own Koa.
Koa Wood Rings Embody Hawaii's Romantic Brand
Hawaii is known as the wedding capital of the world. It performs the 2nd highest number of out-of-town weddings (second only to Las Vegas). It is one of the most popular US honeymoon destinations. Wedding themes aside, Hawaii islands inspire ideas of bliss and heaven with its plentiful beaches and towering waterfalls. Soothing palm trees, ocean waves, and all that goes with it have branded Hawaii as a romantic experience.
By association, the Hawaiian Koa Wood ring is capable of kindling nostalgia and spirit of Hawaii romance. It inspires a wistful affection for the aloha lifestyle and ideas of romance that Hawaii emits. Owning and wearing a Koa ring gives its owner the opportunity to carry paradise on their hands.
Emblematic of Commitment
A circle has no beginning or end and is therefore a symbol for what's infinite. It is endless and eternal, as love should be. Accordingly, bands and rings reflect this sentiment of forever. The offer of a ring is an unconditional promise to love eternally. A symbol of what’s everlasting, the ring has been around for many years. And while cultures and rituals have become more modern, the foundation qualities of the ring’s symbolism and tradition remains as strong now as ever.
The Value of the Koa Ring is Derived From its Meaning
In a class of its own, Koa wood rings stand out and have arguably more depth, history, and character than others because of its association with the Hawaiian brand and all that it signifies.
Delivering on meaning, practicality, and beauty I was inspired to commission the making of Koa wood rings for the KoaWood Ranch store. The result was a classic Koa ring collection that I fell in love with. I decided on a traditional round and beveled edge profiles for now.
Set in metal and protected by resins, the Koa wood ring is strong and durable. It can endure some of the most intense elements of the islands; UV rays, saltwater, and all that an active lifestyle can attract. One of the benefits of owning a Koa ring is its sturdiness over time.
Koa wood is difficult and expensive to come by and what the Koa wood ring offers is accessibility. Priced at under $100 it is affordable. Owning or gifting a Koa Wood ring is a small way in which we can all partake in Koa ownership and reverence for the tree that played a critical part in Hawaii’s history.
To see our collection click here. There you'll find our most updated assortment.