5 Interesting Facts About Koa Wood

    5 Interesting Facts About Koa Wood

Among the most notable resources from Hawaii, koa wood is now found in jewelry, furniture, and other products all over the world.


Its value lies in its beauty and complexity – but this wood is even deeper than its surface lets on.


The Word “Koa” Means “Warrior” in Hawaiian



Kamehameha I, or Kamehameha the Great, was the first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii; he reigned for almost 40 years from the 18th through the 19th century.


His warriors built canoes from the wood they found all over the “Big Island of Hawaii,” noting its lightweight and buoyancy. 


They also, in fact, used it – in combination of shark’s teeth and marlin bills – for the most notable and forceful weapons of the day. 


The wood, they determined, was so rich and powerful, it eventually epitomized the warriors themselves; and eventually, was known as “koa.”


The Hawaiian Koa Wood Grain Patterns Are Phenomenal


Another thing that really sets this exotic tree apart from its counterparts? The unique colors and textures of its wood.


The colors of Hawaiian koa wood, for example, can range all the way from a rich blonde, to a smoked red, to a deep chocolate brown.



Its patterns are equally as unique; koa wood can be straight-grained, it can be figured, or it can even be curly or wavy. 


And even more uniquely: the tight grain pattern in koa wood sometimes creates a holographic appearance in the wood, also known as “chatoyancy.” You gemologists may have heard this term, as it’s often used to refer to the, well, shininess of a gem; and in this case, of a wood.


Have you EVER heard a piece of wood compared to a gemstone? Welcome to the world of koa.


Koa Forests Protect Many Native Hawaiian Species


Koa trees are like that friend you hate because she’s pretty and nice to everyone. These Hawaiian forests provide a safe home to 30 native forest bird species – 17 of which are endangered.


Gorgeous wood with an even more gorgeous heart.


Many Famous Musicians Use Koa Wood Guitars


Koa wood isn’t just good for weapons used by warriors in 18th-century Hawaii. A lot of musicians have reaped the benefits of its rich texture and tonal quality.


The material is lightweight and pliable, making it easy to create smooth-sounding guitars and other instruments. Hawaiians, in fact, were the first to discover its instrumental perfection when utilizing its wood for making ukuleles. 


Guitar makers have found that koa wood offers a well-balanced variety of its fellow wood counterparts; it’s got, for example, the crispness of Maplewood, yet also the syrupy warmth of Rosewood.


Taylor Swift has been seen rocking a koa guitar before. So, too, has Trey Anastasio, guitarist for the band Phish.



Koa Looks Great in Wood Watches and Jewelry


koa wooden watch laying on whiskey barrel



And so, naturally, this uniquely remarkable wood looks absolutely stunning in Wood Watches (and you absolutely need to be wearing a wood watch).


Koa wood watches paired with marble, for example? Our Chiseled Koa reflects the wood’s natural and unique beauty, connected with the classiness of a marble-gold time-telling combo.



Or, speaking of unique gift ideas, check out our new Orion Koa: a timepiece with sleek stopwatch capabilities, nestled in the arms of koa’s finest.


And yes, of course, you can get either watch specially engraved. We’re pretty and nice to everyone.