Iliahi Ring

October 2018
Iliahi, 14 karat yellow gold

Iliahi, or Hawaiian sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum) is an extremely rare and highly prized endemic hardwood. Once plentiful in the Hawaiian Islands, it was nearly harvested to extinction by foreign demand between 1790 and 1830 and was the currency by which the Kingdom of Hawai‘i transitioned into an international trading economy. While it is mostly valued for its natural fragrance (the wood was typically ground up to make perfumes and incense), the wood can have beautiful figuring rivaling that of the most famous Hawaiian hardwood, koa. To wit, the fiddle back grain is visible even in the narrow section of this piece of reclaimed iliahi that forms the shank of this beautiful ring. A 14-karat gold sleeve wraps around the inside edge to protect the wood from the wearer's skin and to strengthen the ring.

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