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Hawaiian Koa Wood

At HappyLaulea, we use Hawaiian Koa wood in our rings and jewelry. But what is Koa wood, where does it come from, and what makes it so special? 


What is Koa wood?

Koa wood is a type of hardwood that comes from the Koa tree, which is native to the Hawaiian Islands. It is highly regarded for its rich, warm tones and unique grain patterns. Koa wood is often used in the creation of traditional Hawaiian furniture, musical instruments, and jewelry. What makes Koa wood even more special is its rarity and limited availability, as it can only be found in Hawaii. So, if you ever come across something made from Koa wood, you can be sure that it's a piece of art crafted from a truly special and cherished material.

What makes Koa wood so special?

Legendary in Hawaii, Koa wood is highly revered for its natural beauty, rich history, and symbolic meaning. Koa is endemic to Hawaii, meaning it does not grow anywhere else in the world, which makes it incredibly rare. When you buy Hawaiian Koa you aren’t just buying a piece of wood, you’re buying a sacred material that will stay with you for a lifetime. 

What does Koa wood symbolize?

Koa wood represents strength and courage, the word Koa means warrior. In ancient Hawaii, Koa was the go-to wood used in the making of many ancient canoes, swords, and hand weapons - in part because Koa is a durable hardwood, engineered by nature to endure the toughest abuse. Its solidity and rigidity served to support ancient Koa warriors in combat. It is this combination of symbolic strength and its substantive hardiness that makes Koa wood the perfect material for jewelry making today. 

Koa wood tree

How can you identify genuine Koa wood?

There are three key things to look for when identifying Koa wood. Firstly, is its appearance. While visually Koa wood can vary slightly depending on the age of the tree and where it was grown, it can typically be identified by its rich golden or reddish-brown color. Secondly, is its distinctive interlocking grain pattern. And finally (and most importantly) is its origin. Genuine Koa wood always comes from Hawaii. Similar woods from the Acacia family found in different parts of the world are often missold as Koa but ultimately if it didn’t originate from Hawaii, it isn’t Koa.

Is koa wood durable?

Koa wood is well-known for its strength and resistance to wear. Its dense grain structure and natural oils contribute to its durability and make it more resistant to warping, cracking, and decay than many other types of wood. 

social post by happylaulea

Is koa wood sustainable?

Koa wood has been a subject of debate regarding its sustainability. While Koa trees are native to Hawaii and have been harvested for centuries, concerns have been raised about the long-term viability of Koa wood as a sustainable resource. The slow growth rate of Koa trees, coupled with the increasing demand for this highly sought-after wood, has led to over harvesting in some areas. Efforts have been made to implement sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and selective harvesting, to ensure the future availability of Koa wood. However, ongoing monitoring and strict regulation are necessary to strike a balance between meeting the demand for Koa wood and preserving the ecological integrity of Hawaii's forests. 

Reasons To Love Our Koa Wood Jewelry


Hawaiian Koa wood’s appeal extends far beyond its aesthetic charm. Designed to withstand even the harshest of elements, our jewelry is crafted to be passed down through generations.

Ethically Sourced

We are committed to using reclaimed Hawaiian Koa and up-cycled materials in our products. We are also We are committed to offsetting our carbon footprint and to date, we’ve planted over 100,000 trees.


Exuding sophistication, our Hawaiian Koa wood jewelry strikes a balance between effortless luxury, while giving a hat-tip to the land we adore. Paired with high-quality materials, Koa is exceptionally versatile, from our everyday rings to our head-turning statement pieces.

A Slice of Paradise.

As a symbol of bravery, each pocket-sized cut of Hawaiian Koa should encourage you to be bold, fearless, and unapologetically you. With each curly grain comes an ignited sense of adventure, ready for you to explore.