Top 6 Favorite Wooden Rings

I frequently get asked by clients, “What is your favorite choice for a wooden ring?” While this is personal preference, I decided to compile a list of my favorite woods, as well as the most popular styles for wooden rings.

 

1.Whiskey Barrel Wooden Ring

 Beveled Cobalt and Whiskey Barrel White Oak Wood Ring

Beveled Cobalt and Whiskey Barrel White Oak Wood Ring

 

As the creator of the original Whiskey Barrel Wooden Ring, this is my go-to choice. It is a simpler wood, but there is something fulfilling about wearing a piece of your favorite whiskey barrel. The choice of distillery is a personal and sentimental choice on the part of the buyer.  Distilleries have become increasingly popular locations for weddings, and I often make rings from local, small distilleries. I have made rings for enthusiasts as well as the master distillers themselves. 

Over the years it has become the #1 best selling wood in my shop and this wooden ring style has since been featured on many websites such as gizmodo.com , gq-magazine.co.uk, ringtoperfection.com , buzzfeed.com , and uncrate.com .

For more information about the Whiskey Barrel wooden ring, please see my blog post The Original Whiskey Barrel Wedding Ring.

 

2. USS North Carolina Deck Teak Wood Ring

 USS North Carolina Deck Teak and Cobalt Wood Ring

USS North Carolina Deck Teak and Cobalt Wood Ring

 

Another top favorite lining for a wooden ring is a piece of World War II history: the USS North Carolina Deck Teak. The USS North Carolina (BB-55) participated in every Pacific naval engagement during WWII, collecting 15 battle stars and thus becoming the most highly decorated American battleship of that theater.

The provenance of the wood is fascinating. Following her decommissioning, the USS North Carolina became a memorial and museum ship in Wilmington, NC. Following a visit from Myanmarese officials, the museum was gifted a large portion of the high quality teak needed to rebuild her decking. Teak of the quality used in a battleship is very difficult to acquire and very expensive - the USS North Carolina required over an acre of material.  The used material found its way to many wood brokers.  The original pieces were sourced from Woodcraft, of all places.  Now that it is no longer available there, I source directly from a sawyer in Wilmington.

This teak became one of my top sellers after it was featured as a liner for the SR-71 Blackbird wooden ring:

 


 

You can read more about that particular creation in this blog post.  It is no longer available for commission.  If you wish to custom order an aviation themed ring, please read this post, Aviation and Military Themed Rings. 

3. Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl

 Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl and Black Zirconium Wooden Ring

Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl and Black Zirconium Wooden Ring

The Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl is easily one of my top competitors for my wooden rings. To be quite honest, I’ve developed a slight obsession with collecting chunks of exhibition grade burl.

 Somebody needs to take away my credit card

Somebody needs to take away my credit card

 

The variances in color and and overall design makes AZDIB an exceptionally unique choice for a wooden ring liner. Because this is one of the densest and hardest woods around, it makes for a tough and durable ring. I am always delighted with the end result of rings paired with the burl.
 

4. Bog Oak

 

 Black Ceramic Ring with Ancient Russian Bog Oak 

Black Ceramic Ring with Ancient Russian Bog Oak 

Another popular choice for a more subtle wooden ring is Bog Oak, also known as Mora/Morta. Bog Oak is an exceedingly rare wood that is created by coincidence and nature over thousands of years in acidic peat bogs. After a tree falls into a bog with perfect conditions for preservation, it begins the process of fossilization. Complete fossilization would take millions of years, and this wood represents only the earliest stages. Because of its density and unique coloration, this wood is highly sought out by makers of smaller wood products, such as tobacco pipes.  Pieces used in rings are typically 3000-5000 years old.

 

5. Bethlehem Olivewood

 Hand-wrought Twisted Damascus Steel and Bethlehem Olivewood Wooden Ring

Hand-wrought Twisted Damascus Steel and Bethlehem Olivewood Wooden Ring

 

Bethlehem Olivewood, like Arizona Desert Ironwood, is an exceptionally unique choice for a wooden ring. The pieces of Bethlehem Olive used in these wooden rings were sustainably harvested and imported from Israel; that is, this is not a similar species grown in California.

Genuine Bethlehem Olivewood is distinct from other olive species in that the grain is extremely pronounced and dark in color, with beautiful, wavy patterns. It is said that the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was an Olive wood tree. Holding significance in many religions, it is a wood that symbolizes healing, cleansing, nourishment, and peace between God and mankind.  Paired with hand-wrought damascus, and you are sure to have a one of a kind wooden ring.
 

6. Koa

 Koa and Cobalt Wood Ring

Koa and Cobalt Wood Ring

 

Another one of my secret obsessions for a wooden ring is Koa. My wooden rings are lined with the absolute highest grade Koa you will see. It has a gorgeous deep golden color and unbelievable curl. Koa is known for its "curl," and this is a CURLY piece. It is very difficult to capture in pictures. I was doing some research so that I could describe the effect. I will just quote from a top google result because I cannot improve on this description:

"Chatoyancy is a property that is usually attributed to certain gems, the cats eye effect or shimmer which gives a sense of depth in the gem. This property can also be used to describe some of the more dramatic pieces of curly, tigerstripe and fiddleback Koa. This figuring gives the wood a three dimensional quality; and depending on from what angle one views the wood, it can take on several completely different characters."*

This character is typically found in high-altitude trees that are OLD GROWTH (80+ years).It is a uniquely Hawaiian wood, and is one of the most prized natural products from the islands. It was used by ancient Hawaiians to build waka, or canoes, and papa heʻe nalu, or surfboards. In the Hawaiian culture, koa is a hardwood that represents integrity and strength, which are foundational qualities of marriage.  

This is another one of those woods that can wear out the stripe on my credit card, so to speak.  I have a decent horde of top grade material right now.  But when true 5-star material is available, one has to stock up!  Sometimes there is an extended period of time when truly excellent material is completely unavailable.

 Stabilized Green Koa and Cobalt Wooden Ring

Stabilized Green Koa and Cobalt Wooden Ring


 

Bonus: customer-sourced wood

 

I felt like it was only appropriate to add this little section as a bonus because I really enjoy when a customer wants to send in their own materials for a custom made wooden ring. Not only does this make the ring that much more unique, but I feel honored to be entrusted with such meaningful projects. I have made rings with baseball bats, skateboard decks, a Gibson headstock, wood from family trees and barns, the customizations have been endless! I am always looking to get my hands on new materials, so feel free to send me an email to commission a custom project.

Steven Wyatt