Much like Osage Orange and Bois d’ Arc are virtually the same, just from different parts of the world, so too are Guaiacum and Argentinian Lignum Vitae. Guaiacum grows all over the Caribbean and into parts of Florida and Mexico.
Lignum Vitae, or the Tree of Life, is an Iron Wood, that has a myriad of uses. From being one of the best self lubricating bearings for wet environments, to medicinal tea, this wood is a highly valued resource. It’s also the heaviest wood in the world. It was used as the main prop shaft bearing on the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear powered submarine as well as most of the Liberty Ships during WWII.
When fresh cut Guaiacum Lignum Vitae has a dark brown to dark tan coloration. Due to it’s over abundance of wax that makes it such a good self lubricating bearing, we do not need to add a finish to it. This means that as your dice ages they will take on a dark olive green patina. The blonde sap wood, if present will maintain an over all blonde appearance as only the heart wood develops a strong patina. This typically takes from a few days to several months depending on the stock we receive. In general, the older the item made from Lignum Vitae is, the richer the green coloration will be.