Friend called and the conversation went like : AHHHHH!!! HELP!!! I think I just saw a huge chunk of kyara, probably 1 kilogram , and the trader doesn’t know!!
Me : What’s the price?
Friend : Not confirmed, but possibly below $50 per gram
Me : Then WHAT are you waiting for ?!?!??!
Friend : Ah.. dont know how to see and authenticate, can I buy it?
Me : …………………………
Fantasy 1 : SO, if you’re lucky and fortunate enough to be walking in the forests of cambodia, vietnam and suddenly lightning strikes and cleaves the tree beside you into half, (which just so happen to be an aloeswood tree) revealing its luscious inner ancient and fragrant core, yielding you huge chunks of kynam… what should you do?!
Fantasy 2 : Sneaking in and out of various traders house and suddenly you smell that indescribable so called “green kyara smell”. You are drawn towards a beautiful piece of wood buried under piles of lousy agarwood chips… Dealer or Trader is willing to let you have it for reasonably cheap.. what should you do?!
Well, get it and auction it off if its real!!!
Looking at recent Jia-De auction figures in Hongkong in 2013, a 3 kilogram piece of kyara/kynam was auctioned off at HKD 18.4 million, which puts it at USD $2.4 million there abouts or $800 USD/gram. In my friend’s scenario, if the item was real, he could have made a windfall in a really short time. Who cares about fixed deposits, unit trusts, real estate? Imagine $50 per gram, 1 kilogram = $50,000, and he gets it auctioned off and not to be greedy, just to get $500,000 for it. That is 1000% return!.. the profit will allow anyone to fly around the world to all sorts of agarwood trading hubs and hunting places via first class/business class, and even stick “sinking” and other strange materials into distillation pots.
Its often good to fantasize, it allows the brain to be “liberated” from the mundane, allowing some kind of creativity and imagination to fill one’s mind for a while. It is also perfectly fine to be naive, but it is not ok to be irrational and stupid.
If one wants to approach proper incense culture, proper fragrant woods, then one needs to take the “path of the light”, and not walk down the deep and dark. The chinese call this 光明大道. All major Japanese incense houses offer FREE authentication and appraisal services for fragrant woods, and a possible negotiation on procurement if verified to be right and that the price is agreeable. Top auction houses in mainland China are also able to advice on materials and authentication/verification.
If one is really confident that the material that he or she had acquired to be correct, going down this “path of the light” is the best choice, making money from auctioning away a piece of wood that one doesn’t know exactly how to enjoy is also fine, or do it like the antique collectors, if its fragrant wood, I’ll halve it and keep half, sell half for the capital/cash flow.
With this added capital/profits, one can easily then partake on more agarwoody experiments which are often less costly 🙂
And if you’ve watched this really nice movie several years ago, you will definitely recognize this song, and what it signals 😛 click here to listen