There are many stories about aloeswood being buried under the ground or under river beds for hundreds of years, of which the story of the source of Ranjatai is sometimes reported to be. This legend comes from an old Chinese book on incense, but today most aloeswood comes from infected trees that, although in the process of decaying and dying, are indeed still standing. However, sometimes the roots become infected with the fungus and these can be found underground.
I have been interested in this piece of wood for a very long time, and I hope that next time it is viewable in the museum that I will have the chance to go and see it in person. An interesting excercise that I have done was to try and estimate a street price for Ranjatai. Since we know Ranjatai is sinking-grade kyara, we must say that its density is over 1.0 gram per cubic cm (the density of water), since all aloeswood can have a different densities due to the difference in formation of resin, let us approximate the density of Ranjatai to be equal to Lignum Vitae, another very dense sinking wood - this is 1.4g per cubic cm. Therefore based on the measurements above, and an assumption of the average depth of Ranjatai to be 30cm (based on the image) we can assume Ranjatai to weigh appx 315.9kg. At a cost of 395$ per gram for the highest grade Green Kyara ( http://www.scents-of-earth.com/kyara1.html ), let us assume this to be our street price for the gram-fragmented Ranjatai. Not counting the obvious price premium that would be created in the market due to the fact that the pieces sold would be from one of the most famous pieces of wood in the world, the street price of Ranjatai is about $124,780,500. I suppose this is what people mean when they call something "priceless" ;)
*historical information fragments and photo written by David Oller of Esoterics, LLC and edited by Par-Fum
*dimension information sourced from The Trail of Time: Time Measurement by Silvio A. Badini
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