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In the ’90s many budding (and retired) woodworkers made extra cash by turning rare wood into pen casings, then selling them to “luxury” pen buyers for big bucks. It got so popular as a pastime that companies began selling blanks and all the hardware in kit form. Hell, some companies even made a name for themselves selling the whole shebang up to and including chucks and mini-lathes. For a while you couldn’t talk to five people about woodworking without running into someone who’d tell you about their side business making pens.

I realized today that I haven’t run into one of those folks in quite a while. But I did run into an ad for the iPhone case pictured above. From a company called Gresso, it’s made of “200-year old African Blackwood […] a rare, exclusive material of incredible strength and durability.” The back-panel Apple logo is 18-karat gold. Your price: just $4,500.

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