What’s the Most Expensive Wood in the World?

September 25, 2020 10:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you look at what types of wood are the most expensive, you will likely find that they’re unique, decorative, slow-growing and even endangered. These types of wood are not for fencing or floors in Utah, but figure prominently in musical instruments, fine furniture and decorative art. Here are five species that rank among the most expensive wood in the world:

  • Sandalwood: Chances are, when you think of sandalwood, you immediately think of essential oils. Its rich scent is enjoyed in candles, soaps, incense and perfumes. However, it is also an excellent craft wood. The heartwood is valued for furniture and ornamental boxes, and the white sapwood is a favorite for fans. It is currently commercially grown and harvested in Australia primarily for oil. You can expect to pay $85 for 100 grams or $70 to $250 per kilogram for wood chips.
  • Ebony: Nearly black, ebony is harvested from several species of tropical trees in the genus diospyros. It offers a charred appearance that hides within a layer of pure white wood. The dark heartwood is used for veneers and artistic projects. It offers a flat grain that can be polished into an intense gloss. The lighter sapwood is treasured for making piano keys, art and fine furniture. It commands a price of up to $10,000 per kilogram.
  • Pink ivory: This rare wood costs up to $80 a board foot. It is sought after for its bright color, which ranges from pinkish brown to nearly purple-red. Native to southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa, it undergoes sustainable harvesting to ensure its preservation. It works well for turning and artistic purposes, and you will see it in bowls, knife handles and jewelry.
  • Ziricote: If you seek an exotic wood for cabinetry and furniture, ziricote is an excellent choice. Known for its spider-web pattern, it’s a heavy darker wood from Mexico and Central America. It is a favorite for guitars and gunstocks, and known for resisting decay and maintaining its appearance. You may find some varieties with a green or purple cast, and you can expect to pay up to $60 per board foot.
  • African blackwood: This is the most expensive wood in the world, at $100 per board foot. One log can cost up to $9,000, and if you seek processed timber, expect to pay even more. In 2016, that price was quoted at $13,000 per cubic square meter. African blackwood is harvested from a small-growing tree only found in the Sahara Desert. It offers a dense, fine-grained heartwood and deep colors, usually dark purple or nearly black. Once used for European medical instruments, it’s now most commonly used for art and musical instruments. Since it cannot be harvested until trees are 70 to 80 years old, the supply is low and extensive replanting programs are essential for ensuring future supply.

Huberwoods delivers lodge poles throughout Utah for buildings, fences and furniture. If you are interested in the most expensive wood in the world, we will provide it or refer you to someone who can. Contact us today to fulfill all your logging needs!

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