There are different types of wood all over the world, each with its distinctive grain, texture and characteristics. But what is the most expensive wood in the world? Many argue that Amboyna burl is the most expensive wood. However, our take is different, since Amboyna burl is a ‘burl’- it has grown in a deformed manner! Well, let’s take a look at the top 10 most expensive woods of the world.
It has been found that ebony, with its fine texture and smooth finish, is the most expensive wood anywhere in the world. This dense black wood is so dense that it can sink in water and has many applications, such as musical instruments, furniture, etc. If a list of the most expensive woods were to be drawn up, ebony would undoubtedly top it.
A member of the Cordia genus of flowering plants, Bocote is distinctive for its dramatic appearance–brown or black stripes on a yellow-brown body. Its grain is interlocked and the wood is chiefly used for cabinets and furniture, veneer, flooring, musical instruments, specialty items and boatbuilding.
Its heartwood ranges from a dark red to dark brown with either purple or black streaks. Its grain ranges from straight to interlocked and it has a subdued luster. It is easy to work with, rot-resistant and is a luxury timber in some parts of the world. It is used for furniture, turnings and specialty items.
These trees are of medium height and are prized for their distinctive fragrance. They are often used in aromatic oils. The most important of its species is rosewood, again noted for its aroma. It is primarily used in making furniture, plywood, sports goods, etc.
Peltogyne or Purple Heart are medium sized trees, native to tropical Central and South America, where they grow in the tropical rainforests. They are prized for their beautiful heartwood which turns from brown to purple, when cut.
The heartwood color of these trees range in color from olive green to a dark green. With age and exposure to light, this color can darken. Lignum Vitae is reputed to be the world’s heaviest and hardest wood. It is widely used to make propeller shaft bearings for ships. Its rich reserve of natural oils make for excellent self-lubrication that benefits the wood in coping with very good resistance to wear and tear.
This rare African wood is also known as Red Ivory. The Zulus consider it as a royal tree because only their royal family was allowed to own this precious wood. It is known for being very hard, with a density of about 990 g/dm³. It is used to make luxury items like knives and billiard cues. It grows chiefly in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
Also called ooh, oud, gaharu or jinko, this is among the most expensive wood worldwide. This resin-embedded wood is known for its special fragrance, for which it is chiefly used. Though it is a fast-growing tree, yet it is susceptible to fungal growth. Its wood and fragrance are extremely expensive because of the process of extraction being time- and labor-intensive. Its fragrant oils are also used as aphrodisiacs in Chinese medicine.
Another highly expensive wood is sandalwood, rich with the fragrant woods of these trees. These trees are of medium height, and are heavy, yellow and fine-grained. Apart from being used to treat various ailments, its essential oils are used as fragrance.
African Black Wood
Yet another highly prized wood is the African Black wood and is considered to be the most expensive. This flowering plant is native to Senegal, Eritrea and Transvaal. Its timber has a fine texture and is very hard and dense. It is perfect for making woodwind instruments.