We come across wood daily in our life whether it be furniture, tools or musical instruments but have we ever wonder how expensive these wood can be? Wood has been used since ancient times to show royalty or to give a rich feel to anything that it was added to and it is still widely used today. There are probably over 100 different types of wood present across the globe but here, we list down 10 of the most expensive wood present in the world.
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The priciest wood on the list is the Bocote wood which belongs to Cordia genus and Borage family of Boraginaceae. The borage family contains about 300 species of plants and trees which are mainly found in warmer regions around the globe. Bocote is mostly used for fragrance because of its aromatic wood while it is also used for other purposes like making musical instruments and decorative furniture. Due to the huge demand for this wood, it sells for as high as $33 per board feet.
Bubinga wood belongs to Fabaceae Bubinga family and grows mostly in the tropical areas of Africa and South America. It is often used in making of harps and other musical instruments like bass guitar and drums. Known for the finest timber, Bubinga is also used to produce high-quality furniture and tools like knobs, rear handles, etc. It sells for about $19 per board feet.
Dalbergia is a genus of small to medium size trees belonging to Fabaceae family. It is found in tropical areas of South and Central America, Madagascar, South Asia and Africa. This wood is famous for its beautiful patterns and strong fragrance. Dalbergia is highly valued because of its toughness and ability to maintain its shape. It is mostly used for making quality furniture, sports goods, railway tracks, etc. The cost of this wood is $14-16 per board feet.
4. Purple Heart
Native to tropical regions of Central and South America, the Purple Heart also belongs to Fabaceae family and mostly comes from the rainforests of Suriname, Guyana and Brazil. Purple Heart is one of the most expensive wood because of its quality of being extremely dense, water resistant and it is one of the hardest and stiffest woods on the planet. As the name suggests, Purple Heart quickly turns from a light brown to a rich purple colour when cut. The wood is constantly in huge demands and it sells for $12 per board feet.
5. Lignum Vitae
Lignum Vitae is also known as the tree of life mainly due to its slow growth rate. It is cultivated mostly in the northern coast of South America and the Caribbean. These woods have also been an important export to the Europe for the past 400 years. Lignum Vitae is mostly used where material strength, density and toughness is required. Even the resin of Lignum Vitae is used for medical purposes as it helps in the treatment of arthritis and cough. Such qualities of the wood are the main reason that Lignum Vitae sells for $5 per pound.
6. Pink Ivory
Pink Ivory is an African hardwood which is sometimes also referred as red ivory or purple ivory. The trees for pink ivory are mainly found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Due to the high demands, pink ivory is highly sustained and protected in South Africa following very limited permit to cut down the tree. Along with the wood, the fruits produced by the tree are really delicious in taste. The wood is mostly used to manufacture products like knife handles and billiard cues while it is also used as medicines and remedies. Pink ivory sells for $7-8 per board feet because of its exclusive and wide use.
7. Agar Wood
Agarwood is a resinous heartwood that grows in Grips and Aquilaria trees when they get infected with mould. The infection makes the wood even more special as it results in fragrance and the wood becomes dark and dense. No surprise the wood is mostly used for incense and perfumes due to its distinctive fragrance. The reason for high cost of this wood is its rarity and extinction of wildlife resources. The market for agarwood is estimated to be $6-8 billion and is rapidly increasing. It sells for about $10,000 per kg while the finest quality of agarwood can cost even more.
Ebony is a dense hardwood which belongs to Diospyros genus. Unlike most other woods, ebony can sink in water due to its high density. The wood is black in colour having fine textures with the smooth finish which adds to its ornamental value. Ebony has a long history of use and in recent times, it is mostly used in the production of items like crucifixes and musical instruments. Ebony sells for around $10,000 per kg.
Sandalwood is probably the most commonly known and widely used wood across the globe. It is yellow in colour, heavy and has fine grains. The most popular feature for which sandalwood is renowned is its pleasant fragrance which lasts even for decades. Sandalwood is extensively used for its oil, medicinal properties and is even used in cosmetics. It also has a special spiritual use in Indian and Chinese culture. Sandalwood sells for $10,000 per kg and much more for fine pieces of wood.
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10. African Blackwood
As the name suggests, African blackwood is dark grey in colour and is found mostly in seasonally dry parts of Africa. It is mostly used for making furniture and musical instruments and is even used in the treatment of various disorders in folk medicine. Unfortunately, African blackwood is under threat because of no proper harvesting plan and low germination rates of the tree. It sells for about $10,000 per kg.