Have you ever wondered why prices of wooden furniture vary? It’s wood, after all, so why the difference, and that too marked difference in price range come in question?
A simple answer to that question involves the quality of the wood in question. If the wood required to develop a piece of furniture is rare, then naturally, the price of the finished product will obviously be high.
However, most pieces of furniture are made out of wood found as it makes craftsmanship relatively easier. However, in case a rare variety of lumber is used, the final product made from the same is sure to stand out and last for a long time.
So that brings the question, what are the Most Expensive Woods in the World available?
Here we will explore a few of these!
Common Uses of Wood:
Wood is not only used in furniture making. There are some very important uses of this natural resource, which adds to its popularity and, by turn, it’s the price.
Construction: Wood is used widely in domestic construction and has been popular over the years. It’s used for flooring, frame construction, and so on. Different types of wood are used for the purpose, even the expensive ones.
Utensils: This has also been used for a long time now. Wooden utensils are currently quite popular and are used by those trying to catch a break from using plastic and glass.
Craft: Wooden status, sculptures, carvings have been adorning houses and mansions for aeons now. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive and exclusive forms of decoration one can use. Generally, softwood is used for craft making, and expensive woods are often sourced for this purpose.
Making musical instruments: The most popular musical instruments like piano, cello, guitar violin have one thing in common apart from the sweet soft music they create, and that is wood! These and many more musical instruments are primarily made out of wood and even with the expensive ones.
Most Expensive Woods in the World for Woodworking:
The widespread uses of wood seem to highlight that it is one natural resource that humans can not function without.
To that end, here are a few of the world’s most expensive woods that are used for a variety of things:
A log of this particular wood can cost up to $9000!
The wood is sourced from a small tree found only in the south of the Sahara Desert in Africa. The major challenge is that this particular tree grows very slowly, which explains its price to an extent. The tree has a hardwood bark that is dense and super fine-grained.
Additionally, the wood is very heavy and hard, which is deep purple, almost black in color.
This wood is primarily used for making furniture, musical instruments, and crafts.
African Blackwood Price : $9000
Why African Blackwood is expensive?
African blackwood is expensive simply because it is becoming one of the rarest woods in the world. There is no systematic planning to conserve the tree and over harvesting is also one of the causes.
The price of African Blackwood is expected to increase at a much higher rate in the coming years. As the gap between demand and supply is getting wider with time.
A chunk of sandalwood can cost $85 for 100 grams. Sandalwood is famous all over the world for its aroma and medicinal properties that are widely used in the cosmetic industry.
This is yet another slow-growing tree that is sourced from Southeast Asia and a few islands in the South Pacific.
The heartwood of the sandal tree is used for making furniture, oil, fragrance and ornament boxes. Additionally, the white sapwood portion is used for making fans.
Since the popularity of this wood has grown considerably, it is now being grown commercially in Australia.
Why is Sandalwood wood Expensive?
Sandalwood is mainly used in the cosmetic industry but due to increasing demand, uncontrolled harvesting and illegal trading its existence is in danger. That’s why Sandalwood is so costly.
The price of sandalwood is increasing at a much higher rate, almost around 20-25% per year.
Sandalwood Price: $85 for 100 Grams
Pink Ivory Wood
As the name suggests, the bark of this tree is pink in color, and undoubtedly it looks beautiful and exotic. Priced at $8 per foot, Pink ivory comes from the distant land of Zimbabwe.
However, it’s hard to source a large volume of this wood at the same time since there is not a lot of it to meet the growing demand.
This particular variety of wood is used for a lot of things, including furniture making, knife handles, billiard cues, gift items, trinket boxes, and much more.
Why is Pink Ivory so Costly?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed Pink Ivory as a threatened species. Thus, its harvesting and trading is being regulated around the world making it one of the most expensive woods.
The price of Pink Ivory is expected to be much higher in the coming years because of government regulation around the globe.
Ebony Wood (Black Timber)
Surely you have heard the phrase “as black as ebony’?
Well, the color of the tree explains this quote. Ebony is sourced from different species of trees of the genus Diospyros. This variant of tree grows only in the tropical region.
The bark portion of Ceylon, the Indian ebony tree, is almost charred, rough to touch, and very close to black in color. The black portion hides a pure white wood that is almost 2 inches deep in width. The heartwood of the tree is popularly used for veneers and artistic applications.
The smooth and flat grain of the wood does not hinder heavy polishing. In fact, the wood can be highly polished. The wood from this valuable tree is ideal for making piano keys and other fine decorative items.
Why is Ebony Wood so Expensive?
Another tree on the verge of extinction, once it has been the treasure of virgin woodland. But now it’s hard to find a mature tree to extract ebony wood. It is also on the list of endangered species.
The price of Ebony wood hasn’t fluctuated much for the last 10 years as it is already known as “a million dollar tree”
American Holly Wood
American Holly is a white wood producing tree that costs $6 per footboard. The wood is ideal for crafts, carving, and inlay uses.
The color of the wood is almost pale with white coloration coupled with a smooth surface texture. The texture and color of the wood are ideal for making piano and organ keys.
Even though the wood from this tree has a lot of use, it is very rare to secure the same, and that too since this tree grows extremely slowly.
Adding to the issue is the fact that Holly is extremely susceptible to a rare fungal infection that gives the tree a blue-grey tone. Thus the tree must be harvested in winter and dried quickly to avoid staining.
Why is Holly Wood so Expensive?
The process of drying this wood and keeping it straight is very complicated and time taking. Though it is not an endangered species but due to being the whitest of all woods, it is pricey.
The price of Holly Wood hasn’t seen much ups and downs and it has been quite stable for years.
Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra)
The per board foot price of this wood stands at $70! However, the price is explained by the spider-like intricate pattern of this tree forms. The color of the wood ranges from dark chocolate to red. However, it can also be a deeper shade of purple with darker streaks.
The color combination of the tree stands in stark contrast with its lighter yellowish sapwood that adds a sharp tone variation against the darker heartwood.
Though the grain of this tree is generally very straight, it can get spiral and wavy, which goes on to add to its distinct look.
In addition to its beautiful color, this chocolate colored wood is resistant to decay and insects. Plus, it’s easier to work with this wood as it does not resist hand or machine tools to a great extent. However, sometimes the wood can get a bit oily and does not allow the glue to stick to it.
Why is Brazilian Rosewood so Expensive?
Furniture made with Brazilian rosewood has been the symbol of class and wealth for times unknown. But in the late 1960s the supply of Brazilian Rosewood decreased so much and the government had to ban its uses for making furniture. Now it is only legal to use Brazilan Rosewood to make musical instruments. Thus, the price of it is increasing at a rapid rate. Experts claim it may go up to $50,000 per cubic meter
Lignum Vitae Wood
Also known as the tree of life, this tree is also very slow to grow. The tree belongs to the Guaiacum Lignum family and is harvested mostly around the northern shoreline of South America and the Caribbean.
The strength, density, and capacity of the wood make it one of the most expensive varieties in the world.
Why is Lignum Vitae so Expensive?
Lignum Vitae is highly resistant to insect attack, so it is the most preferable wood for outdoor use. It is the heaviest wood compared to every wood in our li
Care Tips for Wooden Furniture:
Since wood is currently widely used for furniture making, a few care tips are essential, especially if they are made from one of the most expensive woods mentioned above.
Don’t rough use your furniture: To avoid damage from the heat, it’s always advisable to use coasters before setting down a wet or hot glass on a piece of wooden furniture.
Dust regularly: A thin layer of dust on your expensive wooden furniture will not only look awful but might also scratch the top layer of the same. To avoid such a thing from happening, using a soft cloth for dusting is ideal.
Environmental impact: Placing your pink ivory table directly near the window with blazing sunlight coming in is a bad idea. With time the color of the wood might be matte. Thus it’s a good idea to keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, and from near the fireplace.
Wooden furniture and other luxury goods look very sophisticated and attractive. However, maintaining the same is not short of a challenge. However, if you are planning to buy any item made from one of the most expensive woods listed above, make sure you are up for that challenge.