The cost of wood is a significant concern for many of us when selecting the right product for our woodworking project. Normally, we look for woods that can offer brilliant features at a moderate price. But, wouldn’t it be fun to talk about wood species that are among the most expensive on the planet?
Moreover, many people are looking for premium wood species to build high-quality items such as high-end home or office furniture and expensive flooring.
As you may have guessed, expensive woods usually have the best qualities in terms of appearance, durability, and workability.
Let’s find out about the most expensive wood types in the world.
What Makes Some Woods More Expensive Than Others
There are many things that can make one wood superior to others. These may include wood’s characteristics, usefulness, demand in the market, and scarcity.
Some wood species have unique and remarkable physical properties such as a stunning appearance or incredible strength or outstanding durability, which can make them better or more expensive than other woods. The cost of wood also depends on how easy it is to work with.
Some woods are prized for their great usefulness and versatility. Pine, for instance, is considered a highly versatile wood that is used in a wide range of applications, though it is not very expensive due to easy availability.
Other factors to affect the cost of wood are the demand and availability. The higher the wood demand or the lesser the availability, the higher will be its purchasing cost.
Because of the increasing demand for popular wood species and extensive deforestation in the past few decades, many wood types have become very rare and expensive.
Also, you might find it interesting to know that hardwoods are generally more expensive than softwoods mainly because hardwood trees have a slower growth rate and hardwoods are more popular and rare than softwoods.
Unveiling the Top 12 Most Expensive Wood Species
#1 African Blackwood
African Blackwood is among the densest and strongest hardwoods in the world. Native to Africa, the wood is prized for its outstanding appearance, good workability, and exceptional tonal qualities which enable it to produce a rich sound when used in musical instruments.
African Blackwood is also one of the most expensive woods in the world. There are several reasons for that. For one, the wood is very rare, as the trees have a very slow growth rate and can take up to 70 years to mature. It is also favoured for its huge strength and durability. Other than that, it has a high demand among instrument makers and its sale is limited by export restrictions.
#2 Pink Ivory
Pink Ivory is one of the rare and costly wood species. It is native to southern Africa and is prized for its vibrant pinkish-red hue and outstanding durability. The tree is quite rare and slow-growing and its processing involves significant work, which, among other things, makes it an expensive wood.
Pink Ivory is a wonderful choice for high-end furniture, luxury wooden items, and decorative products because of its unique appearance and amazing durability. Its supply is very limited and the export is controlled by international trade regulations to prevent over-exploitation.
Sandalwood is one of the most popular and rare woods in the world. It is known for its attractive appearance and unique fragrance. Native to India, this is a slow-growing tree that is also famous for its numerous health and therapeutic properties. Not just the wood but other parts of the tree, including its oil is used in health and cosmetic products.
Sandalwood is quite rare and expensive because of its high demand. Its illegal logging and export are completely banned due to deforestation concerns.
Ebony wood is prized for its beauty and durability. The dark, rich brown colour wood is found in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. It is expensive because it is rare and has a great demand. Ebony trees grow very slowly and can take many years to fully mature. They are difficult to harvest on plantations due to the requirement for specific growing conditions. Moreover, over-harvesting and trade restrictions have led to the scarcity of ebony wood in recent years.
Ebony wood is commonly used for building musical instruments, high-quality furniture, and decorative items.
#5 Lignum Vitae
One of the hardest woods in the world is also one of the rarest and most expensive. Lignum Vitae wood, which is native to South America and the Caribbean, is known for its exceptional hardness and durability to withstand extreme wear and pressure conditions. It is often used in mechanical parts, usually in place of steel or other metals. It is also used for building boats and tool handles. Due to high demand and over-harvesting, Lignum Vitae has now become a rare and extremely expensive hardwood.
#6 Brazilian Rosewood
Native to South American countries including Brazil, this hardwood is prized for its attractive appearance, durability, and acoustic properties. Commonly used in musical instruments such as guitars and pianos, this is a rare and expensive wood. Woodworkers favour Brazilian rosewood because of its unique grain pattern and dark chocolate brown colour, which looks incredible even without staining or colouring. It is also used for making high-end furniture.
Brazilian Rosewood has become one of the most expensive woods because of its over-harvesting and deforestation in recent years. It is now an endangered species and protected by international trade regulations.
Bubinga is a dark reddish-brown colour hardwood with black streaks and straight or interlocked grain. Native to Africa, this wood is prized for its unique appearance, durability, and versatility. The high density of Bubinga can make it difficult to work with but its unique & beautiful grain pattern makes it a popular choice for decorative items such as ornaments. It is also used for making high-end furniture, musical instruments, and cabinetry.
Bubings is now among the costliest woods in the world because it is considered a threatened species due to its over-harvesting and exploitation in recent times.
#8 Cocobolo Wood
Native to Central America, cocobolo is a rare and expensive tropical hardwood prized for its outstanding beauty and durability. The heartwood is deep reddish-brown and has a unique grain pattern, which makes it a preferred choice for high-end furniture and decorative items. It is a durable wood with natural oils that protect it from decay and insects. It is widely used for outdoor applications, furniture, decking, and boatbuilding.
Due to its scarcity and over-exploitation in recent years, Cocobolo is now among the world’s most expensive timber. Its supply is limited and regulated to ensure sustainability.
#9 Agar Wood
Agarwood or Oud is a unique kind of wood prized for its fragrance and therapeutic & medicinal properties. This wood is mainly found and used in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. The agarwood tree, called Aquilaria, produces a resinous material when infected with a type of fungus. The hard form of this resinous material is called agarwood. It is light-coloured and mainly used for religious purposes and also to make perfumes, incense and medicines. Agarwood oil is dark reddish.
It is rarely available in board form and is quite expensive.
#10 Koa Wood
Koa wood is native to Hawaii. The hardwood is prized for its appearance and versatility. It is available in colours ranging from deep golden brown to purplish and reddish-brown. Koa wood is very popular and rare. It is used in high-end furniture, premium flooring, musical instruments and to build speciality decorative items. The wood has a special cultural significance in Hawaiian tradition.
Due to its limited harvesting and supply, it can be a very expensive hardwood to buy. It is recognized by woodworkers and artisans as one of the most beautiful woods in the world.
#11 Purpleheart Wood
Purpleheart, also called amaranth, is a dark greyish/purplish brown hardwood native to Central and South America. It is prized for its unique deep, rich colour that gets darker over time. It is a common choice for premium furniture, flooring, musical instruments, and decorative items. It is a hard and durable wood that is resistant to decay and wear and can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications.
Purpleheart wood is generally quite expensive due to its scarcity and high demand owing to its stunning appearance and durability.
#12 Bocote Wood
Bocote wood is found in Mexico and Central America. It is a rare tropical hardwood that is prized for its beautiful appearance and unique grain patterns. The heartwood is yellowish-brown with darker streaks. It is a hard and dense wood with natural oils to make it resistant to weather. It is an excellent choice for outdoor applications and is also used in tool handles, high-end furniture, and decorative items.
Bocote is expensive due to its limited availability and high demand.
Some other wood species including black ironwood, Ziricote, Dalbergia, and Holly Wood are quite rare and expensive.
Buy Premium Hardwoods Online At the Best Price
If you are looking to buy premium hardwoods at the best price online, visit White Knight Consulting LTD to explore and choose from our wide range of wood species. We deliver our sustainable and high-quality wood all over the world and are trusted by hundreds of woodworkers for premium products at competitive prices. Contact us to order now.