Types of Ebony Wood : Properties, characteristics and Uses

    different types of ebony wood

    Ebony is one of the most expensive and popular hardwoods in the world. It is found in Africa and some other parts of the world. Ebony has many varieties, of which Gaboon Ebony is the most famous. The ebony hardwood is prized for its outstanding strength and durability.

    Here’s everything you need to know about Ebony wood, including the different types of Ebony wood.

    About Ebony Wood

    Ebony wood, especially Gaboon Ebony, is one of the rarest and most expensive woods in the world. Ebony is an exotic wood with great demand throughout the globe.

    Ebony is considered a classical wood and was once used by kings and royalties across Asia and Europe for ornamental and decorative items. In addition, ebony was used for making drinking cups and other household items in the royal courts across Asia. It was believed that ebony has the property to neutralise poison. As the most expensive wood in the world, ebony was also historically used by countries to pay tribute to their conquerors.

    The dark black, heavy, and strong ebony wood is hard to miss. It looks beautiful, is extremely valuable, and has extraordinary properties to make it a first-choice wood for many projects.

    Ebony Wood Properties & characteristics

    The wood of ebony trees has always been in great demand because of its incredible looks and properties like high durability. As one of the most expensive woods in the world, Ebony is also quite rare and not easily available. Thankfully, we at White Knight Consulting Ltd have plenty of access to the premium-grade, sustainable ebony wood source. Contact us to buy.

    Ebony wood is a thick, pitch black hardwood that is known for its outstanding durability and natural resistance to decay and termites. Some of the key properties of ebony wood include:

    Density: Ebony wood is one of the densest and heaviest hardwoods in the world. The average dried weight of ebony is around 955 kg/m3. The wood is extremely strong, dense and durable.

    Strength & hardness: As an extremely dense wood, ebony is also very hard and strong. The Jank rating ranges between 3,080 lbf (Gaboon ebony) to 3,590 lbf (brown ebony).

    Colour: Different ebony species have different colours. However, the most famous Gaboon Ebony wood has jet-black heartwood with no visible grain or pattern. Dark or brownish steaks are sometimes present on the body.

    Texture: Ebony has a fine, even texture and straight grain that makes a smooth surface for carving and polishing.

    Durability: Ebony wood is naturally durable and highly resistant to termites, decay, wear and tear. It can also withstand exposure to water, heat, and other weather conditions.

    Workability: The high density of ebony can make it difficult to work, though it can be shaped and cut with the right tools and machinery.

    Availability & Price: Ebony wood is considered a threatened species due to overharvesting. It is considered rare in terms of availability and is very expensive.

    12 Different Types of Ebony Wood

    1. Ceylon Ebony (Diospyros ebenum)

    Ceylon Ebony

    Also known as East Indian ebony, this hardwood is commonly found in Southeast Asian countries, including India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The trees are about 50-80 ft (15-25 m) tall with a 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter. The average dried weight of this ebony hardwood is 915 kg/m3 and the Janka rating is 2,430 lbf. The heartwood is jet-black with dark brown streaks. It is very durable and resistant to decay.

    Common uses of Ceylon ebony include inlay, carving, turned objects, and parts for musical instruments such as piano keys, bridges and nuts.

    2. Gaboon Ebony (Diospyros crassiflora)

    Gaboon Ebony

    The most famous type of ebony, also called Cameroon ebony or African ebony, is jet-black with a straight but sometimes locked grain. The heartwood may occasionally have dark streaks throughout. The wood texture is fine and uniform. Gaboon ebony is rated as very durable with an amazing resistance to rot and termites. It is sometimes difficult to work with but turns (steam bending), finishes and polishes well. Ebony is very expensive and not easily available. Contact us for the best price for Gaboon ebony.

    Ebony is used in musical instruments, especially piano keys, ornamental items, carvings, pool cues, and small wooden items.

    3. African Ebony Wood (Diospyros mespiliformis)

    African Ebony Wood

    This ebony species is native to the African Savannah. The tree, which is also sometimes called jackalberry, is small (about 16 feet or so) and produces fruits that jackals feed on. The wood is durable and termite-resistant.

    4. Macassar Ebony (Diospyros celebica)

    Macassar Ebony

    This species of ebony gets its name from Macassar or Makassar, a famous city on the Sulawesi island of Indonesia, where this wood is exclusively found. The trees are about 50-65 feet tall. The brown heartwood has darker streaks or stripes. This wood is considered very durable and is used for making posts for houses (in Japan) and to build fine-quality furniture, fingerboards in guitars, veneering, cabinetry, and carving.

    5. Queensland Ebony (Scientific name: Diospyros humilis)

    Queensland Ebony

    This type of ebony is found exclusively in Australia, mainly in Queensland (NSW). It is a small tree, almost a shrub, that produces strong wood and orangish fruits. Queensland ebony is commonly used for making high-quality cabinets.

    6. Pale Moon Ebony (Diospyros malabarica)


    Also known as Black and White Ebony, this wood is native to Laos and Southeast Asia. The trees are about 50-115 ft (15-35 m) tall and have a 1-3 ft (.3-1 m) trunk diameter. The average dried weight of the wood is 825 kg/m3 and the Janka (hardness) rating is 1,780 lbf.

    Pale Moon Ebony is a pale straw colour with almost black streaks throughout its heartwood. It has a straight grain with a fine & uniform texture. This is a remarkably durable wood with good resistance to insects. It is not easily available and can be as expensive as black ebony.

    Common uses include specialty wood projects, small items, turned objects, and inlays.

    7. Coromandel Ebony (Diospyros melanoxylon)

    Coromandel Ebony

    This species of ebony is native to India and Sri Lanka. The tree is known to have medicinal properties and can reportedly help with malaria and similar diseases. The leaves of Coromandel Ebony are used for wrapping tobacco.

    8. Mun Ebony (Diospyros mun)

    Mun Ebony

    Mun Ebony is found in Laos and Vietnam. The trees are quite small and slow-growing. This is a heavy wood with a 1,065 kg/m3 average dried weight and around 3,000 lbf Janka rating. The Mun ebony has a medium brown heartwood with black streaks. The grain is straight and the texture is very fine & uniform. The wood is said to be durable and resistant to rot. Similar to other ebony species, it is also difficult to work with. It is rarely available and there is a ban on its export.

    Mun Ebony is commonly used for turned objects, carvings, veneering, and inlays.

    9. Mauritius Ebony (Diospyros tessellaria)

    Mauritius Ebony

    This species of ebony wood is native to Mauritius, a country in East Africa. The trees are about 60-65 ft tall and can be identified by their small, white flowers with a strong fragrance.

    10. Myrtle Ebony (Diospyros pentamer)

    Myrtle Ebony

    Found in the tropical regions of Queensland, the myrtle ebony trees can be easily identified by their beautiful white and red flowers. It is one of the rarest ebony species that grows in rainforests.

    11. Texas Ebony (Ebenopsis ebano)

    Texas Ebony

    This ebony type is native to Southern Texas and eastern Mexico. The trees are about 6-9 m tall with a .3-.6 m trunk diameter. It is a heavy wood with an average dried weight of 965 kg/m3 and a 2,820 lbf Janka rating.

    Texas ebony has a dark reddish (sometimes purplish) or sometimes black heartwood, which gets darker with age. The grain is irregular and the texture is fine and uniform. It is very durable and has a natural resistance to decay.

    It is used mainly for rare applications, specialty wood items, fine furniture, knife handles, etc.

    12. Brazilian Ebony (Swartzia tomentosa)

    Brazilian Ebony

    One of the toughest woods in the world, Brazilian Ebony is claimed to have a Janka rating of 3,690 lbf. It’s very dense and heavy and has an almost black appearance and a straight grain.

    Ebony Wood Uses

    The top uses of ebony timber are as follows:

    Musical instruments: Ebony is widely used for making musical instruments such as pianos, violins, cellos, and guitars.

    Carvings: Ebony wood is often used for carving due to its flat and smooth surface. Figurines, chess pieces, and other decorative objects from ebony.

    Furniture: Ebony wood is favoured for its beauty and durability and is one of the best woods for making high-end furniture.

    Knife handles: Ebony wood is commonly used in knife handles due to its hardness.

    Billiard cues: Ebony wood is also used for making billiard cues because of its resistance to warping.

    Flooring: Ebony wood flooring is used in many homes and commercial properties as a durable flooring material that can withstand heavy foot traffic without catching scratches and dents.

    Turning: Ebony wood turns easily and is used for making bowls, vases, and other decorative objects.

    Medicine: Ebony wood is also commonly used in traditional medicine for various diseases, such as diarrhoea, malaria, and fever.

    Where to buy Ebony Wood online?

    White Knight Consulting Ltd is your one-stop destination to buy premium-quality, sustainably-sourced ebony wood at the best price online. We are an FSC-certified timber manufacturer and global exporter selling our wood in many countries, including the UK, Malaysia, Australia, Africa, Canada, Vietnam, and many more.

    Contact White Knight Consulting Ltd to buy freshly sawn or raw ebony wood logs. We offer doorstep delivery of different types of ebony wood all over the world at lowest price possible.

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